One of my biggest frustrations in life is seeing parents who do not know how to parent. I believe strongly that being a parent is one of life’s greatest privileges. However, with this great privilege, like all other privileges, comes great responsibility. One of our greatest contributions to our society and to the generations that come behind us happens in the way that we parent are children. What could be more important than learning how to parent and doing it well?
You’ve all been there and seen it. A bowling alley late at night. Beside your lane are parents that look like kids themselves. They are enjoying beer and way too many cigarettes. You would never guess they were parents unless you saw their young children wandering around them in between frames. You know without looking at your watch that it is way too late for children that young to still be awake let alone out in public. You can’t help but wonder as their parents get drunk while ignoring them what kind of life the children lead and what kind of parents they truly are.
My desire to inform people about the realities of parenting began as a scene much like the one I just described happened as I bowled with friends one night. I went home to where my children were safely in bed after having been tucked into bed with their favorite story by their father and I just had to wonder what the lives of those neglected children would be like in twenty years compared to the lives of my own children twenty years down the road. I couldn’t help but think of the great role that a parent plays in the growth and development of their children.
If you are a parent, then please, please learn how to be a good parent. Take classes, read books, or get counseling. Do whatever is necessary for you to become the kind of parent that your children so desperately need in order to grow up as healthy, smart and successful people. The future of your children and even their children depend on the kind of parent you will be. Realize that raising children is one of the best privileges you could have in life. Take that privilege seriously and give your children the time, attention, and love that they need. The day you become a parent is the day that life stops being all about you. So please, if you are a parent or ever plan to be one, act like it. The whole world will be glad you did.