Parenting has two basic categories: The crisis at hand and the end game. And while most parenting books fall under the former group, the real advantage comes to those who understand the end game.
Think of parenting as you would business or sports or just about anything you take seriously. The more strategic your thinking, the more you are able to categorize problems and provide solutions proactively. A strategic player will often see one solution to many problems.
Effective managers know the tell-tale signs of worker unrest, market fluctuations and product inconsistency. They don’t wait until costumers cancel their orders, they see where problems on the factory floor will lead.
The same is true in parenting. The strategic parent doesn’t wait till the bad report card shows up, or the police come knocking on their door before they start reading up on another pile of parenting books.
However, most parenting books are the equivalent of crisis-management manuals, which, while necessary — even the best managed company gets into occasional trouble — is no way to live 24×7, and no way to effectively raise children.
In business, don’t you need a game plan? Don’t the great businesses have a definition of success? Parenting is the same. We may be able to break parenting up into 50,000 different tasks, and it could be that you might find success along the way, but that doesn’t mean you will end up where you thought you should.
What kind of parent says, “Where did I go wrong?” A parent who cared. They wanted to get it right, and thought they did.
It’s easy to do if you just focus on getting over the current hurdle of car pools, sibling rivalries and diets. But if all you are focused on is the current crisis, then you will always be playing catch-up. And as your children get older, you will fall farther and farther behind until your life starts to resemble a soap opera.