Sorry. It's 9:30 a.m. and I've already had "5 Things Successful Parents Do" and "Are You Raising A Drug-Addict?" pop up on my Facebook feed. Don't you think if there WAS a formula we humans would have it in place by now?
Parenting is tough stuff. And every kid is different. Every parent is different. Heck, I'm a different parent to each of my kids. And the world keeps changing, so what worked for Gen X won't work for Millennials or whatever we happen to label this current batch of toddlers.
Most of us stumble along fairly well. We are horrified, of course, that first time our mother's voice comes out of our mouth, but hey, we turned out ok, right? Sure, Mom and Dad didn't know we snuck out almost every night our sophomore year of high school, or that our freshman year at college involved a ridiculous amount of cheap beer. We are now responsible adults in charge of raising the next generation of responsible adults.
Except when we "fail." Our kid turns out to be a brat or fails reading or gets caught with pot by the police dog. They flunk out of college. They decide heroin isn't a bad idea, not for them.
And then we find ourselves sitting outside a courtroom or a police station or an emergency room wondering, "How the Hell did we get HERE?"
I'll tell you: original sin.
Most of us do not set out to intentionally screw up our kids. No, we make them say "please" and "thank you" and "I'm sorry." We make them learn that when they forget their lunch they go hungry. We take them on vacations and cuddle and read to them. We yell, sure, but we also hug. We make sure their lives are filled with light and love and Jesus and all the saints.
And then: original sin.
Our kids got it, we got it ... it's all around us. Yes, we are baptized, but we are still stuck with concupiscence (my 10th grade morality class's fave word): that undeniable pull that sin has for all of us. We know we shouldn't look .... and we look. We know we shouldn't touch .... and we touch. We know we shouldn't take ... and we take.
The only surefire way to raise perfect kids is to be perfect yourself.
You know how you and your hubby used to say, "WE WILL NEVER use the tv as a babysitter" or "WE WILL NEVER allow the baby to crawl on a dirty floor"? And then you did?
Those titles mentioned above sound like that to me. Kinda judge-y.
Let's just be kind to other parents, ya know? Don't be too quick to judge and be a bit quicker to pray. Because you never know when it will be you sitting outside that courtroom or police station or ER. And the last thing you want in that situation is "I told you so." You want, "Oh. I understand. Let's pray."