Parents are human beings.  Most adults realize that at some point.  Usually it comes to us in our 30’s, although life circumstances might bring that point home much earlier, for better or worse.  Parents have their own perspectives, their own histories, their own baggage, their own hopes and dreams and aspirations. All of which inform how they parent, the home they create, and the life they bequeath to their children.

Most of us our taught to talk about parenting as if it’s some generic role that everyone fits into.  Everyone goes through 5th grade and survives it, everyone can be a parent, it’s natural and normal and everyone can do it.  *face palm*  Unfortunately real life shows that this isn’t the case.  Parenting isn’t some one-size-fits all role that everyone wears and that never chafes and is easy to get through.  Being a parent means being a person and being responsible for another person(s).  And it could mean being in intimate relationship with another adult, or not, and being in closer relationship with family (happy and/or sad for you) or not.  It’s a case-by-case, always unique situation that we get through and make up and enjoy and delight in as we go along.

With that said, part of being a parent is creating meaning out of the world we live in and teaching that meaning to children.  Part of that meaning is their own identity.  Who they become is in part who you tell them they are either because they take that in and become it or they refuse to take it in and fight against it.  In the case of siblings you add in the roles within the family that parents assign them such as athlete, scholar, politician, doctor, etc.  These roles define a person in ways they will explore for the rest of their lives. So for parents and for children, be aware of the structures you live in and build and accept for yourself.  They are constructs that we create not laws of physics such as gravity.  They can change and so can you.  Just because you create a parental paradigm or have lived in one doesn’t mean you are stuck with it.  Challenge yourself to find a new one or allow life to inform you of a new shape that is coming into being.  Be open to explore the truth as it unfolds.  Because parents are just people and people are nothing if not changeable.