When did parenting and perfection become synonymous?
How often have you heard someone say that their parents really screwed them up? This seems to be the standard cry of our society today.
I struggle with this on two levels. The first level is I truly believe as parents that we are accountable for the database we give our children so that they can make decisions in an accountable fashion.
So, yes, if my kid screws up I will stand no further than the mirror to look at why it happened.
But I’ll also expect something from my child.
I expect that they understand that I’m learning as much as I am growing. This means I will not always have all the answers, I will not be God, and I will screw up. I can only share as much as I have learned and since I’m in a process that level will continue the change. Quite frankly, I don’t expect that I’ve learned everything in life at this point. So that means yes I will make mistakes, yes I will screw up, and yes I will need forgiveness.
At what point in time in our society did we decide that parents are perfect with everything they do the moment they have children? If you had your children in your 20s, my goodness, you were still growing yourself. How could you ever expect that the learning you give your child will be at the level they are 20 years later in your life? If you had your children in your 30s, you most likely have more financial stability but you may be in a period of questioning your own life — — if you’ve reached the goals you want and if your life is where you want it to be.
Undoubtedly our children will always be affected by these questions that we have. So where do we teach our children that it’s okay to grow, it’s okay to learn, and it’s okay to make mistakes?
That means there has to be a time our children look in the mirror and say, “this is my life.” They have to be accountable that they cannot manage everything that happens to them in life but they sure can manage how they react to things that happen in their life.
Parenting is not about perfection. It’s about learning to grow and sharing that learning with the small bodies we bring into the world and trying to help clear the path as she or he moves ahead in life. This is a huge accountability and it means we do have to be the disciplinarian, the guide, and the coach to help them build the best database possible so they can stand on their own two feet so they can make informed and responsible decisions. This means that times are children will respect us but may not like what we do. It is not time to be their friend, is it time to be their guide.
Personally I’m sick and tired of people standing back and blaming the parents. I’m sick of hearing in the news about someone going in and shooting at school because of anger and frustration they didn’t know where to put. And I’m sick and tired of people not looking in the mirror and saying, “this is me, this is my life, and I own it.”
So, no, your parents weren’t perfect. Your parents made mistakes. Your parents screwed up. But there’s no reason for that legacy will live on with you and if you blame them in your head that legacy is living on with you.
This is your time to make the changes you need to grow your teaching to the next level, and to stretch your learning. And yes you will make mistakes, you will screw up, and hopefully, your children will look back and say, “I know you did the best you could with what you had and I’m grateful for that.”