Parents

Parents are supposed to                  love.                                          Treasure.

                                                             care for.                                     Guide.

                                                             teach.                                         Prioritize.

                                                             discipline.                                   Play.

Show their children how to respect others, how to value themselves, how to deal with problems and mistakes with maturity and grace, how to love in a healthy manner, how to be responsible, balanced… The list goes on and on.

Do you want to know why?

Because raising children is such an incredibly important, world-changing, life-altering responsibility.

Parents are supposed to love their children; unconditionally. Because if the parents don’t show their children a healthy, wholesome, good kind of love they begin to think they are not worthy of it. They grow up believing that such a beautifully simple thing is not within their grasp and that they do not deserve it, even if it was.

So why don’t parents love their children?

Why can’t they?

Why is it so hard to find children raised in a healthy, loving environment?

Childhood is the period in every human beings life that is supposed to be carefree. Parents are meant to take care of their children in every way: money, food, shelter, learning, happiness, development. Do you understand what that means? Children are not supposed to worry about whether there will be adequate food next week. Or if the electricity is going to be turned off. If they are about to be evicted from their home. Whether they have enough time and energy to properly do their homework. What they need to do to ease their mother or father’s pain/worry/frustration/unhappiness. Children are not meant to hear of every problem their parents encounter in their marriage. They are not meant to give advice or to help in the raising of younger siblings. They are meant to be children. Period. End of discussion.

But… this is often not the case when you look at the families that exist around us.

Twelve year old girls are neglecting their school work, their future, to take care of younger siblings.

Fourteen year old boys are working 40 hours a week to pay bills.

Fifteen year old high-school students are becoming parents themselves because they found and took the only love and affection they could find available to them.

Eighteen year old boys and girls are giving up dreams of college because they:

have been told they are not smart enough anyway

believe if they leave their younger siblings alone, with no one to fight for them, to protect them, something bad will happen

settle for living with lowlife boyfriends and girlfriends, working low-level jobs, making minimum wage, having children that they are no more equipped to raise then their parents were before them.

Children are being forced into the roles of adults; the roles their parents are supposed to fill. Roles they have no idea how to adequately fill because they have no concept of what it is really supposed to be.

How many adults do you know who never had a real childhood? Whose parents failed?

How many adults do you know who never had a real childhood and have no idea how to be functioning adults? Because their parents failed to be functioning adults?

God, that is a depressing thought.

It is a thought to provokes anger and resentment.

Because it is a common occurrence. Because no one seems to care. Because innocents are being stripped of their innocence in a horrifying, vicious, heartbreaking cycle that repeats over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. Because there seems to be no end in sight.

Because parents are supposed to love their children.

Being a parent is a huge task to take on. You hold a being’s existence- their path, their potential- in the palm of your hand. It is not a job to accept lightly or by “accident”. And it is not a duty that everyone has to ability to actually perform in a satisfactory manner.

Being a parent, a real, honest-to-God parent (not just a man who provides sperm or a woman who carries a baby within her), is not something just anyone can be. It is not something just anyone can do.

Being a parent takes commitment. Determination. Maturity. It is something that should be chosen, because it is the role, literally, of a lifetime. You cannot be a parent one day and not the next. It is not a switch that can be turned on or off. And the manner in which you carry out your role affects your child or children FOREVER. Your influence will be the deciding factor in so many of their life decisions and goals. It will affect who they allow into their life. It will define who they are as adults; who they will be as parents.

~A

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