Dear Parents: Your Approach to Parenting Might Just Suck
Your mindset, words and actions become your kids’ reality; choose them wisely
There’s the terrible twos, terrible threes on up to the terrible teens, 20s, 30s and beyond. It never ends….
The above quote was uttered by my late, great mom more than 30 years ago. To my perception that pretty much sums up her attitude on parenting. I can’t help but wonder if many others don’t also share with her that very same attitude toward raising kids, given all the ‘wounded souls ’ who are wandering around out there nowadays.
In all fairness, this attitude wasn’t formed in a vacuum; she was raised by parents who were bathed in the scripture whatever strict religious dogma in which they were raised. As such it is with this teaching, everything in life — parenthood being one of them, I’m sure — was a chore, a duty, something to endure because it was “God’s work and we must do it (like it, or not).”
In my grandparents’ generation, the babies pretty much came when they did; families of ten or more children were not uncommon. So, their kids showed up on the scene and it was their parents’ solemn duty to raise them (a lot of the time, for help on the farm) to adulthood. At 18 it was “out the door!” at which time many usually got married at this time, because that was life then.
Luckily life isn’t like that now, and people (thankfully, at least at the time I write this) are able to choose their family size. Unfortunately, that attitude I mentioned that I believe many of our elders had — that children were a duty and to some (I’m pretty sure) were also a burden but their grudging attitude was summed up as “sigh… I have the kids, I gotta raise them, grumble grumble grumble.”
That attitude still exists in some (many??) people, and sadly it gets passed down through the generations. Parents come into the whole parenting thing with ideas about how it should be, how it should progress and so on. Their parenting ideas and practices were learned from their parents and/or other influential adults in their lives. Some people are great parents, striking a good balance between teaching/correcting and appropriate discipline; others are over-controlling, some are a bit neglectful, others are highly incompetent for the job (and probably…