Proud to be a Pioneer

January 25, 2018

Jim Walter Superintendent Clare Schools

Jim Walter Superintendent Clare Schools

Disclaimer: I’m NOT a perfect parent…but I am a growing parent and I’ve learned a great deal from my kids over the last 17 ½ years. Slowly, I’m becoming the parent I’ve always hoped to be, a Pioneer of sorts. Following are a few things that separate Pioneers from others:

Relationships with our kids are meant to help US grow as much as we’re meant to help kids grow into adults. Experience is a hard teacher…but by golly we learn from it, and if we’re lucky, our parenting experiences make us better people.

YOU get to determine what you value and what’s important for your family’s growth…not society, not grandparents, not the government. There’s tremendous power there for yourself, your family and your community.

My best parenting times have happened when I’ve been cultivating my kids’ gifts, talents and dreams. When I leave my own ideas and anxieties at home, I turn into a pretty decent parent it turns out…and my energy gets spent in support of their dreams and growth.
When tough times do happen, I’m at my best when I’m calm and in control (and I fail at this occasionally just like everyone else). If I sit down, think about the bigger picture and relax, I’m much better at working out problems and finding solutions.

If I’m able to avoid lecturing, my kids and I usually win together. Fact is, they’re pretty smart…they’d probably wear me down and win! So I try (emphasis on try…I often fail) to be polite, brief and move on. When I do this well, my kids respect decisions better and we all win.

I try to praise their EFFORTS and praise them often. Kids who work hard and stay calm in the face of adversity up their odds for future success in any walk of life. When you praise these traits, you show you trust them, and that we’re generous with praise when they’ve earned it.

To be fair, I’ve learned some of these things the hard way…from my kids and my exceptional wife, Terri. I’ve had many failures as a dad. But our kids crave the security of parents with clear expectations, who keep their word and who are emotionally strong.

They need the confidence they get from parents who stay calm, the praise of parents who believe in them and recognize their growth, and parents who express their love and pride. That’s what separates Pioneer Parents, and it’s a big part of what continues to make Clare a great place to live and learn!

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