Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"I turned out just fine!"

This is just a little rant.  One of my pet peeves is when someone says, "My parents did (such and such), and I turned out just fine!"  Oh really?  How, exactly do you define "just fine?"  If you mean that you are an happy and fulfilled  person who finds joy in life and you are a joy to be around, you are responsible, compassionate, and creative; that you would be ecstatic if your children turned out to be exactly like you, then I guess your parents did a great job and you should follow in their footsteps.  However, if by "just fine," you mean little more than that you are employed, not a drug addict or a criminal, or mentally ill, then personally, I don't want my kids to turn out "just fine!"  I want so much more for them!

 I don't want them to have my faults and insecurities.  I don't want them to feel like something is missing from their life, like they have to constantly search for happiness.  I think the claim of "I turned out just fine" is a cop out.  People use it when they either don't want to admit their parents may have made mistakes, or probably more often, when they don't want to admit that they may be making mistakes , or spend the time and effort to find a better way of doing things.

We all make mistakes, but what makes a good parent is being able to admit this to ourselves and to search for better ways of doing things.  Being a good parent isn't about your beliefs.  Good parenting is a process.  It is constantly learning, growing, changing, developing, experimenting.  You don't become a good parent by reading a book or changing a behavior.  You become a good parent by raising your kids, and hopefully looking back and saying, "I wasn't perfect, but I did the best that I could," - and really meaning that.  Even if our kids don't turn out the way you hope or expect, we may never really know if it was because of or in spite of what we did as parents.  All we can do is try our best, and decide not to settle for "just fine."

No comments:

Post a Comment