Tanya Roberts, wife and mother of two from New Bern, North Carolina, is a new parent blogger for the National Family Partnership.
In 2012, the challenges I face as a parent are certainly different from those other generations have faced, but I doubt they are any more difficult. Sex, drugs and driving are our major concerns. Perhaps as parents they will always be. However, with the evolution of the internet, we now have some interesting problems never faced by previous parents.
I am a mother of two handsome, intelligent, compassionate, funny teenage sons. My husband and I try our best to remain parents who are engaged yet aloof, aware yet reserved and compassionate yet strong. The difficulty is clear. Every day.
This is it parents: if we do not take our responsibilities seriously, we cannot then hold our children accountable for their behavior. As a social worker who believes strongly in the individual’s need to be independent, it can take and often does take, more than a few adults to shape a kid. We require a license to drive a vehicle, to cut hair and to sell property. We do not require any training, continuing education or examination for becoming a parent. Perhaps if we did, many would choose not to procreate those little darlings!
Until we as a society begin to understand the parent’s role as a leader on a personal level, and perhaps higher, there is no greater expectation than to ensure our children are raised responsibly. At least, there should be no greater expectation. How my husband and I interact and react to each other has a significant bearing on how our boys are developing an awareness of their own behavior. We know we are not perfect people much less perfect parents. But, we are giving it our all.
Many of my peers cry or at least tear up on the first day of school, or on a milestone birthday or at an event. Not me. I celebrate every single time my boys do something on their own and I am not directly involved. Indirectly, I know I have a part in what they do, but my goal is to see them move forward and need me differently. Right now they need me to be present, set a positive example and communicate with them about why we do the things we do so they learn.
So what do you think? What makes parenting difficult for you in today’s fast-paced world?