Monday, March 17, 2014

What is the 'right' way to parent?

There are many wrong ways to parent, and each of us seems to be an expert in how others are screwing up.  But, have you ever thought about what they might be doing right?

We all agree that no one is perfect, but that doesn't stop us from expecting perfection from others.  Whether it be our husbands (or wives), our children's teachers, our neighbors, etc.  We can point out all the 'wrongs' they are doing by how it affects us...and spend very little time finding the 'rights'.

When it comes to parenting, I have been guilty of thoughts (and sometimes spoken words) about other parents and what I deem a mistake in their technique.  Why do I care about how anyone else raises their children?  Because in some small way, it makes me feel less guilty about my own short-comings.  If I can find a 'bigger' problem with YOUR style, then my mistakes don't seem quite so severe.

And therein lies the root of the issues in society.  We are skilled at deflection, when God wants us to grow.  We spend so much time speaking about the awful actions of other people, believing that somehow we have nothing in our lives to work on ourselves.  We miss so many opportunities to support one another through rough times because we somehow believe people have created these situations themselves, and deserve the mess they find themselves in.

For every 'wrong' step a parent takes, there are many 'right' things they are doing that need to be praised and built up.  A kind word, a compassionate smile, a knowing nod of the head for a parent dealing with a tantrum-ing child in a store.  It can be the start of a better day for someone trying their best.

Don't be part of society's a part of the solution.  Love one another.

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