What’s your endgame?
It sounds like a question my husband will likely and non-subtly ask my young daughters’ eventual male suitors.
In fact, if he is anything like my father who flat out asked him “what the hell are you doing with my daughter?” at their first introduction, “what’s your endgame?” will likely not be the words he uses. His will be a bit more direct, blunter, and yes, more critical.
However, I feel as though “what’s your endgame?” is a proper and appropriate question that needs to be asked, but not of those young male suitors coming for your daughter.
Nope. Alternatively, I feel that this is a question we need to be asking of parents, and one that I find me asking of myself.
What is my goal as a parent?
What is my goal for my child?
Do those goals match?
Are they realistic?
Taking a moment each morning and each evening to ask yourself “what’s my endgame?” and “did my actions today work towards that?” is imperative if we want to ensure that our values are being sufficiently exemplified and translated for our children.
It is also essential to define your endgame.
For me, my endgame is to raise children that are intelligent, well-rounded, respectful and respected. Additionally, more than anything I want my children to grow up happy, healthy, and humbly confident in their worth and abilities. That is my endgame.
Not my children’s success.
Not their job title.
Not the size of their house.
Not how many children they have or to whom, when, or how they get married.
As a parent, you must define your endgame and begin each day with your goal in mind. Once you have this established, you can then move on to asking yourself if the parenting choices you are making are going to aid in reaching your goal.
I can’t tell you how often I step outside of myself, in the middle of a frustrated response, and say in my head “What are you doing? Your reaction is not helping. This is not how you should be responding to your child”.
The fact remains that parenting is hard, and when you add in life’s daily stressors, financial worries, work tasks, relationship issues, and all the rest of it, you just do not have the calmness of mind to always act per your values or your endgame.
I also believe it’s worth noting that your endgame may not match your child’s perspective, and that is okay. That is allowed. Our children are allowed to have their own endgame, and if you raise them “right” (and by right, I mean to be healthy, well-balanced individuals) then their endgame will be just as admirable and achievable as yours.
Take some time today to define your endgame and seriously question yourself as to whether or not your actions are routinely helping you and your child reach it.