The expression lighthouse as far as children and parenting goes, it's there to symbolise showing the way and to be a steady, safe part of a child's life.
When a child has that person in their life, they feel loved, safe and cared for on every level.
Most parents love and care for their children but for different reasons, are unable to be the support their child really needs. Is there someone else in their surroundings that can step in? An auntie, uncle, cousin, family friend or teacher?
This is what being a lighthouse is about; support, care and love unconditionally.
This explains what he means by this:
According to Dr. Ginsburg, a well-known physician of adolescent medicine, professor and author, parents should be lighthouses for their children, visible from the shoreline as a stable light or beacon.
They should make sure their children don't crash against the rocks, yet allow them to ride the waves even if they get a little choppy sometimes. Lighthouses are solid symbols, always there to guide you and help you get your bearings -- and that's exactly what lighthouse parents are to their children.
There are two main principles of lighthouse parenting:
- Giving unconditional love: Loving your kids without conditions gives them the security they need to have enough confidence to get through the difficulties of life. It's important to note that unconditional love doesn't mean unconditional approval. You still need to set high standards for behaviour, which helps kids form strong character and morals. You love them but don't always love their behaviours -- it's important to differentiate between the two.
- Letting children fail: Kids won't learn life lessons, whether good or bad, if they don't get a chance to experience them firsthand. Your kids need to fall or fail -- not always win or succeed. It's part of life and helps teach resilience. It's important to note that as their "lighthouse" you should protect them against challenges that are not age-appropriate or may cause serious harm.
As with everything, we have to find the way that works for us. This is one approach and there are many more.
Find what suits you and your family and love, love, love!