Although marathons are 26.2 miles, experienced marathoners know that the real race begins at mile 20. Until then, runners are surviving to reach the true start line. Early success does not predict winners because marathons are won or lost in the last 6.2 miles.
Too late, I learned that the parenting marathon is the same. The early years are surviving until the real race begins—adolescence.
Why? Research shows there is less memory retention before age ten. Our children are not sustained by the relationship memories parents made during the early years.
Second, our children’s brains change at puberty. What they need from us changes radically. Previous parenting methods are ineffective for the years our children will vividly remember.
Unfortunately, both parents and marathoners are exhausted—and sometimes injured—during the crucial miles. Runners know they have another grueling 6.2 miles. We parents may falsely assume the outcome is determined by the time we reach mile 20. We call victory or defeat too early. (See Here)
Experienced marathoners have a strategy for the hardest, ending miles. I wish I had known to prepare mine.
May you have wisdom as you run your parenting marathon.