On Being a Parent (Part 1)

children.jpgBeing a parent is probably one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.  About the time you realize what you should have done during the last phase of your children’s lives, they have moved on to the next phase.  

Being a parent is very humbling.  I still have much to learn about parenting my children.  (My children are now 24 and 20, and I still continue to learn how to be a parent to two adult children.)  When our children were young, I read, listened to audio/video presentations on parenting, and watched other parents to learn how to be a good parent.  Again, I learned so much from just watching other parents.  Periodically, I would ask these parents questions about child rearing.

I have observed a few things in parents today which encourage me greatly.  Just the other evening, Charlotte and I were talking about a young family at our church.  We have been in their home and around their children on numerous occasions.  Watching them with their children is an encouraging experience.  On the other hand, I have also observed a few things which cause me concern (even great concern).

What makes me nervous?

1.  A mom and dad who seem to think they have got this parenting thing down.  Parenting does have a way of humbling many of us (It sure humbled me!).  Yet, there are some people who have been at this thing for two, three, or four years who almost seem to think they are a cut above other young parents.  Sometimes they will have read one book on parenting and now see that book as the definitive work on parenting.  No reason to read anything else or listen to anyone else.  After all, they have read the book (not referring to the Bible).  Contrast this spirit to the person who is humble and is always wanting to learn.

2.  A mom and dad who have basically placed their child (or children) in charge.  This family has become child centered (much to the detriment of the child).  Whatever this child wants, this child gets.  This happens regardless of how many other people are inconvenienced by the desire of these parents to please this child (or children) — at all costs.

When you observe parents with their children — in Wal-Mart, in your church, in your neighborhood, etc., what causes you concern?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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8 thoughts on “On Being a Parent (Part 1)

  1. A mom and/or dad who absolutely ignore bad behavior in their children, especially in public. I suppose this goes with the kids being in charge.  Parents who don’t allow their children to learn and develop character through trials … always bailing them out of any and all troubles.Parents who don’t place parenting as a high priority of life.Parents who act like children rather than adults. 

  2. 1 – Parents who think their children do nothing wrong.  They get in trouble at school and it’s the school and teacher’s fault … not the child’s fault.
    2 – Also, those who feel they have all the answers to the parenting role.  The know everything your child needs and everything you’re doing wrong.

  3. When I see famlies oriented around stuff… and we happen to live next door… and my kids want what they want because their kids want what they don’t have.

  4. I see children in and out of my workplace all day long, so I have a lot of opportunity to observe parenting styles.  The one that’s already been mentioned where the child is in charge is common.  The other extreme is seen more often than I would like, where the child’s feelings are not considered at all.  Rudeness is still rudeness, even if it’s to a child.  There should be a balance somewhere in between, don’t you think?
    (Just as an aside, I felt fairly confident of my own parenting skills until my children reached their teens.  Then, I realized I had absolutely no idea what I was doing!  What a nightmare!)

  5. One of the concerns I have is watching parents turn their children over to television, DVD’s, and videogames. instead of interacting and engaging their children.  The electronic baby-sitters are going to kill their relationships and ability to communicate, and they will "melt their little brains" as I like to convey to my own three kids.

  6. Thanks Michelle, Greg, Tony, Connie, Eric, and Trey.  I appreciate each of your comments.Regarding Eric’s comment: It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on "electronic baby sitters."  The use and abuse, etc.