Sunday, November 11, 2007

A pithy statement on parenting

James fell down today. To be specific, he walked off of a chair. It was one of those combinations of each of us thought the other was watching him/we thought he was more capable than he really was/he was having an unusually daring moment.

Luckily, we managed not to blame each other, and he really wasn't hurt, just scared.

But it got me thinking about parenting. And the delicate balance between not holding them back and not pushing them too hard. So I think perhaps I'll post some reviews of parenting books very soon...but at the same time, I should also mention that part of my personal philosophy is that we all have the right instincts when it comes to raising our own children. It's just hard to figure out how to listen to them and not let all the rest (our own doubts, fears, insecurities, as well as social norms and expectations, etc etc) get in the way. So we ultimately shouldn't need parenting books, if we could just get through all the junk that's keeping us from following our hearts...but they end up being very helpful in our society today. That is, depending on their content, since parenting books also have the potential to make us question our own ability to know what's best for our kids. What a conundrum!

On Friday I was talking with someone who asked me to define my parental philosophy. My answer? "Know your children, know your options, choose wisely. Generally, go with your gut."

Anyone want to share yours?


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