Premium Podcast Help Contact Dr. Laura Dr. Laura Designs Return to
Join Family Premium Login Family

Email of the Day

The Goal of Parenting

My 13 year-old son was sick and home alone from school when all the smoke alarms went off in our house.  He first called 9-1-1, scooped up the pets, and then called me at work from the front yard.  He did exactly what he should have done.

I arrived home in time to be greeted by two fire engines and the fire chief, who was holding a defective smoke detector.  After they left, I told my son how proud I was of him, because taking action like he did required courage and bravery.  Then I went into another room and privately let my feelings of being punched in the stomach surface.  I thought, "why didn't he call me first?" I was hurt that I wasn't the first person he turned to in an emergency.

And then I thought of you, saying to so many callers (I'm paraphrasing):  "the goal of parenting is to make children not need you," so this should be a huge "YAY" moment instead of the one I was letting myself sink into. 

The truth is my son is braver than I am.  My 13-year-old self would have been trying to get hold of mommy and daddy first while the house burned down.  I'm ashamed to admit it, but I was jealous of my son's bravery.  And I also felt I was deprived of a moment where I could come to the rescue and feel important.  I then let those feelings slowly fade away, which was deeply satisfying, and realized that just like my son didn't need to call me, I was able to work through this moment without calling YOU, because I've listened to you for so long, and have learned from your teaching!


Remember that you can either read "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands," or you can take my video course based on the book.  To find out more about the course, go to marriage one oh one dot com.
Tags: Attitude, Behavior, Parenting, Personal Responsibility, Values
< Back to Email of the Day Archives