The notion of extraordinary parents is guilt driven farce
In an opinion piece recently featured on FoxNews.com, Jonathan Pokluda explicates his 10 habits of extraordinary parents. Pokluda, a teaching pastor at a mega-church in Texas, and his wife are in the midst of what he terms “the parenting experiment” with three young children.
Pokluda says that according to his observations, extraordinary young people come from extraordinary parents. I don’t know where he’s making his observations, but tales abound of extraordinary people whose children have gone off the proverbial deep end and never made it back. Likewise, tales abound of fine, upstanding people who were raised by parents who fell short of extraordinary. The false notion that extraordinary people are raised by extraordinary people does nothing but set people up for paralyzing guilt.
Pokluda asserts that “if there was a parenting scoreboard, spending time with our kids is how we’d earn points.” That’s the postmodern parenting standard, for sure. Being a millennial, raised after the psychological parenting revolution of the late 1960s/1970s, Pokluda doesn’t know that the mental health of children in the 1950s, before “parenting” was even a word and when parents did not feel a compulsion to spend lots of time and be involved – when, in other words, the raising of children was a minimalistic proposition – was 10 times better than the mental health of today’s kids. In today’s parenting lexicon, the word “involvement” is a euphemism for micromanaging, which never works for anyone concerned.
Today’s “parenting” is all about establishing and maintaining a wonderful relationship. Fifty-plus years ago, when kids as a group were much, much happier than they are today, parents understood that their first and foremost responsibility was to provide leadership and that proper leadership led, slowly but surely, to proper relationship. Put relationship first and discipline will be difficult, stressful, and often lead to regretful outbursts from parents, which, I suspect, is why Pokluda lists asking for forgiveness from one’s kids among his 10 habits. Wrong. By definition, extraordinary parents don’t have to ask for forgiveness. They know what they’re doing and they do it.
Pokluda’s most glaring error is that of omitting extraordinary parents are husband and wife first, mom and dad second. He and his wife are obviously completely immersed in the roles of Mommy and Daddy.