John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Parental Sacrifice and Independence Day

Parental sacrifice and Independence Day.

Parents, like patriots, sacrifice. At our best we are role models for exemplary behavior in our children. But the other 100% of the time we are more of a mixed bag of admirable and unadmirable behavior. And the path to model parenting isn’t always obvious.

Last night I was with my wife and kids discussing some recent parental disappointments (mine mostly, of course), and I had a brilliant save.

“Ok. You all know how much we love you and try to do what we think is best, right? Well, a while back it became clear to your mom and me that we were raising you kids in ” too perfect and healthy a home environment” and it was hindering your development. You weren’t as resilient or adaptable or manipulative as other kids your age–and that had to change. So, your mother and I decided to create a slightly more dysfunctional home environment to balance your overall psychological development. And, happily for you two, it seems to be working. But it has been an incredible sacrifice on your mom and me. So, in the future when you feel your mom and me come up short as parents and aren’t doing our best, you now know why. We are doing it for your own good.

Hey, it got a laugh from the kids.

And seemed fitting for the 4th of July. In addition to celebrating our national sovereignty today, we should Declaring Independence from perfect parenting, too.


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