When our children were of school age, my wife, Anne, and I talked to each other often about our successfulness as parents. Of course, each of our three children was different and had unique personalities and interests — and by the way, birth order certainly did matter! We soon realized that while we needed to parent in a consistent manner for the benefit of our family, one style of parenting didn’t necessarily fit for all three children.
Looking back, my wife and I did disagree often about the “hows” and “whys” of our parenting. We read magazine articles and books on parenting. We spoke with our own parents to get their advice. After the birth of our first daughter in 1979, Anne and some other women who worked outside of the home created a parenting group for mothers that met monthly in downtown Rochester during their lunch hours. My wife and I traded notes and observations continuously as our children progressed into adolescence.
Our children are now ages 32, 29, and 22. They are healthy, kind, and thoughtful adults who are making their own pathways into the future. Even still, I’m sure we made plenty of mistakes with our parenting.
Parenting isn’t easy within the four walls of our homes. As we all know, it becomes additionally difficult when what we are teaching at home is challenged by the mores of our fast-paced and media-saturated society. That’s when not only our parenting skills are challenged, but our values are, as well. And, we begin to feel that adjustments to our parenting add up to a collective loss of control over what we love so much, our children.
Parenting isn’t easy, but what we learn about ourselves and the models we create for our children is worth every bit of the daily exhaustion it produces. I wanted to share with you a short, insightful article that appeared recently in the New York Times about parenting. I think it’s right on target with what I write about today, and I thought you’d enjoy reading it. CLICK here to read the article.