Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Parenting Styles

Neither Amy nor I are your consummate parents, the kind of people who
were born to be moms or dads. You may know such folks, the ones for
whom it seems everything has prepared them to be parents. And it
shows: everything comes naturally, and they relish the task for they
are genuinely good at it and gifted for it.

What's been fun for Amy and I is not that experience. Rather, it's
figuring out what makes each of us tick, and how we've been able to
bring that to bear as parents. For me, for example, I'm organized,
I'm relentless, and I don't care what people think of me. So as a
result, how I parent is to provide our kids with structured
activities, read to them without end, and not bend if they throw a
tantrum.

Amy, on the other hand, is kind-hearted, observant, and genuinely
delights in the happiness of others. So she's the one our kids bury
their heads in when they're sad, she always buys them the perfect gift
because she knows what they like, and she makes everyone's favorite
dish and then rejoices as they scarf it down.

We may not be prototype parents, but we strive to be the best parents
we, uniquely gifted and predilected, can be. So far, it's been fun to
see exactly what kind of parent that is. Because it's like getting to
know yourself and your spouse better, seeing our respective
personalities get played out in the role of parent. (Although, let's
not get started on our respective weaknesses, since those come to the
surface in the midst of parenting also; thank God for children who
forgive easily and love unconditionally!)

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