Thursday, May 7, 2009

Picking and Choosing

When I think of all troubles and hardship I have actively sought to spare my daughter from, and succeeded, and avenues and opportunities for expression I have provided her, and praise I have given her, I think I have done a fine job as a parent.

When I think of all the advantages and expanding experiences I haven't provided for my daughter, and all the occasions when I squashed or stifled her free expression, and the times I was overly critical, I think I have done a very poor job as a parent.

What am I, good or bad?


Barry said...

If my experience as the father of a daughter (now 22 years old) is any guide, she'll tell you. Over and over, she'll tell you.

Anonymous said...

I'm no father. But I believe that the fact that your actually pondering this shows how seriously you take the job.

Lauren said...

Barry, so true! The other day I was able to actually listen to what my daughter thought of me (in that moment) without rebuttal and without "shutting her out" with my attitude, and it has made a positive difference in the 4 days following.

For me, it was a very visceral experience of how my mind can jump and twist on ideas (what she was saying) that are actually completely 'empty'.

Seraph6, thanks for the bump. Though I think you meant something a little different, sometimes I wonder if its my "taking it seriously" that gets me in trouble. I'm learning more that "taking it as it is" works well too.

Tallis Grayson said...

My daughter is only 2 years old. I should not say only 2 years old -do you remember when your daughter was 2? My daughter is in full blown defiant 2-year-old mode.

Anyway, what I am trying to say is I'll get back to you in 15 to 20 years.

In the meantime, I'll just listen. Thank you for sharing.

Lauren said...


In retrospect, 2 was so much easier than 14. At 2, a parent can generally sooth a child with kind words, and we tell stories like "It's going to be okay." When a child is 14 and fully involved with the society of high school, those stories are doubted, defied, challenged, and it becomes much harder to hear questions and challenges that you just can't sooth away.