What makes a good parent? In one word? Humility. In two words? A sense of humour and humility.Think about it for a minute and you will understand. Lately, I have spent more time with my now 5 grandchildren, all age 2 and under. I am struck with the fact that most adults are not natural baby whisperers and our society really does not spend time preparing these hapless adults to parent.
Children, especially babies are well…little and vulnerable, vulnerable to the large, often clueless adults, who care for them. Put yourself in a baby’s situation. Preverbal for years it must be frustrating to be tired or in pain, only to have a bottle thrust into your mouth or have a tense, upset mother try to nurse you when your stomach is bloated with burps.
This disconnect does not end once children can communicate. Nope, our adult reasoning simply does not always compute in little brains. Why, I have been told that human beings do not get their adult brain till they are 25 years old! Apparently, the frontal lobe that makes sane, rational decisions is not fully developed till the mid-twenties.
That means for almost a quarter of a century, humans need a special kind of love and nurturing that will not only meet them and connect with them right where they are but guide them gently without controlling them and stunting their own growth intellectually, emotionally and spiritually,
That means that the best parents are willing to learn, from their offspring, from books, from experience and from others. Good parents need a wonderful sense of humour to laugh at their own blunders, to laugh at their kid’s blunders. Openness to try new tactics helps as does creativity but most of all ( well, after humility) they need to be intuitive, listening to their little ones’ body language and tone of voice and their own gut feelings and instincts. If you are spiritual, listen to the voice of God within because those kids are His and He knew them before they were born. He knows how they tick better than you or I.