Since we aren’t perfect people, there is no way perfection graces us just because we’ve become a parent and are in charge of our children.
And Let’s take this one step further: There are no perfect children.
Some years ago, at the close of a parenting workshop I conducted, a participant told me, “I see that I haven’t been a very good parent.”
She was the mother of two teenage sons. “What?” I exclaimed. We’d heard a lot about her sons during workshop discussion and they seemed to be quite on the mark. “I haven’t been strict enough. I haven’t been consistent. I haven’t followed through on a lot of things and I never realized what a bad mom I was being.
One son is off to college this year. He’s on scholarship. Every summer of his high school years he found a job, and during elementary and junior high years he created his own business. He bought a lawn mower with a loan from his parents and went throughout his neighborhood soliciting customers.
Cutting lawns, he earned enough to pay off his loan, save, buy more expensive athletic shoes than his parents were willing to purchase, and whatever else his earnings were able to cover on his ‘want’ list.
Second son? He inherited the brother’s business when Bro moved off to the East Coast college. Good grades. No rowdy parties on the weekend. Friends whose parents have made it a point to know their kid’s friends’ parents.
Okay, both boys are known for keeping messy rooms. And like every other teenager they can be downright unpleasant.. They’ve got smart mouths, and parental threats haven’t quite curbed that malady. But when all is said and done, as two of my daughters used to whine, “What do you want? We’re not on drugs and we’re not pregnant.”
Parent classes/workshops, or as my non-profit, Talk About Parenting with Shirlee Smith calls them, Parent Development Sessions, become a heartache when participants can’t believe in themselves like this mom I’m writing about.
My mother didn’t need any professional training. Somehow, without it, she raised four kids who have found their rightful places in society. My mother would have laughed all the way to the police station had she been arrested for spanking us.
I asked this parent class participant if her boys were on drugs or if they had gotten any girls pregnant.
Since my conversation with her, we make sure our Parent Development Sessions are light, fun, and only a blueprint for a style of parenting that can be incorporated into the personalities of each individual’s household.
Check our website workshop page for a list of Parent Development Sessions and use the form, there, to set up your session with us.
Parent Development Sessions aren’t about becoming the perfect parent because there are none. Instead, our sessions help parents develop strength and consistency as part of a mantra that produces children who become responsible adults.