Games, Goals, and the Parenting Prime Directive
In the parenting rule book, there really are some very cool principles, or rules if you prefer, that you can use as a parent to help you in your “parental duties” as a parent. You could say that there are rules of being a parent if you want to. (It’s just that nobody seems to know these rules.)
Without rules, games can’t exist. With no games, there are no goals. So if there are no games, there’s only anarchy, chaos and a world where “intelligence impaired” people think that statistics can be tied to scientific method as far as getting consistent and predictable results. 🙂
All games have rules. Note that all games have at least one opponent who gets in the way. All games have at least one goal that is somehow important to both players.
But… Games in Parenting?
Family Games and Goals in the Parenting Rule Book
Where there are multiple players, there are opponents and teammates. Teammates have the same goals you do: to score “points” toward winning the game, and to stop the opponents from scoring or winning.
Opponents try to stop you and your team from scoring or winning because they want to win by scoring the most.
Without such rules and understandings, the game of parenting is full of stress, unhappiness, and games where it’s parent(s) against child(ren), or one parent against the other, or some combination thereof – well, that sucks. When that happens it becomes teammates acting as opponents!
It takes parents and kids being a team, accomplishing goals and a better future for all, to help rebuild and make stronger the foundation of the US, and all other civilized cultures. (They call it “civilization” for a reason, right?)
So on this site are some pretty good rules and principles that you can read and follow.
Feel free to mess them up trying to finally get them right – and try to learn quickly from your mistakes. It’s taken me a long time and a lot of children to learn this stuff.
It’s okay to make mistakes. Mistakes means you’re probably learning something.
Luckily (or not, whatever) I have a bit of “mad scientist” in me: I do stuff and note the results. Where the results have been beneficial to the bigger picture, OMG!
Would you guess that there’s some underlying principle there that I could use..
If only I could find it…
EUREKA! Real Principles so Our Kids Are Better Than…
Well, I did find a few of those principles. I can’t imagine that all of them are on this site or in our book, but there is enough to help you and make your life better, more productive and easier than it would otherwise be.
As a parent, you should be thanked for caring enough to find out more so your children, too, can become better in every way than we are in every way they want to be better.
In today’s world, do you think that might be important? Leaders are sorely lacking, communication is very low despite technology making it continually easier and easier to communicate using numerous methods, health is plunging, and a lot more.
I think it would be nice to turn that all around so our own children are better off than we are.
The Prime Directive of Every Parent
Being a parent is fantastic fun, chillingly challenging, and pushes you far past all limits you thought that you had. If you didn’t snap, good job. If you did, try to do better if you can and move on. If you don’t have any children yet, then good for you for doing something before it happened! I wish I would have been that smart.
The Prime Directive of Every Parent is to do all you can to ensure the current and future safety and well-being of your offspring.
I think the odd thing in society today is that somehow, through some crazy, twisted bit of “logic,” the apparency to me is that parents think that their main job is the child’s happiness. If only it were that easy!
I’ve asked dozens of parents, “What is happiness?”
“Oh, you know, it’s… feeling good.” “It’s how you feel when, uh…hm.”
What causes happiness? I’ve never heard a real answer. “Getting what you want.” That’s the answer I hear the most. Uh-huh. Right. It’s not too far off, but the part that matters the most is sadly left out.
Parents who just want their child(ren) “to be happy” leave out the part that creates the happiness! It’s not the “getting the thing” that creates the happiness.
Happiness and Family
What creates the happiness is solving and overcoming the problems on the way to getting there! Parents who just give their children what they want without letting them overcome problems and blocks on the way are creating distinct future problems in their children.
Along with those problems come unhappiness and a lower ability in the child to face adversity and overcome it.
So happiness is about the journey, the anticipation of getting closer and closer, getting past and overcoming the problems that get in the way of reaching the goal to have something: the end of the journey.
And let me say that getting a lot done on the way toward the goal, being very productive, also tends to make people happy.
Encouraging (and assisting in a limited manner) your child to be very productive toward a goal they have is of paramount importance in parenting because it accomplishes current and future safety and creates happiness in the child.
Continued happiness is about the journey to one goal, then the journey to the next goal, then the trek to the next, and so on. It’s about the adventure toward a goal that is good, fun and beneficial to self and others.
Just remember that the journey includes not only getting past problems and other obstacles, but also in being very productive toward the goal.
Can Drugs Really Create Happiness?
So, do drugs really replace having a goal, working toward that goal, conquering the problems in the quest of attaining goal after goal in the adventure that should be life? Not even close.
In fact, such drugs accomplish exactly the opposite by making one not only incapable over the long haul, but also miserable. Drugs: another lie propagated by the pharmaceutical companies and shrinky dinks.
The primary directive of every parent is NOT to make the child happy.
Only the Child Can Make the Child Happy Over Time
It is Only the child that can make the child truly happy over time. Happiness is attained by pursuing goals, by being allowed to pursue those goals, encouraged to pursue those goals, being very productive toward those goals, and given assistance only when wanted or asked for by the child.
Every person is happy when he or she solves a problem or breaches the wall that is in the way of attaining a good and wanted goal.
Yeah, we can be there for our children to give them a temporary boost, a few words of encouragement, stories of our own failures and how we overcame them to succeed anyway, a chuckle here and a gut-laugh there, a hug and a back pat. Now…
While there is a temporary but fleeting feeling of happiness in getting something that is wanted, it still disappears quickly…unless it has been earned by the child as the child so thinketh. Then the happiness disappears more slowly.
How many times have you gotten your child(ren) what was wanted, and the next day it’s like it doesn’t even exist? What was learned by the child then? What was learned was that the kid can just ask for stuff and get it. The kid learns that he doesn’t even have to work, doesn’t have to save, doesn’t have to solve and overcome problems that get in the way, and doesn’t have to be productive at all toward attaining a goal.
Do You Want “Entitled” Kids?
What the kid learns is that he’s “entitled” to what he wants. It’s quite pitiful and pathetic – and a really, really great way to raise a purebred loser. It’s also a great way to mess up a person who could have become truly great if you’d let him.
The Primary directive of any parent is and always will be to do all you can to ensure the current and future safety and well-being of your kids.
That statement covers a hell of a lot of considerations and situations in each life that you’re responsible for. It’s huge. It’s really what this site and our books and videos are about.
When it comes to the future and current safety and well-being of your child(ren), that’s your responsibility. That’s really your only job as a parent (makes it seem small and simple, huh?). At least it’s your Primary Directive as a Parent.
There are various principles that I’ve found can be applied to a great many situations to help the child grow into a responsible and wonderful “older kid”. Three of those principles or rules will be in Part 3.
Oh, and when you have a baby who is crying, it’s because of some form of discomfort, injustice or loss. So, what should be done? Should you just leave the baby to cry it out? No. Never do that unless you feel like you’re really angry. (Then calm down first, right?)
Check the baby’s diaper. Is it clean? Any rashy thing going on? If so handle it. Food? Drink? Overheating? Cold? Cuts? Bruises? Check into it, eh? It’s damn frustrating (for the baby) trying to count on someone who lets the discomfort and bad stuff keep going. Grrr…
How do you want to be treated?
Remember that – always – as a parent.
You know, the whole “do unto others” thing. Keep ’em safe. They’re the future. What do you want to return to?
Just think, “If I had to do this all over again, what kind of parents would I want?” And I think you’ll begin to get the idea. New doors are opening up in your thinking. I can hear the creaking. Stay Great.