Am I a terrible parent?Oct 09, 2022
Am I a terrible parent?
Does this question haunt you as you face incredibly challenging parenting moments? Do you look at families around you and conclude that the problem must be you?
Here’s the truth: The definition of good parenting is seeing, respecting, and loving the kids you have, no matter what.
Being a "good parent" isn't about having "good kids." It's not having kids who say "please" and "thank you," or having kids who fit in with a crowd. It's not having kids who obey quickly when told to get ready to leave, or kids who can pack their own lunchboxes. In fact, the definition of good parenthood has nothing to do with how your kids show up in the world.
Good parents see the kids before them for who they really are, just as they really are. With clear eyes, they can face the reality before them, instead of remaining locked in projections and expectations.
Good parents respect their child as autonomous and whole, infinitely worthy. They do not put barriers to respect -- "I'll respect you when you respect me." They honor children as innately deserving of respect, just as much as adults.
Good parents love the kids they have, no matter what. Good parents release the web of dreams they wove before they had children, before they had this particular child. Dreams of what it would be like to be a parent. Dreams of what rites of passage they would move through together.
Good parents choose instead to love this child, in this moment, no matter what.
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