A Few Good Things For Parents - The Good Men Project

A Few Good Things For Parents - The Good Men Project

Given some recent conversations with expecting and new parents, I’ve been trying to choose a couple of simple good things I could share with any expecting or new parent. A few good things that would not leave them feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

Thus, for the sake of simplicity and with the hope of not leaving anyone energy depleted, I thought I might share the following two good things that all parents, expecting, new and old should keep front and center in their heart and mind about being a mom or a dad:

They Didn’t Ask to Be Here

There isn’t a person living or dead who asked to be born. Moreover, there isn’t a human being alive or deceased that played even the slightest role in their conception or delivery. I don’t care how great you think you are or what bootstraps you used to pull yourself up; you did not give birth to yourself.

Parents conceive and birth children. Although to be honest, the behavior of many parents today contradicts the realities of conception. Because rarely a day goes by when some parent gets exposed publicly for undermining the obligation, all moms and dads have to accept – complete and total responsibility for their progeny.

Routinely parents today seem only interested in claiming their children when it is convenient like when fame and fortune are involved. However, when children misbehave or disappoint, lots of parents act as though their children birthed themselves. To be clear, moms and dad, children neither conceive nor birth themselves. It’s also worth mentioning that no child has ever asked to be here; not one.

I’m not a gambling man, but I’d be willing to bet anyone that many children would choose not to be here if they knew in advance of their conception about the mess adults made on earth which is now waiting for them to fix. So, what I’m going to say next is especially vital for those of us who freely decided to have a child given the known extreme complexities of the planet.

With rare exception, all parents were willing and active participants in our child’s creation. Which means from the moment of conception through at least the time our children are legally able to leave our home, we must exude the same willing passion and active participatory energy to prepare them to care for themselves and the greater societal good as we did to create them. Moms and dads must never lose sight of the fact that our children did not ask to be here; we asked for them and invited them to join us.

Parents, expecting, new and old, please understand that children are lifelong honored guests we voluntarily created. Thus, we owe them what we owe any honored guest – our best behavior and the ultimate royal hospitality for a minimum of eighteen years if not for their entire life.

Try to deny your parental obligation if you dare, act like your children conceived and birthed themselves into existence if you want. Consider yourself forewarned; you do so at your’s and the planet’s peril.

I use to be shocked by the number of children who have no hopes or dreams that was until I had the opportunity to start meeting more parents. Almost like clockwork, each time I’ve asked a child what their hopes and dreams are and received a less than confident and enthusiastic response, often appearing by their side were unwittingly and unintentionally dejected moms and dads – parents who had no distinct and measurable hopes and dreams of their own.

Moms and dads, it’s time we recognized that the planet only moves forward and that our children’s lives can only be better than ours (the historical goal of all parents) when we teach our children how to stretch themselves. I don’t mean trying to get taller to play basketball or standing on one’s toes to appear tall enough to get on an amusement park ride either. I propose showing children how to broaden their imagination – teaching every child how to dare to dream audaciously.

In case you haven’t been paying attention to the critical state of our union, but there might not be a time in history that needs dreamers as much as we do now. There are so many issues that threaten human existence that dreams are crucial to fixing what ails the planet.

If humanity is ever going to reach its potential, dreams must be omnipresent. No longer can we ignore the charismatic thoughts and creative ideas symbolic of childhood. If dreaming is ever going to be what it needs to be – ubiquitously applied to solve the world’s problems – every parent must raise children who are eager dreamers and relentless dream chasers.

Don’t fret moms and dads, although dreaming is a requisite for all children; your children don’t all have to dream about the same thing as other children. Nevertheless, let’s keep it one-hundred; all children must dream of doing something to make the planet better than it was when they arrived.

Dreaming, as is the case with nearly everything a child learns through age seven, is a skill best developed through the exposure of parents who dream. So moms and dads, please have a dream, a real aspiration for your future regardless of your age or station in life. Have a vision that keeps you awake at night and compels you to work on it all day. Dream now, dream tomorrow, dreams always!

Nobody gets a free ride; the Universe holds us all equally accountable. Every child from zero to one-hundred must live life, dreaming about ways to make the most of every moment bequeathed to us.

One last thing for the new and expecting parent, always remember your children are watching and mimicking you. How you raise and treat them is likely how they will raise and treat the next generation; how they will care for humanity.

Old, as in the seasoned parent, I have some final thoughts for you too. Isn’t it time we showed our children what it looks like when you dare to dream audaciously, and you chase your dreams relentlessly? Isn’t it time we started thinking of our roles as parents more like the responsibilities of great farmers rather than pissed off and reluctant boarding home operators who are looking for any reason to evict our tenants?

I believe that if parents reconsider our perspective on life’s origin and start dreaming, we might raise children – men and women who will not only sprout up and bear great fruit themselves but will happily accept their responsibility to care for their mature parents and gladly work to improve the wellbeing of the entire planet.