Saturday, February 23, 2008

Another good article from John Place

How to Learn from Your Parents Even if They Weren't the Greatest

The most powerful quote in the article was this:
. . . most parents aren’t evil. They’re just ill equipped.

It’s almost like every person is given a parenting toolbox, and inside this toolbox are all the lessons they learned from their role models, all the books they’ve read, all the so-called experts they’ve listened to, all their intentions and love and confusion and hope, and when they finally have children, they open this toolbox and use what’s inside to take care of them.

This both spoke to my own role as a parent and those of my parents' in my own life. It also gave me food for thought. We are to some degree who we are both in spite of and because of our upbringing. And perhaps we are better off to recognize the blessings (as strange as that may sound) inherent in this fact.


Scotty said...

Yeah, parenting is a difficult skill, to be sure; you'd get no argument from me, since I've made my fair share of mistakes and had to appreciate just how steep that learning curve is without the benefit of an 'Idiot's Guide To...'

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Your children need your presence more than your presents. ~Jesse Jackson

It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't. ~Barbara Kingsolver

If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders. ~Abigail Van Buren

Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy. ~Robert A. Heinlein

There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings. ~Hodding Carter, Jr.

What a child doesn't receive he can seldom later give. ~P.D. James

Mary Paddock said...

Thanks for the quotes.

The other day I talked with a mother of grown children who's made her life all about her career, which is fine and certainly her choice. I don't know her children and don't know how they felt about the matter. They are probably proud of her. I told her that even though I liked working well enough before I quit, that I liked being a mother more than anything else. She gave me this funny almost sympathetic look. I guess I look unambitious or something. However, I know better. I've worked off and on through out motherhood and every time I've reached the same conclusion: nothing else I've done (secretary, computer tech, dog trainer, youth worker, vets assistant, ministry, teacher, daycare director) is as vital. Someone else can always fill those positions if I don't show up or if I quit. There's nobody at home to sub for me.

Anonymous said...

"The most powerful quote in the article was this:
. . . most parents aren’t evil. They’re just ill equipped."

The above quote reminds me of Hanlon's Razor:
"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."