If you’ve been lurking around the internet this week, odds are you’ve seen the article “French Parents are Superior” in which Pamela Druckerman claims to have found the secret to raising obedient children.
It’s the latest in a long line of books and posts that try to say you’re doing it wrong. They don’t necessarily give you any useful tips. Mostly it’s just anecdote after anecdote of children who behave wonderfully as some sort of proof that those parents magically have all the answers.
Josette from Halushki made an impressive list of other groups of parents who are better than you, too. (#99 is the group that frustrates me the most, I admit)
I admit, while the French ideal shown in the article sounds attractive- it also sounds a little lonely. I adore adult time, but nothing quite compares with playtime with my kids. Most of the time, I’d rather be out on the playground with them than chatting with the parents who sit on the sidelines watching their children hog the slide and steal toys from other kids. I admit that my parenting technique isn’t perfect, but nobody’s is- even those seemingly “perfect parents.”
That is why I’m involved with Imagination Situation– aiming to add imagination to your arsenal of parenting tools. One more thing to help you weather all sorts of situations. (I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but this is one of the big things I’m working on this year) My childhood was filled with hours of playtime. Adventures in the backyard either hunting for fairies or pretending I was a naturalist cataloging an undiscovered land. I’d pretend my bicycle was my trusty palomino and we were out riding through the desert. Yes, my sister and I even used to pretend that our room came to life when we were cleaning, just like in Mary Poppins. Yet somehow I forgot about all of that imagination as soon as I became a parent. Seems pretty silly, doesn’t it?
Nobody’s a perfect parent. We all have our faults. So why not accept that we’re not perfect, and try to make life a bit more fun?