If you look at this picture, you see two very clear things: a new Masters champion and his caddy cheering for him. As I looked at this picture, my mind began to think of how similar parents and caddies actually are. Here are ten lessons parents can learn from a good caddy:
1) The caddy tells his player the yardage to the front of the green, the back of the green, and the pin but the player still has to swing the club. We can teach as much as we want but our kids still have to make the decisions. This places the utmost importance on how and what we teach our children.
2) The caddy warns the player of dangers that might lie ahead on that particular hole. Parents must make sure their children are aware of the dangers of making poor decisions and help them avoid certain dangerous situations.
3) The caddy does a ton of work before his player even gets to the course. Parents must prepare ahead of time to cast vision for their children of what is coming up for them. This takes time and effort.
4) The caddy carries the weight of the bag with him the entire round. Sadly, parents often carry the burdens of their children around with them for a long period of time. It is difficult for us not to carry the weight of our children’s bad decisions. We must remember to parent with grace.
5) The caddy has a unique relationship with his player. He knows him as well as anybody. Parents should know their children better than anyone. The art of the intentional question goes a long way in this process.
6) The caddy makes suggestions during the round based upon how that player warmed up and practiced. Parents must understand how to parent their children based upon situations and the unique wiring of that particular child.
7) The caddy, in most cases, stands in the background while his player gets the credit and the blame. Parents must understand that the successes and failures of their children are not an opportunity to grab the spotlight of great parenting or hide in fear of being called a terrible parent.
8) The caddy helps read the green when his player asks for help on a putt. As our children get older, parents must learn to be the primary counselor in their child’s life. Instead of criticizing the question, we must look to give godly advice with a grace-filled spirit so we can help them make wise decisions.
9) The caddy always has a yardage book to help the player understand the distances and the layout of the course. Parents must make God’s Word the ultimate guide in our homes. Our children must also be taught how to apply the lessons learned to everyday life.
10) The caddy’s goal is to think with the end of the round in mind. In simpler terms, he is looking to help his player finish with the best possible score. Parents must always be thinking with the end in mind. We must disciple our children and teach them to be life ready so that they can launch into their next season of life in the best way possible.
Hopefully we all can take lessons from a good caddy and apply the lessons learned to be a more strategic and intentional parent.
What are some similarities that you can think of? I know there are plenty more!