So, what is a good parent?
We've all wondered if we are or were. If we've turned out mildly successful in our careers, and humane and of course very attractive, we don't wonder if our parents were good at raising us because it doesn't matter now. If things have gone horribly wrong, then we can blame our upbringing.
Since we are parents, we can question ourselves, however, while we're parenting. I think it might be easier for me to start with the basics, or what does NOT qualify as good parenting. Don't pat yourselves on the back if you are:
Making sure it/they are not wounded each day.
Buying it/them things.
Not losing it/them.
Having it/them get things for you from the kitchen as a way of teaching them selflessness.
Any of the above or combinations--even all of them on the same day--are essential, but should in no way be considered good parenting.
I worry, because we may not turn out to be the couple that can completely pay for the kids' education or leave them an estate; we may be the couple who heads for the Peace Corps right after the twins' high-school graduation party. We can sour-grape it with tales of how we ourselves worked through college or took out loans or both, and by cracky, our kids will learn the value of hard work, too.
Yeah, well, I can tell you that if we have the money in 14 years, we will pay for their education (Connor's all set, because his dad is a veteran of a foreign war). Will we buy them new cars, pay their insurance, fill their tanks?-Ha! Not even if we don't have the money will we do that.....um.
You get the point. We know that being good parents has nothing to do with money and everything to do with the quality of time spent, the lessons taught, the experiences shared, the options broadened. The devil as always is in the details:
How much TV?
Does the punishment fit the crime?
Let them fail or shield them from disappointment? (That's easy).
Spring Break 2023: Angola, or Burma?
How hard to push--what's the line between fun and striving for improvement?
Will that get infected?
Chicken nuggets again, or healthier, like fish sticks?
Let them entertain themselves, using their imagination, or provide the entertainment?
Is letting them play at the park quality time between me and them? Or do I have to interact?
I suppose that all-encompassing saying, "Everything in moderation" covers a lot of this, and makes you sound wise at parties. But dammit, these kids are our future (income)! Easy old proverbs are not good enough!
Here's the bottom line: if you ask yourself these questions, you're a good parent. If you answer them, you're a good parent with a little too much time on your hands. And if you are reading this, you're well-informed, make things move and shake, the who's who reading the what's what, and of course, very attractive.
Be fun, have safe.