Seeking parental advice is a common practice of mothers around the world. “Now what” are too often the words spoken by new fathers and new mothers as they arrive home with their newly birthed or adopted baby. Society expects and welcomes questions from these newly crowned parents as we wait to pounce on them with the wonderful insights and answers we have gleaned over the years.
You would think that as parents gain experience and their children get older that things would get easier. In some cases they do, but usually the questions of “now what” continue or change to something similar. And without hesitation, reservations and frequently discernment, the neighbors, extended family and friends continue to welcome the questions allowing them to depart the wisdom they have from the success they have experienced as perfect parents.
Now, children always believe they have the answers. This of course is evident by the arguing about your requests or household rules. And they are quick to point out when one and one don’t add up to two. This of course is the reason that “Because I said so” was ever invented. If you can survive through the childhood and tween years, then congratulations. You have just arrived to the easy part of parenting - teenagers.
Now teenagers have grown enough to know that mom and dad are always right. This is the good news. They are old enough to recognize the amazing intellect of their parents and mature enough to act responsibly upon receipt of those wonderful insights. Oh, wait a minute, I am talking about a different species here. I forgot, teenagers frequently cause parents to move from “now what” to desperate cries for “help.”
I once read a coffee mug speaking to the educational growth of parents post their child’s teenage years. As quoted by the teen on the mug, “At 14, I could not believe how stupid my parents were. At 21, I was amazed at how much they had learned.” It was at this point that I realized that children do know all the answers and just wish we parents would listen. So below is a series of expert insights from what children wish parents would say:
1. We have too much money so take all you want
2. I know it is your fault but let’s blame someone else
3. Homework is bad for you; I will tell the teacher to stop giving it to you
4. Video games are good for you so you should play more often
5. I bet you can beat that video game if you stay up all night
6. I bought the house for you so you make the rules
7. Chores are part of the working class, you need more time to play
8. Yes you can have a dog as long as your father and I get to take care of it
So there you have it from the wisdom of youth. I am confident there are more nuggets of gold that are available from the children you know. Please take a moment and share those priceless points so that we can all grow into better parents.
And to the question should we become a parent? Yes we should despite all we don’t know – our kids are going to teach us anyway.