There are some really great parents in the world. Parents who do a phenomenal job of raising exceptional children without breaking a sweat. There are also some really horrible parents who do the unimaginable to children and should have their procreation rights revoked.
Then there are the rest of us. The mediocre parents who are muddling through. Hoping we are making the right decisions, striking the right tone and getting through. We fear we’re doing it all wrong. Afraid that our best efforts push our kids further into a world inundated with peer pressure, instant media and unabashed images of effortless fame a’ la Kim Kardashian. How many times have I thought, “Why couldn’t the kid come with a handbook, instructions or a warranty”? Something.
As an imperfect parent commissioned to parent within imperfect circumstances, I’m working on the following:
- Embrace being misunderstood. It’s a fact of life.
- Resist the urge to explain and re-explain and explain one more time. Just in case.
- It’s okay for me to judge as long as I keep the verdict to myself.
- Focus less on trying to parent and more on creating good memories.
- The memories are what matter in the end.
- Shut down the crises center. Not everything requires parental response.
- Occasionally respond with a smile. A gentle one, not a crazed Joker-like one. No matter how bad.
- Set them free. Love them strong, but set them free.