Monday, March 16, 2015

Opinions on parenting

I used to have a lot of opinions on how parents should raise their kids. 

Then I had children. 

Little by little, year by year, my opinions grew weaker until they began to disappear altogether. They were replaced by opinions on how I should raise my own kids, whose needs I understand thoroughly, and who belong to a family, whose needs, talents and limitations are very clear to me. 

But the more kids I have and the longer I raise them, the fewer opinions I have about parenting in general. That's because I see the tremendous range of children out there and the tremendous range of families who are trying their absolute best to support those kids and love those kids and make those kids into great adults. I see how little I actually see of families inner workings, and I see how many of my assumptions over the years have been inaccurate. And having seen all this, I realize there can never be one right way to do something as complex as raise a happy, healthy, good human being. 

Love your kids. Love yourself  Laugh. Ask for help. Give some thought to your decisions about their care. Try to see the forest for the trees. 

Those are my opinions. And if I didn't already believe every single parent I know was doing all of these things already, maybe I'd venture to offer them. 

The one opinion I have that I think parents need to hear is that if you have a lot of opinions on child rearing, you should probably keep them to yourself.