"They didn't choose to be our children,
so we must be the parents they would have chosen."
I am Mom. It's my main name. It's what I'm called more often then the name my parents chose for me. I wear it with the same pride as a soldier wears their rank insignia and with the same sense of duty. But I am afraid of what Mom and Dad are turning into for a lot of other families.
There are several new "schools" on parenting like the extremely hard line of the Tiger Mother and abandonment style talked about in a friends blog, Zilla of the Resistance. There is a nasty increase in child abuse and murder. And we are all familiar with the fact that single parenting and two working parent homes are more the norm then we would like to see.
But what about the basic everyday parenting? Children are born because we create them. We decide through our actions that they are to come into the world. They do not owe us for that. They had no choice. Why would we hold them accountable to us for their existence? Our first and most basic responsibility is to them because we forced them into being.
And that doesn't mean we rush them into adulthood to get them out of the way. Kids should be allowed to act like children. The simple pleasures of childhood are almost gone to most kids. They get buried below chores, school, and being perfect little angels or delinquents. Our society is forgetting to balance it all and we are creating monsters.
We want our kids to be well rounded, loving, hard working, fun loving adults when it's all said and done. We want them to have it better then we have it. But we are causing our children to be dysfunctional, rude, impatient, evil.... creeps. No, not all the kids are turning out that way but more then we would like to see.
Chores to teach responsibility, play time to encourage the love of life, the right level of discipline to teach right from wrong; they are part of a parents job description. While I feel that there is no true right/wrong parenting method, I do feel the extremes we are seeing these days are not doing justice for our children.
It is not the child's job to please us with their every action but our job to find pleasure in our children. It is our job to show them how to become well rounded adults without damaging the core self that they are born with too badly. It is a parents job to show and teach love, right from wrong, and the basic principles we want to see in our society. It isn't something kids are born with but are taught, by us.
It is the simple everyday things we do with and for our children that will one day play into the adults they will become. If our lives are so taken up by ourselves that we miss their day to day lives then we are doing something wrong. If they turn out rotten because we weren't there, then we are to blame. If they turn out great because they learned early to stand on their own, then we should not get the credit.
If we are there for our children and guide them with simple love and morals, then we are doing our jobs. Our life doesn't have to be all about parenthood and the children but it is no longer just about ourselves when we bring them into our lives. Balance. In order for us to be healthy for our children, we need to be healthy for ourselves. We need to take some 'me time' and some 'us time' as well as the 'family time'.
If we want to save the world we need to start looking in our own home and what we are growing. Plant a garden and a tree and you are helping the future. Raise a child and that child is the future. What are you growing?
*special thanks to my Friend MJ for all her help with my blog. Please feel free to read the blogs I will be including on the side bar. I write for Stone Soup with some other very talented writers.*