A Review of ‘Rite of Passage Parenting’
by Lorraine Brock
I am currently reading a book about how to raise responsible, capable adults in a culture where our children are not exposed to the experiences that allow them to succeed. Rite of Passage Parenting: Four Essential Experiences to Equip Your Kids for Life by Walker Moore, explains the traditions that are lacking in our society today and suggests ways for parents to give their children what they need. The book focuses on two basic themes and in this article I will be touching on one: Grandparents.
Years ago, extended family members were closer in distance and grandparents played a much larger role in the lives of their grand kids. As the book explains, mom and dad tended to be ‘The Law’ and grandparents tended to be ‘The Grace Givers.’ While mom and dad also offered grace, the grandparents were able to impart wisdom through a loving voice of experience to their children and grandchildren without having to be The Law. They brought balance to conflict and helped both sides find solutions without taking the authority away from the parents. Then, after World War II, families began to move to the cities away from their families, and grandparents had less opportunity be a day-to-day positive influence.
I also want to share with you the concept of ‘Grace Deposits,’ which is discussed in Mr. Moore’s book. Before you read the article below, answer this question. Do you know what grace is? Define what you think it means, then read below about the meaning and benefit of Grace Deposits.
Grace is an unearned gift, and while it is given freely in positive relationships, it is often hard to balance grace with the reality of consequences in the parent-child relationship.
Given too much grace, a child tends to ignore the possibility of consequences of poor decisions or bad behavior. These children grow into teens and young adults who do not make choices based on the end result or impact on others. They assume their behavior will be overlooked or even worse, that they will be rescued from their bad choices. Parents giving too much grace might say, “It’s not your fault that the store clerk forgot to charge you for your soda. I’m sure they have overcharged you before”.
On the other hand, grace not given enough can harden a child’s heart as they grow into a young adult. Failure was not coupled with unconditional love and breaking the rules was not balanced with teachable moments.
Grandparents can play an important role in helping their grandchildren understand why there are rules and what might happen if rules are not followed. Often by using childhood stories and examples of past consequences followed by positive feedback, grandparents can work alongside parents to raise responsible children.
Not all grandparents have sound wisdom, but if they do, they can leave Grace Deposits in the lives of their grandchildren that will encourage them to stay on the right track. Grace deposits come from the “I love you’s”, the “Dust yourself off’s”, and the “There is not a mistake that we can’t learn from”.
Build these deposits in your child or grandchild’s life so that their Grace Bank is never overdrawn.
Lorraine Brock is a professional organizer, family coach, speaker, and founder and owner of Get Organized! Get Organized! is a professional organizing company in the Dallas, Texas area. Get Organized! specializes in organizing and de-cluttering homes as well as implementing systems in the home for better family management. A popular media guest, Lorraine has appeared on Dallas’ two top morning television shows: Good Morning Texas and Good Day Fox, and has been featured on various radio outlets. She has been hallmarked in many local, regional, and national print and online magazines, such as the Dallas Morning News, The North Texas Kids Magazine, SheKnows.com, and Daily Candy Kids. To get more information about Lorraine, visit www.GetOrganized.ws.