It happens quite often that I’m pulled into Zach’s school work. Not because he needs help, but just because we are both educators and end up taking about strategies and philosophies and just plain craziness of the teaching world.
This semester Zach is in a non-education class, and while it has nothing to do with education, we ended up talking about it last week. I can’t remember the entire question, but the part that has me thinking more this week, is does being successful make you a better person?
For the past year, I’ve cut Isaac’s hair once or twice a month. With little boys, this is just the way it is. Unfortunately, Isaac thinks it is the more horrible thing I can do to him. He wiggles, and screams and cries. We’ve gotten to the point, where Zach wraps him in a towel and gives him a big hug while I cut, stopping periodically for Isaac to have a rest.
On Saturday night we had success. We cut all of Isaac’s hair without one tear, without one scream, without wiggling or fast turns of the head. Our secret? We woke him up at 12:30am. What? How dare we, as parents, do such a thing! Well it wasn’t intentional. Isaac had fallen asleep on top of me watching a movie. I was convinced he was asleep enough that we could cut his hair (he was in serious need of a hair cut) without him waking up. Well, by the time we walked downstairs, he was wake and saying “Hi” in his so sweet little voice.
We could have abandoned ship at that moment, but instead, we told Isaac what we were going to do, asked him to be a good boy and kept praising him along the way when he was good. A few times, he got that anxious look like he was about to freak out, so we took a break, got a drink, made him laugh. At the end we asked him if he wanted a sink-bath (he didn’t have much of a choice, but he was agreeable). We put him in new jammies, kissed him goodnight and put him in bed. At 1am we had our first fully successful haircut!
Does this success make us better parents? Absolutely no. If we’d had that kind of success on the first time, it wouldn’t have made us better. Nope, we would have been the same parents. In fact, I think it could be argued that, compared to the parents we are today, we wouldn’t have been better, because we had never had the challenge to overcome. Yes, there you have it – it is the journey that makes one a better parent (or person), not the success. Of course, one could always choose the path that leads them towards being a worse parent…but really, who wants to be worse?