Posted by: chrisdavis | September 14, 2011

Parents as Permission Givers


Everyone begins at the same place: bad.

So, how does a person go from bad to great?

First, he has to stay bad long enough until he finally runs out of bad and comes to the place of being not-so-bad. From there, he moves through the not-so-bad stage until he arrives at pretty good. If he is motivated enough to keep going, he moves through the pretty good until he becomes really good. If he doesn’t stop there, he comes to the end of really good and, finally, ends up at great.

As your child progresses through these stages, others drop by the wayside. Yet, your child continues on.

What keeps your child moving forward while others don’t? What is the origin of your child’s determination? Answer: God has put within your child a gift that he or she is driven to bring to maturity.

There are two things that will abort this process: 1) The child’s authority figures do not value what the child is motivated to do; 2) the child is required to spend huge amounts of time in lesser pursuits (i.e. public school homework).

You have often heard me quote one of my sons’ favorite sayings: “If I will spend a few years doing what others won’t do, then I will spend the rest of my life doing what others can’t do.” This was James’s motto as he spent his 10,000 hours [see a previous post] becoming a well-paid professional actor/singer/dancer.

We parents need to be our children’s most fervent advocates. We need to become permission-givers to their God-given talents. We need to become connectors, linking their passions to much-needed materials and support persons. We need to protect their time so it isn’t stolen by less meaningful pursuits.

And we need to learn to value what God has put within them to pursue and let go of the paradigm that says, “But you will never get a job doing that!”

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