09 November 2009

Transcending Parenting

Of course the thing that no one admits is that the life of the child transcends our feeble attempts at parenting. Fortunately, the child is not any more limited by our parenting than is our brain by our understanding of it.

We have this conceit that we have to get parenting right or the child will turn out poorly. I don't intend to be glib about the danger of scarring a child, but I do know that the life of any person is more complex, more nuanced, more able than the parenting effort that went into it.

And whether you're a parent or a child, you can take comfort in this thought.


Big Al said...

Fortunately for many children, including mine, they succeed in spite of their parents. And repeating again, this holds true for my offspring.

I remember years ago asking my wife very seriously about whether or not I'd been too harsh w/one of our then 3 young boys, "Do you think I did the right thing?" Her response, "Don't worry . . . it'll all come out in therapy some day anyway." And then we both laughed until we cried.

Anonymous said...

Amen to this!

David said...

Well, as you know I consider you to be an excellent parent and you'll never know what your children might be now or will become had you not been that parent. I'm more aligned with Joseph Chilton Pearce and think it matters significantly from hour one. If a person can say "I did all I could" then some comfort can be taken. It's not about guilt either unless one makes it that way.