When I first became a parent I asked myself what type of parent I want to be. There are a lot of options for this and there is no one correct way to be a parent. There are many paths to being a good parent. The more I think about it though if I end up being a parent not that much different than my own that is perfectly fine.
I will tell two stories to illustrate the type of parents my parents were. The first is about my father and it happened on a Cub Scouts camping trip. It was the last year of Cub Scouts and they did a fathers/sons camping trip. My father wasn’t much of a camper and we had never been camping together before.
Near the end of the camping trip another kid’s father was on him and I mean on him. This father was reading his son an act. Cussing him up and down and telling him how disappointed he was in him and how his son couldn’t do anything correct. It was at this point I looked at my father and said, “I’m glad you’re my father.”
My father is fairly passive in that story but I think it demonstrates many of his positives. Now my mother was a bit more active in her parenting and protection of her son. There was an instance in high school when I was in a creative writing class and I wrote a story not too different than the movie Scream or some of the other movies that were in the theater at that time.
The story did have a good amount of sex and violence in it, but we’ll get to that. My mother volunteered a lot at the high school and the teachers and my principle knew this. It happened that the teacher had taken my story to my principle and he really didn’t know what to do with it because he liked me (He wrote one of my reference letters for college) so he showed it to my mom when the teacher followed up with him.
So there were the teacher and the principle showing my mom this story that one of them thought would shock my mother. The teacher asked her if she’d seen it and what she thought of it and she answered, “Seen it? I edited it, and I think it’s well written. Not different than most of what’s out there.” The teacher didn’t like that response but the principle used it as a way to end the complaint.
When I think of what type of parent I want to be I think of myself as a guide. My children are their own persons. I exist to show them the different directions their life could go but it is their path to walk.