I became a parent at the age of 23. In four short years my daughter will be that age and I’m not certain that I will believe that I know anything about raising a decent human being other than the simple statement that comes to my mind which is, don’t be stupid.
The older I become, the less convicted I am about many things that I was so certain of in my youth. My eyes have seen more, my ears have heard more, my heart has felt more and therefore I’ve softened to many things that may have caused me to bristle in the past. Which makes me wonder if my younger children are being raised by a different mother than the one that raised my two older children. My answer would be, yes, sort of, kinda. I’m slower to judge a person and slower to befriend a person. In general, I’m much slower.
Clay and I were discussing parenting books and how we both think people need to lean more on their natural instincts when raising their children. But, what if you don’t have any natural instincts? Well, then don’t be stupid. I know, that’s easy to say if you are confident in your abilities. Seriously though, if a book told you to love your child, make sure they are fed, clean, educated and well mannered, would you not do these things? So, if I wrote a parenting book I think I would constantly remind the reader that their stupidity will be returned ten fold by their children, so don’t be stupid.
Do you want to know something funny? I wouldn’t allow my two older children to utter the word stupid, in fact, they thought it was a bad word. Now, I find myself saying, “Don’t be stupid.” to my four children nearly every day. Somehow, even with the allowance of this word in their vocabulary, they still don’t accuse each other of being stupid, but that doesn’t stop them from yelling, “STUPID!” out of frustration now and then when pitching a fit.
I’m not in the business or of the authority to give anyone parenting advice. In fact I don’t think I will be able to have that gavel in my fist until I have seen that my own four children have been able to successfully raise their own children. So, by the time I’m ninety then I will be able to write a parenting book full of all kinds of wisdom, but until then I only have one thing to say to parents, don’t be stupid.
One thing I know for certain is that a child learns from their parent. Whether you were raised by the most brilliant parents or the most insignificant parents, you learned from them. Maybe you plan to do things differently because your parents were stupid, that’s great, don’t be stupid. Maybe you plan to raise your children exactly the way your were raised because your parents were phenomenal, that’s great, just don’t be stupid. Just don’t be stupid.