Piloting and Parenting

Sometimes the daily grind of raising children becomes wearisome. Most of the time it’s not a problem, but sometimes I just get tired.

How many times can they tell the same story?
How many times can they interrupt a phone call?
How many times can they show me their newest paper-and-string-and-tape creations?

(In case one of my children is reading this some years from now: no, it wasn’t you – it was your brother.)

We all have our weaknesses. In case your weakness is along the lines of “how to motivate yourself to care about everything your child says”, here is how I stay motivated :

Captain Sullenberger has been asked how he was able to make a landing (or would that be “watering”) in such a precarious situation. His answer was something along the lines of

For years I had been making small deposits in the bank of experience. When the time came that I needed to make a large withdrawal, the balance was large enough.

What is my job as a parent? Raising my children, of course. Teaching them now and preparing them for the future.

Hmm…that sounds like a school’s motto.

If I neglect my parenting role now, I am squandering the experience instead of depositing it in the bank. In the future, what if my then-teenage son needs to talk?

If he grew up thinking “dad never listens”, where will he go to be heard?

If he grew up thinking “dad doesn’t want to answer my questions”, whom will he ask when he has an important question?

I’m not saying our kids feel neglected – that’s not why I’m writing this. I just saw that quote from Captain Sullenberger and thought it paralleled parenting rather well. It should be applicable to just about anything, not just piloting.

Oh, and you should listen to “Cat’s in the Cradle” (the real version) a few times a year.

My other question is this: Why wasn’t the emergency landing also a deposit in the bank of experience? How does the experience know whether it is a deposit or withdrawal?

I would liken it more to the stock market. He put enough in so that, when the crash came, he wasn’t wiped out completely.

On second thought, that doesn’t continue well either, because after the crash he had even more experience than before the crash. Maybe we need to avoid the monetary analogies.

You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

Deuteronomy 6:7

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This little article thingy was written by Some Guy sometime around 6:24 pm and has been carefully placed in the Ponder category.

2 Responses to “Piloting and Parenting”

  1. Arby Says:

    I have a tremendous amount of patience for my daughter. After nearly losing her to a heart defect and working hard to help her recover over the years, I remind myself in the worst of times that I prayed hard for her recovery. I didn’t just pray for the good times. I prayed for any times. Then I ask myself, “Why does it take nearly losing a child to be able to be so patient with them? Why can’t I be that patient with the other two, the “normal” ones?” That realization changed my parenting.

    As for “Cats in the Cradle,” after crying to that song as a child because my father spent all of my childhood in a bar and not with his family, I spend absolutely no time in a bar as an adult. Why not? I’m too busy having fun, at home, with my children.

  2. Charity Says:

    Very good point. I am at the wearisome place right now. And there is a long way to go. Maybe I should hire Cpt. Sullenberger to be my life coach.

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