How to Be a Great Parent – Pt. 1


“If you get straight A’s, I will love you. If you get 3 detentions each week, I will love you the same. And I will spend the next 9 months proving it to you.”

I recently heard a middle school teacher say this to her 6th grade students. I wonder how many of us parents can say this to our children – especially our hurting and challenging foster/adopted ones – and mean it. What would it take to be able to do this relentlessly – no matter what to all our children. Really, what would it take?

A 2006 ground-breaking Fortune magazine article shows that researchers have determined that what it takes to be great is nothing less than this daunting guideline – “The lack of natural talent is irrelevant to great success. The secret? Painful and demanding practice and hard work”. In other words, no matter how much we know about being a great anything, parenting or other is not enough.

Imagine this being said to you before you had your first child, or before you adopted or became a foster parent. Want to be a great parent? Here is what it takes – “Painful and demanding practice and hard work”. Most of us would still reply, “sure, sign me up”. But having said that, we would really have no idea what it means, or just how painful and demanding the hard work would turn out to be.

So I did a little homework and a little math just to get an idea of what it might really take to be a great parent, or a great anything for that matter. So what did I come up with you might ask? Great question. But you will have to wait until Monday to find out the rest of this story. In the meantime, think about this and look forward to the answers I came up with. And begin to wonder, what would it take for you to be a great parent?