Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
While in Silicon Valley, I toured the Computer History Museum. If you or your child are fans of computers and technology, the Mountain View, California Museum is a must-see. However, even if you only have a remote interest in computers and technology, the Museum provides an invaluable lesson for all parents.
The More Things Change
Having only a slight interest in the history of computers, I bought a ticket and entered the Museum. I have to admit; I was blown away.
Like most people, I knew computers were involved in nearly every aspect of our daily life, but I did not know how long computers had existed. So it amazed me to learn that what we think of as modern computing has existed for over 2,000 years.
What was more fascinating was learning about the evolution of the computer. From its origin, as a big clunky device called The Babbage Engine to the proliferation of the internet, it didn’t take long for a dinosaur like me to comprehend the evolution of computers. Engineered initially to be a stationary object capable of making one calculation at a time, modern computing has morphed into something totally different. Or has it?
The More They Are The Same
The French critic, journalist, and novelist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr said, “the more things change, the more they are the same.” Mr. Karr’s words illustrate precisely the goal and history of computing.
Notwithstanding all the evolutionary changes and advancements of computers, the purpose and principle of computing have remained the same. Computing and computers have always existed to solve problems so that we might advance the human condition.
Like the start of computing and the first computer, today’s parents have the same aim as the original human. Our prime directives in the beginning, now, and will always be: procreate, nurture, protect, and train.
Protecting children is no longer associated with fighting wild animals, yet parents still have to protect children from the dangers of modern society, like sexual predators and online bullies. Likewise, educating children no longer requires teaching how to make a fire or sharing the time to plant seeds. Still, parents have the same responsibility to ensure our children’s education prepares them to survive and progress.
Parenting Without Evolution Does Not Compute
For as complex a task as raising a child is today, like computing, the basics of parenting remain the same. Unfortunately, parents (according to our children) are not as smart as computers. The best parents possess similarities to computers and technology–the ability to grow.
In all things, today’s parents must be what they have always been — evolutionary creatures who are acutely aware of our children’s surroundings and zealous representatives of their best interests.
1. Storage. Parents can never standstill. Parents must evolve like floppy disks to the cloud. Mental notes about successful parenting practices are important. We must be eager to learn from others who are great parents–parents who are purposeful and intentional. We must stockpile as much information as we can about children and parenting so that we can continuously progress and improve as parents.
2. Updates. Parents make not only mental notes and store all the new and relevant parenting information. Good parents take the best of what we know about parenting and apply it to our parent-child relationships. Implementing new parenting techniques occurs with the ease and efficiency of an operating system update. When a more efficient and effective parenting method is available, excellent parents adjust immediately and seamlessly.
3. Hardware. Good parents don’t rest on their laurels or do things simply because they were done to us–we freely gain the hardware that supports our software changes. When I was a baby, my parents drove cars without baby car seats, painted the house with lead-based paint, and left electrical outlets unprotected. Thankfully, the world and parents have developed.
The decisions and actions parents take MUST always compute. Suppose our children will dream and do things far more significant than we could ever imagine. In that case, we will have to develop and adapt our prime parenting directives to meet the challenges and opportunities of a transforming world. Parenting without evolution does not compute.
- What do you think? Are you at a parental standstill? Do you need an upgrade?
- Or are you constantly growing to your children’s needs?
Uncommen Challenge: I challenge us all to always be open to changing how our children need us while staying within God’s will for us.
Author Nathaniel A. Turner is the author of “Raising Supaman,” a collection of life lessons written by a father to his son. Read more at www.raisingsupaman.com.
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