I’ve landed myself in something of a predicament.
Then, from a nice, meandering, thoughtful blogging journey came this ‘let them be human’ post. Here the tone moved away from how to parent towards what to prepare our children for.
Kids are going to be faced with violence and love and war and money worries and broken hearts and a whole host of other experiences that sound particularly scary to these parenting ears of mine.However, faced with them they will be, so I’d like to think about how to prepare them to deal with such situations.
Here comes the predicament:
If I am going to write a few posts on what I think we should be teaching kids about sex and drugs and money and life, won’t this whole “How to be a parent” project of mine just become another load of unwelcome opinion on what I think is best for your kids?
As I said – Oh Bugger.
The first two observations that are on the ‘let them be human’ post are to do with us all having our very own individual perspective on the world, a perspective that nobody else can ever fully appreciate. While we are all of us very human, we all of us perceive this human condition differently. How different is no doubt on a scale, depending on how many variables we have in common.
A sharp, insightful post giving some thought on difference, attempts to understand each other, and adult conversations around our differing beliefs would seem pertinent now – all other posts could flow from that in a non judgemental yet illuminating way.
Alas, the sharp insightful post is failing me.
I’d like to suggest that over the next few days I will write about what I think about certain topics. Then we could have some ‘open minded’ discussions, full of ‘respect’ where we each say politely what we think, and the problems with our respective arguments. Finally, we can ‘tolerate’ our respective differences.
Unfortunately, though, all too often I find words such as ‘open minded’, ‘respect’ and ‘tolerate’ hollow.
What if you have seen my profile pictures and read some posts and find this whole blog shallow and infantile. How can you respect me?
What if your strong religious convictions make it impossible for you to tolerate my more existential take on life?
What if your open-mindedness means you support your children watching age 18 films and twerking at family weddings? My open-mindedness suddenly starts to close its door a little.
Am I really just writing here a “How to be a parent if you are a five foot ten, white, middle class, heterosexual woman, living in the south of the UK, born to a northern family” blog?
If so, what use is that, really, other than as a memoir for myself?
At its worse, what I write could undermine another parent who is struggling enough as it is. Does the world really need any more of this personal opinion on parenting?
I guess I am going to have to confront head on my views on moral relativism: Should all views on parenting be equally respected? If not, who decides what’s in or out? Why should my view matter?
And really, what does any of this matter at all when faced with the task in hand of just trying to get our kids to adulthood as safe and sound as possible?