I feel like our generation saw an awful lot of uninformed parenting growing up, up-close and from the distance. It must have been the only type of parenting that surrounded us, on all sides. The “just wing it” approach to parenting. Parenting that didn’t acknowledge the fast-changing world, but, instead, held on, strongly, to traditional and dated values and practices. The average millennial you meet is likely to complain about the type of parenting he/she had growing up. At least, for this side of ours on the globe, I can say that with some tangible measure of courage.
Please, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to say our parents were failures, far from it. I wouldn’t even dare. I just feel if they had paid attention to the times and had let go of some preconceived notions, the results might have been slightly different. Heck! Maybe the results might even have been completely different. But we really can’t fault them, they did all that they knew to do. And they did it to the best of their ability. For that, they are deserving of credit. There’s, really, no arguing against that. But, then again, it would have been lovely if they had done better. It certainly would have helped ease our transition into parents.
Of a truth, it would have been nice to have tested and proven precepts of parenting passed down to us. But, the truth, once again, is, our parent’s generation does not owe us anything. That sense of entitlement is dangerous and will only corner us into inertia. We owe it to ourselves to be better at the art and act of parenting.
If anything at all, the shortcomings of our parents should spur us to action. It should motivate us to want to spark change. Candidly, it would be shameful and disastrous for our generation to replicate what our parents did with parenting. But, mere wishful thinking won’t do us any good whatsoever. This shame and disaster can only be avoided via conscious action geared towards becoming better parents. Without that, we’ll end up becoming the parents we complain(ed) about. Really, there is no excuse for our generation. Whatever the case, we can’t blame our own failure on our parents.
I’ve heard a lot of young adults talk eagerly about settling down and giving birth to children of their own. Apparently, the thought of becoming parents someday is one that excites the majority of us. Not me. In all honesty, the idea of becoming a parent scares me. This is because, through careful observation and reflection, I have come to understand that there’s more to being a parent than birthing children. Not in these times where the moral standards are rapidly falling. One in which the world is tending, at an alarming rate, towards extreme liberalism. When you consider the challenges parents and soon-to-be-parents are faced with nowadays, you’ll agree that our parents had it easy. Being a parent is more work now more than ever. But, sadly, what the pieces of evidence point to is that a lot of people are unaware of this truth.
Armed, solely, with the knowledge of parenting we got from our parents, the bulk of us are underequipped. But, that is not where the danger lies. The danger lies in that the bulk of us don’t even realize this. The resultant effect of this ignorance is that we are unconcerned about doing anything to remedy the situation. In our lack of interest, absence of action, misplaced focus, lackluster attitude etc, therein lies the danger. We hope to achieve results different from that of our parents, but we keep following the paths they followed. I hardly hear discussions on how to become better parents. In the same vein, I hardly hear of investments made towards becoming better parents. All I see and hear is the eagerness to legally own the “parent” tag and wing it from there on. That isn’t good enough, we need to do better, to be better.
In conclusion, was the goal of this post to point accusing fingers and leave people feeling guilty? I feel some people might think so, but the answer to that question is no. Was the post written to discourage soon-to-be-parents from acting on their intentions? The answer, once again, is no. I’m not writing this seated atop any high-horse, figurative or literal. The intent of the post is to call us, parents and soon-to-be-parents, to pull our weights. We owe it to ourselves. We owe it to our unborn children. Most importantly, we owe it to the world at large.