This isn’t the typical post from Bitzenburger™, and I am not usually one for doling out parenting advice, but I really like the analogy here (for obvious reasons!). I hope you enjoy it too!
In issue #8 of the Magnolia Journal (the Home Improvement couple) Chip Gaines wrote a really great article entitled Sharp as Arrows. In the article, he says that after seeing how differently his first two children handled life situations, it was up to him to learn alongside them what they are good at, timid about and capable of and then mold his parenting style to their reality – not theirs to his.
I loved the part where he says that he imagines that he has these five arrows in a quiver. Each one is a child. His job is to sharpen them while they are still with him so that when it’s time for them to launch into the world, they are powerful and effective.
He is always on the outlook for things that “sharpen” his kids (arrows) by encouraging them to do the things they are not totally excited about but need to do. On the other hand, when they see him get behind their dreams and care about the things they care about it helps them to take his word for the other things in life. Kids who know that Mom and Dad have their back can do anything. I can just take out one of my arrows and watch it fly!!
It does not matter if kids are cautious or risk-takers. It’s just important that they know they can tackle anything. What a great thing to be right there to help them problem solve. Be there for those teachable moments and just stand back and watch if that is what is needed.
Chip says that he sees his role as more of an archer, “carefully, lovingly doing his part so when they finally do leave home, they go out like sharp arrows, intentional, purposeful, capable and ready.”
The ready part is probably the most tricky. How many of us are actually ready for our everyday events? If we can “drawback” on the past and think about what we have learned and what worked for us and what did not go so well – we can all be straight arrows!
Parenting and Making Arrows
Just in case you want to actually make arrows with your kids (I highly recommend it!) we have the best fletching jig in the world. It makes gluing the feathers on the arrow really easy. Your kids will be so proud of themselves, especially when they shoot the arrows they made. Check it out!