This so beautifully captures the essence of parenting, especially: “It is a child’s job to explore. It is a parent’s job to provide safe boundaries for child exploration, to give limits that provide a sense of security, not restriction. It’s rather an impossible assignment, parenting. I’d offer that, for those of us who choose it, parenting is also the last stage of our own growing up, the ultimate test of independence in the context of full interdependence.”
From the moment we master basic locomotive skills, we humans begin to pursue our independence and separate from our parents. It is as natural and ordinary and miraculous a process as any other in the animal kingdom – which is not to say that it is easy, for either child or parent.
No matter how many books, lectures, blogs or parenting classes contribute to decisions, the art of parenting is largely trial and error. No child-specific manual pops out with the baby. Some babies require extensive physical comfort while others will easily self-soothe. Some toddlers will cling and others climb. Some children will be content sitting in a corner, stacking blocks, while others will strip naked and run out the front door at the first opportunity. The work of growing up is hard; the work of parenting is even harder.
It is a child’s job to…
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