Everybody’s a great parent…until they have kids. We have these great ideals about how we will relate with our kids. How we’ll give them both freedom and responsibility. How we’ll let them make mistakes so they can learn from them. We fantasize about a home filled with calm voices and mutual respect and cooperation.
And all of that flies out the window the minute you hear yourself utter a phrase like: “You take that banana out of your sister’s ear this instant, young man!”The truth is, once we actually have kids, we think far too much about how our kids should behave for us and far too little about how we should behave towards them. We fall into the trap of feeling responsible “for” them and their actions (even those involving bananas) — and then we forget our responsibilities “to” them.