I have always said this and I truly believe it, or I use to. “The perfect parent” and “the perfect child” do not exist. I mean, who gets to decide what defines “perfect”? The dictionary definition of “perfect” states: having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be. Or, when used as a verb: make (something) completely free from faults or defects, or as close to such a condition as possible. In essence, perfect is in the eye of the beholder.
I know we have three great kids “perfect”, if you will. They all finished high school and went on to finish college. They all are responsible, well-adjusted, functioning members of society who are respected by their friends and co-workers. The values and morals we instilled in them are clear in their character, world views and over all demeanor. Kindness and respect toward one another without jealousy or rivalry and great senses of humor, all three of them!
Both my husband and myself feel bleed with the family we received. Sometimes I wondered how we got so lucky. I would hear other parents talking about how unruly their kids were and how they couldn’t wait until they graduated and got out of the house. Those parents who hated vacations and summer breaks because they might have to deal with their kids for longer periods of time. Not us, we couldn’t wait to spend time with our kids! Camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, vacations to the coast or sitting around the dining room table talking about anything and everything. I’m guilty of allowing “hooky days” because I missed them when they were away.
The word “perfect” can have a different meaning to different individuals, I suppose. As far as kids go and as far as parents go. I do believe some key factors, or ingredients, for solid, decent children and families are necessary. Let’s talk about that for a minute. The first thing is, you need to start from day one with consistency and conviction. No means no, and you don’t go to the other parent looking for a different end result. You must remember that each child is an individual with different learning styles and needs but at the same time treat each child as equals, thus preventing unnecessary conflict and animosity. Listening and communication amongst all family members is probably a number one must. Showing love and support for each other and protecting each other from negative elements is a good start to creating sibling friendships that will last a lifetime.
It saddens me to see families in chaos, fighting all the time with no coherent communication. Parents who don’t want to allow their kids to be individual self thinkers and express themselves. We as humans are not clones, we all have our own thoughts and views of situations and events. That doesn’t automatically mean they are wrong because they are different from our own. Let them talk while you listen to actually hear. You will be pleasantly surprised at the depth of understanding and knowledge your children have acquired that you might not have realized. Raise them up to be independent self thinkers but let them know you are there for them under any circumstances without passing judgment or ridicule.
Remembering the following items is a good, solid base for building healthy family relationships.
1. Communication. 2. Consistency. 3. Common Sense. 4. Respect. 5. Love.