13 Dec A Longing for Established Values and Structure
I’m feeling as though I want more healthy hierarchy in my life – between me and life as well as between me and my kids. I have been realizing the contemporary parenting fail that we are living under and how I must take back the role of parent. The simplest form of parenting is to prepare children to become adults – to live and cope in the world; to thrive and handle life’s complexities. We need to expect more of our children and teach them values more explicitly. The apologetic nature of contemporary parenting is leaving the children anxious and the parents exhausted. Parents and children are not equal and life should not revolve around children. We have lost a sense of roles. We have lost our minds.
Coupled with this learning I am experiencing about parenting is a desire for a life philosophy that brings a sense of hierarchical structure and security. A devotion to a spiritual discipline or set of beliefs. I don’t enjoy committing to a set of beliefs but I now see that the way I don’t discipline my mind means I don’t expect it from my children, amongst other things they are more than capable of. I don’t expect enough. I don’t help lead my children.
There is love in boundaries. Without boundaries and some kind of stance on life, I’m not even sure love can exist. I don’t even know why I said that, but it feels true. A calm, yet firm and respectable parent creates the kind of space where love can grow. The anxious apology for authority that we live with today in contemporary parenting does not create a secure sense of love. While I act like a firm and respectable parent, I’m not usually calm and I don’t believe I can own the authority.
I’m reading a book entitled The Self-Esteem Trap that is helping me to put together much of my contemplation on the subject over the past several years. It’s giving me a sense of calm in reclaiming my role as parent and teacher and gatekeeper to what the kids can handle. As well, having a healthy focus on separating adult endeavours with child endeavours. We need role clarity and embracing our strength and experience as adults will provide security and structure within which a child can grow into maturity.
In terms of belief system, I’m not saying I’m committing to some religion tonight. Not at all. But I’m reminded of its necessity. I’ve observed and written before about the loss of a shared value system in our culture. My wife and I notice the loss in our own family. We need a structure to guide us and our children. Some way of framing life a bit, framing ethics, framing a world view from which to move about.
This all returns to simplicity for me as well. It is grounding and calming to find some way back to center, to a place one could call, well, home.