Monday, February 8, 2016
“The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them.” –Frank A. Clark, American Writer and Cartoonist, Creator of “The County Parson” Sermons
Parenting is the hardest job on this earth.
There is no training required to help you be better at it. No degrees or certifications required to be a parent. You have your own parents’ example of parenting, but what if your parents didn’t do so good a job? Where does that leave you?
I can’t name a paying job that doesn’t require training, or diploma, or degree, or certification. Yet, we embark on the tremendous job of parenting a precious, tiny baby without any of those. Trial and error works sometimes when you’re doing a do-it-yourself project around the house. But that’s insufficient with a child.
Even on paying jobs, the employee does make an occasional mistake, even a trained employee. A person inevitably will make parenting mistakes. Not intentionally, but from the utter lack of knowledge and/or experience.
And oh, the guilt a parent heaps on themselves afterward. The day she’s late picking up her child at an event only to find that her child is the last one to be picked up. When he’s too quick in his impatience and hands out an undeserved reprimand. And that precious infant won’t remember a parent’s grumbling when it mixes up its days and nights. The parent feels badly anyway for being harsh with the baby.
In spite of the odds against becoming a good parent, most parents survive with a child not too scarred for life from their upbringing. It would be good if all parents were given the advice in the quotation at the beginning of this blog post. Yes, remembering to teach their children how to get along without them would be a lofty goal of all parents.
If the natural law of the ages prevails, a child will someday lose their parents. Of utmost importance to that child at that time will be his independence—being able to live well his or her life without depending on the help and protection of parents. I’ve often heard the admonishment, “You raise them to be on their own.”
Sometimes we wonder if our children ever listen to what we try to teach them. When that happens, we can only teach them by our example. James Baldwin, an American novelist wrote: “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”
Let your children and grandchildren see and hear good teaching from your life. Live the example you want your children to follow.
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Thanks for reading my blog! My next novel in the West Virginia Mountains Series is titled Promise Me. Look for it this spring.