We're excited to share this post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we will be bringing you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts over on BabyCenter, including this post from Samantha Schoech about how moms' duties and missions have changed over the years.
I just read this parenting article in which the author asks parents about their "parenting mission statement." I have never thought of such a thing and personally, it sounds a little reductive and business like for me. After all, parenting is a fluid, messy, learn-as-you-go kind of thing. It is not a Power Point presentation.
Statements like this give me the willies, for example.
Without a mission statement, people are likely to zig and zag all over the playing field, wasting lots of energy and time on things that are ultimately unimportant if not counterproductive. That, I sense, is what a lot of parents are doing these days. You want an example? How about spending a disproportionate amount of family time taking children to and watching them in activities that will be completely irrelevant to anything they will be doing as adults?
I agree that many children are way over scheduled, but what about what your child enjoys doing at age six? Just because they aren't going to grow up to be Meryl Steep doesn't mean they shouldn't take drama if they enjoy it. This approach to parenting seems to strip it of all its intangible, emotional aspects.
But the author makes some very interesting points about how the parenting mission has changed over generations. Mainly, that in the good old days parents focused on their responsibility to society and the larger community while today's parents focus only on their own children and their happiness.
And, regardless of your approach to the whole enterprise, it is an interesting exercise. I mean, there is some value in figuring out where you want to end up, even if the route there is not perfectly clear. And even if you don't want to run your child like you'd run a business.
My parenting mission statement would be something like this: I want to raise people who are funny, kind and curious.
Or maybe this: I want to raise people who are resilient and thoughtful.
This is fun! What's your parenting mission statement?