Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Manifesto: A Parent's Place

I will go further into divulging thoughts on more pressing matters later. Recently, though, a friend of mine was released from a grounding around a month early. With this in mind, I listened to “cats in a cradle” by Ugly Kid Joe. I've already had a solid ideology about parenthood, so the song was just a heartfelt diatribe about one extreme of parenting, one that doesn't pertain to my relationship.

In fact, my relationship with my parents is about as ideal as I could ask for. Neither the child nor the parent, in this case, have surrendered to the ideas that I know everything about being a child or that they know everything about being a parent. Both parties have resigned themselves to the truth that parenting and offspringing is a very, very difficult learning process.

Of course, being a second child, I am the product of my parents' learning with the first child, my amazing sister Laura. But I digress.

In my eyes, a parent's role is primarily as a child's first glimpse of how impossible infinite grace is, and how incredible those few fleeting moments are when such grace is given by the progenitor. I can tell of case after case where I've done things that would have warranted my father disowning me. Instead, he showed me again and again the light of grace, though that light may have been shrouded in my eyes by discipline given because of said “things”

Secondly, a parent's role is a disciplinarian. The goal for a parent is to get the kid ready for the world around age 18. This doesn't mean that your child needs to have the road map planned out in its head by the time it goes off to college, but that child must have a basis from which it believes. Insert faith here. Said faith you instill in a child comes from your own faith. Children are often known for rejecting said faith of the parents, manifested in their miniature rebellions.
The only thing I can say, not being a parent, is to caution restraint in punishment. Sometimes a strong hand is necessary, though other times, all your child needs to learn is the ramifications of its mistakes first hand. Most of my learning had been through first-hand experience, such as the pain of electricity when I bit some Christmas tree lights. Other times, a parent must step in to prevent large disasters- such as the dangers associated with the many materials of the world. It's a discretionary matter.
There's a verse in the Old Testament which says “Spoil the rod, spoil the child” (Proverbs 13:24, paraphrased). This is warped to mean that physical abuse is lauded by the Lord. This is not true in every case. The “rod” spoken of is the shepherd’s rod, which he uses to guide sheep. A shepherd doesn't use his rod to wail on sheep; he uses it to gently (and sometimes sternly) guide sheep along. Sometimes a sheep doesn't want to move, and the shepherd uses his crook to steer the sheep out.

As for the child, these words will most likely fall on deaf ears. Do your best to listen to your parents. They're imperfect, though they do what's best for you. If you feel they are improper in their handling of you, think for a long time, and if your conclusion remains the same, look for help. But first think of a life without them. I wish not to depress this post by going deeper into this possibility.
Also, aim for what you're passionate about. I waited too long to do so, and I feel alone in exposing my strengths to the world. I have many talents, but nobody knows about them. Act sooner, and be seen sooner. You'll thank me in the long run.

The reason I talk more to parents on this matter is that you cannot readily teach a child. An adult is much more likely to grasp what I'm saying about either party than its younger counterpart.
More to come. For His Renown.  

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