The Path of Perfect Parenting

Helena Sorensen at The Story Warren takes on this dangerous myth:

The myth of the Golden Path haunts our dreams; it steals our joy. Yet we cannot let it go. The image is so bright. On that road, the very stones shine, and the beams of sunlight are so solid they stand like warriors with swords raised high. They make promises. They offer guarantees. How many times have I set out boldly on that path, only to have it vanish beneath my feet before I crossed the first rise? I got tired, got lost, and I gave up. Until I read the next blog post . . .

Somewhere along the way, we allowed that verse about “strait is the gate and narrow is the way and few there be that find it” to take on connotations for which it was never intended. We began to think that, even with all the billions of souls God has uniquely created, with the myriad unique situations in which we find ourselves every single day, there is one right way to parent our children. Of course there are some fundamentals. Of course there are some guidelines. But we want parenting to be like algebra. We want to insert certain variables and obtain unimpeachable results.

But show me a room full of middle-aged parents, and I’ll show you a room full of people who battled their demons in front of their children and because of their children and alongside their children. I’ll show you people who, with the deepest love and the greatest effort, still managed to fail their children. We fear their regrets, their heartache. No, fear isn’t strong enough. We are crippled, incapacitated by the very thought. And rather than surrender, we gird up our loins with new resolve. Our children will be different, we say. If we get it right, if we give enough, our little ones will romp from victory to victory. We catch another glimpse of the Golden Path and off we go again.

But when it vanishes like a mirage in the desert, what then?

Read the rest at The Story Warren

Mile High Road by David Farrington, 2010

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