It is often said that good children come from good parents. While this adage does bear some truth to it, I sometimes do wonder where does good parenting then come from? There has to be a source for a cause to take effect. Something has got to move something else. While some can argue that good parenting can come from the parent’s own experience from childhood, be it good or bad, I do think that good parenting is also a choice. A choice, to determine how best you would want to bring up your child. While past positive or negative experience may form a formidable impression in a new young parent’s mind (I will treat my kids just as how I was treated or I will treat and give the best to my kids because I was deprived of attention as a child myself), I believe that making a conscious effort every day to give what’s best for your children is what makes you a good parent in the long run.
It’s those little sacrifices, those “I-don’t-know-what-I-am-doing” moments and just “grinding it out” that makes the subtle difference in the little one’s daily life. He learns to associate the idea of family, love, and responsibility from his parents at the end of the day. And through those difficult sacrifices that we may, that we toil and slog through that we bring forth a good child and as a result, we become more responsible and better-abled parents.
At the end of the day, good intentions matter. But good intentions should also give rise to appropriated actions which enables the child to thrive and in turn affirm and instill in us parents a sense of heightened purpose and satisfaction in knowing that we are doing what is best for our offsprings.
It takes effort, it takes a lot of pain. But in the end it is worth it. We just can’t see those efforts paying off in a world of instant gratification and short-term-outcome-obsessed culture where long term sacrifices and efforts are often ignored in favour of minimal effort and maximum gain. Sadly, but not surprisingly, that type of mindset just doesn’t work on parenting. Just as how a farmer recognises the seasons of planting, cropping and harvesting and realises he can’t short-circuit the process and is dependent on Mother Nature to do its part, so too it is with parenting.
After being a parent for 18 months, I have come to realise this forgotten-but-true truth : There are no shortcuts or hacks to raising good children.