One of the joys of parenthood is observing our children. One of the terrors of parenthood is observing our children. One of the confounding puzzles of parenthood of wondering how come our children have turned out the way they have so far.
Parents who investigate childhood rearing techniques soon learn they have choices among lots of different theories and techniques. Some of these are opposites to other choices, while some point out the dangers inherent in methods different from the ones they approve.
Let me give a few examples of choices we parents have. Some parents will go to extremes to insure their children stay away from germs, both inside and outside the home. Other parents believe that routine exposure of their children to environment germs while playing will allow the children to build up an environmental immunity. Each parent’s approach will puzzle the other parent.
Another example has one set of parents who push their child to accelerate learning to be ahead of their peers. Other parents will be more concerned with childhood peer socialization, and allow the private or public education instructing their children to deliver what they can.
Lots of mixes within the two philosophies could be shown. You can also mention lots of other choices in child rearing. Not only that, but most parents will change several times what they believe is the best course to follow.
All this shows me is that most common techniques will allow most children to grow to adulthood. What we can not easily explain is why some children as teens or adults make poor choices, or mediocre choices, or good choices.Children do not come with an absolute manual defining what those choices are. Most parents hope and expect their child to resemble themselves. Most parents will also involve their own moral, philosophical, and religious beliefs as a basis for their expectations.
Few children grow up with an all good or all bad history. The greatest joy a parent can have is to see their children successfully “launched” into adulthood. Then, of course, all their choices are theirs, with parents observing, usually from the sidelines.
If you want to grade yourself as to your childhood rearing score, the only one which counts is if you did the best you knew how at the time. Remember, there is no such thing as a child reared with no mistakes or bad choices. (Since we all have our own roster of errors we made, reconciliation and forgiveness work wonders.)
The impetus for this post came at church this morning. Considering the children of Eli, Samuel, and others caused me to wonder……. Thanks Fr. Terry