Keep Things in Perspective

We’re in this for the long haul, so it’s important to keep the big picture in view.  Just as running a marathon requires that runners pace themselves, it’s equally important that we do the same (that is, pace ourselves) as we run this race of parenting our children with love, empathy, and fairness (what I otherwise call child-friendly parenting).  In our efforts to do right by our children (and by ourselves, since this journey involves our getting healthy and staying healthy), it is vitally important that we not lose our perspective.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the details and then forget, even just temporarily, that to win the big fish we will need to let go of our felt need to have all the details be just right.  Being that our children are children, we will need to accept that sometimes their childishness is an indication that all is, in fact, right and that to expect anything else from them is unrealistic.  To be “parental,” we needn’t be overly domineering or harsh or demanding or petty.  If this is the only example we have of “good” parents, then it’s time that we expand our worldview of parenting a bit so that we can see that truly effective parents know how to maintain a just power balance.  It’s unhelpful to be overly controlling with our children, especially negatively so.  As parents, we have a wonderful responsibility to guide our children onto good paths—paths of life and flourishment—and we can do this in a way that utilizes positive control, gentle encouragement, and feel-good influence.

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