getting it right…

October 20, 2006

is pretty much impossible. By which I mean, all the time. Or everything. Just imagine. From the moment that child is in my arms, I am the only father the child will ever have. You only get one. How will I know what to do? How will I know whether to leave the child to cry that little bit more, or to go and run to the cot, and press the little body into my chest and whisper, ‘It’s alright’? How will I know when to draw the line over a particular issue with a petulant adolescent, and when to give lee-way and let my child learn from their own mistakes?

Instinct? My own experiences? Self-help books? Advice?

They all seem inadequate somehow. I guess we never really know one way or another if we are doing a ‘good job’ as parents. Some people look for more obvious indications of dysfunctionality in order to assess the performance of mum and of dad; truancy, mental illness, petty crime, substance abuse. But I have seen kids from the most stable backgrounds sink into the abyss, and others from the most inauspicious of domestic beginnings, rise with their dreams intact.

The thing is, there really isn’t any alternative apart from just getting on with it. Aware that becoming neurotic about how one is doing is a sure-fire way of really screwing up your child. I think we can assume some basics: unconditional love, understanding, communication, discipline, education, fun, time together… (what would your list look like?)

Then hope for the best.

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2 Responses to “getting it right…”

  1. Rav said

    Just stumbled upon your blog.
    I’m 2 months behind you, nervous, scared, and very excited. You’re right about the books beaing geared towards women. It’s tough knowing what to do and when. R

  2. tracie said

    How will you know? You won’t always. Thank God for Grace! Literally!

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