Some random thoughts on parenting…

I’ve come to realize after having the blessing to help raise and guide five children, that my role as a parent is more like that of Professor X.

In the X Men comic books, Professor X helps young “mutants” learn to develop and control their own unique abilities. He creates an environment where they can become who they are meant to be, not what he wants them to be.

As a parent it’s often hard to look at our kids as individuals. We often feel they are extensions of ourselves or representations of how successful we are or how genetically superior we are.

But one thing that I constantly remind myself is that they were given to me with their own purpose, their own unique abilities, and their own unique challenges.

My job as a Dad I’ve found has come in phases.

During the early years…frankly, my job was just to keep them from killing themselves.

But at some point they begin to reveal characteristics entirely unique to them…the beginning of them realizing their “mutant” abilities.

It’s at this point where we can help our kids grow into healthy, happy, and empowered individuals or we can squash their dreams and force them to conform to our vision of who they are.

As my kids get older I now see myself as a facilitator, like Professor X. I want to give them the tools, environments, teachers, and coaches that will allow them to fully realize and develop their own unique “super powers”.

This is a humbling process, because often times it’s not what I would want to do or want them to do. But when I see that spark in my kids, the Professor X inside of me can’t wait to see what they do with it.

I’ve grown to love the diversity in my five kids “mutant” abilities, and what fun it is to get to have front row seats as they grow and discover which X Men character they’ll play in life.