“Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.” – Roy T. Bennet

Posts tagged ‘parenting’

Rewards

What parent doesn’t want to tell their child, “you’re the best,” or “you can do anything”?

Giving out trophies en mass teaches children that they don’t need to strive for anything to be rewarded.

And when we tell our kids that they deserve the world and the world doesn’t give them anything – they shout in frustration and wallow in loneliness and lash out.

We tell them to ignore the “haters” because they are better than them. We put one above and one below and lose equal standing.

Here we create their superiority complexes.

So then a child believes themselves to be a god and can control who stays and who goes and doesn’t understand the consequences.

(In hindsight – they understand. They always do. And then they end themselves to keep from facing reality.)

But we have created this. Us, the domineering parents. The ones whose children can do no wrong, can be the best, can ignore all else.

We cannot ignore the warning signs. We cannot give our children the world because it is not ours to give. We can teach them to treat others as equals, and to love the bullies and the loners and the popular kids. There doesn’t need to be a hierarchy in our schools or in their minds.

(There can be winners and losers in games because that is healthy competition and they can strive to be the best of their own selves.)

But if our children are handed ribbons for participation, when they are dropped into the real world they will have nothing.

And their minds cannot coincide with reality because they still believe they are the best. And so it continues…and they suffer…and others suffer.

Because we didn’t get a trophy when we were their age.

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Parenthood

While I look at my child as he crawls and climbs and falls, it occurs to me that I was once a child like this. 

I look back at my childhood dreams and teenage stupidities and wonder what sort of dreams and stupidities my baby will have as he ages. 

I made life so hard for my parents. I hated them at some points, even. The worse thing my child does to me is try to run away as I change his diaper. He may have a day where he hates me. It may last longer than a day and it seems so hard to believe.

Motherhood is hard. Parenthood is hard. My husband just had to do compressions on a man who committed suicide. His own mother was the one that found him, and that scares me. 

I guess all I can really do is teach my child to love and to value the fragility of life. As his mother, I want to protect him and keep him in a perfectly safe bubble, but this will make him value so little. He needs to experience the harshness of life to understand the beauty of it.

But I am afraid. I cannot help it. Forgive me.

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