I’ve never had a child before, so here’s the time when all the moms and dads tell me, “You have no right to tell me how to raise my child!” This is true! Are you still reading? I’m still writing!
Being childless, I have all of these idealistic visions of how child rearing should go. Honestly, though, I think that if I did have a child, after about two days I would go legally insane. I’ve babysat before, but only for about three hours. I’ve been a teacher before, but only for about 7 hours at a time. 48 hours of babysitting in a row? 48 hours of teaching in a row? That’s when I’d lose all control of my face, when I’d be so sleep deprived that coffee wouldn’t help, when I’d just start saying “yes” to everything or “no” to everything just so that I wouldn’t have to think anymore.
What do moms and dads see when they watch the TV show Malcolm In The Middle? Do they see a mom with anger management problems? Or a mom who is crazy in an understandable way? Do they see abused kids or ungrateful kids? Do they see a dad who doesn’t care enough or a dad who is doing the best that he can? Personally, I mostly watch the show for the wheelchair kid friend, because I feel like him sometimes for being so slow. Anyhow, please do feel free to read on about one childless person’s views on child raising!
The first thing I would do as a parent of a newborn would be to always repair the child’s heart and always fill the child’s heart. Repairing the heart means making them less heartbroken. Filling their heart means making them happy. Being a baby is so hard, so it’s easy for it to feel naturally heartbroken! Babies have limited muscular ability, so when they try to do things with their bodies, they are limited, and have very little precision. They want to talk but can’t yet. They want to sing but can’t yet. They want to drive a car but can’t yet. They want to do everything that we are doing, but they can’t even roll over. This must be so frustrating for them! I would repair their heart by telling them that it’s okay to not get things right the first time. I would fill its heart with enthusiastic praise when things go right. As the baby grows, and throughout its life, as long as you are alive, it is always nice for parents to know how to repair heartbreak and fill the heart. A bad grade, a bad breakup, a lost job are all situations where your parents can repair your broken heart and fill it with gladness, confidence, and positivity. You could say that it’s just one bad grade and that nobody is perfect, that maybe this relationship didn’t work out but we will always love you, and that you can still put the job on your resume positively for the next job you seek.
The second thing I would do as a parent would be to teach a child how to repair his or her own heart and how to fill his or her own heart with happiness. Parents won’t always be around, so I feel while it’s nice for kids to trust their parents and have a loving relationship with their parents, it’s also important for kids to learn to be independently happy without their parents around. Maybe a kid has a fight with their best friend, and you can simply ask them, “What do you think that you should do?” You can listen for their response. Maybe they can repair their own broken heart and fill it up too.
The third, and final (just kidding) thing that I would teach a child is how to repair somebody else’s heart and fill it up. Maybe mommy burns the brownies. “That’s okay!” the child says. “Let’s try them extra crispy!” Soon, they’ll be professional writers having articles rejected and will in their heart tell themselves that it’s part of being a professional writer and they have many more ideas. Mommy and daddy will tell the child’s heart that they are proud of the article anyway and that they’d like to share it with Nanna. And the kid will say to their parents’ hearts, “I’d like to send it to her myself!”