Why are there no definite answers to the most basic questions about the world’s longest-running job?

Is parenting a job, a vocation, a trick of fate, a stage in life, a privilige, a learning experience…?

When can we say: “I have done a good job”? “My children are ‘well brought up'”?

What about our own growth?

Perhaps there are no definitive answers because each parent-child unit is unique: it has unique characteristics, a unique development and a unique destiny.
No wonder what works for one child with a particular parent does not work for another with the same parent. Or a mother and father have to use different ways to achieve the same ends with the children.

Parenting is all of these, of course, but it is important how the parent and child perceive it. We may be more goal-oriented when we see it as a job; but maybe more intuitive when we are relaxed about it.


If we are lucky, the job is never done. But we keep evaluating ourselves: sometimes when a child surprises us by some wonderful or worrisome action; or when the child grows to the next stage in development… I feel we should keep evaluating ourselves. This most precious of jobs demands that. But also, we don’t need to take all praise or blame for the child’s development: that depends on the child’s own temperament, actions and destiny.


It is not only children who are growing, parents are growing too. Children’s growth is natural, propelled by strong inner forces. As parents, people have to grow in more self-conscious ways. There will be changes in a person’s life when she or he becomes a parent. But this may not be in a positive sense, unless it is in an aware form.

It is not only parents who influence the growth of their children. Children influence the development of the parents too.


[Holistic Parenting]

© Meenakshi Suri


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