7.04.2016

Good Parent / Lousy Kid



As I'm just returning from two weeks away, I have lots of good articles to share.

For starters, let me begin with an article that irritated me! 

The author lost me at "remarkable parents." Then, if that wasn't enough, this sentence, five in: "I’ve seen many well-intentioned parents mistakenly employing strategies that aren’t meeting the emotional or developmental needs of their children or families."

The second article that came across my FB feed this week was less offensive but the title alone was a turn-off ("Brilliant." Really?). But, there seems to be fresh research indicating that us parents are getting better. Yeah, team!
My antidote for those baiting, feel crappier now, articles is the Good Enough model of parenting.


I wrote a healthier version in response to the first.


1) Perfectly balanced and loving parents can spawn an opioid-addicted thief. We all secretly want superstars, but, by the time they're 21, we really are contented with stable.
2) Kids raised in two-parent homes, with hard working parents that monitor digital devices will often find their adolescent posturing with the most venomous, self-absorbed, ungrateful attitude that nearby neighbors curl their toes.
3) Many lovely families have poised children that behave snottily behind closed doors. Whether you are Waldorf or Tiger Mom, you get what you get. Throw for lucky.
4) Even when a child is raised with a value for the dollar and witnessed the ethic of hard work in his family of origin, the child will STILL behave in a hostile, horrified manner when asked to take out the garbage or unload the dishwasher. The slinky slimy digital screen will pull. And win.
5) The nicest kids might become bullies. Spring breaks spent serving the under-privileged and walking through succulent gardens pointing out the herbal remedies will not erase the self-absorption of adolescence. Lethargy into young adulthood is hard to stave off. 
6) Those lucky children endowed with strong values towards "loving all equally" might still make sexist, racist, homophobic remarks. The very definition of youth is beauty and charm - it's real, just not constant. Children shapeshift into something we barely recognize. This is nature's way of ensuring that we don't procreate with our children and consequently kill off our species.
My husband's loosest moment ever, at least as an outside observer, was the moment he yelled "THIS IS PLANET EARTH!" to our 15-year old son.
7) All those pro-environment lectures, coastal cleanups and stream restoration projects will fly out the window when your kiddo is walking by a huge bird of paradise and slices off its head in an act of stupid bravado. 
8) Being a "great" parent is not significantly better than being a "good enough" parent. Multi-cultural books for toddlers and self-compassion yoga classes for tweens sell as if they should fortify one against exclusionary "black shorts" dominance. But, there will be slippage. 
9) While you may believe that your daughter will discuss her early sexual experimentation, since you HAVE created an open-door policy of respect and truthfulness, she will not. You may be the exception.
10) Opportunity will knock, in the form of speed, adrenaline, mischief, and your kid will open it, no matter how assertively you have steered the ship in a different direction. Mine did.

In the end, most kids turn into nice, responsible adults; just like you and me.



Book Recommendation and author speaking


10 Extremely Precise Words