Saturday, June 25, 2011

How do you know you are a good parent?

I am the mother of two children who are young adults. They have just both left home which leaves my husband and me starting our new life as Darby and Joan, and has caused me to stop and reflect over the last 23 years as a mother and parent.

I'd admit there have been quite a few times over the years when my husband and I have angsted over how good a job we've done as parents. Neither our kids have ended up in prison so I have always taken comfort in that. But there have been times when I have wondered if I could have done better and asked myself questions like: have I instilled the right morals in the kids?; have I modeled a good work ethic?; what could I have done to help the kids get better marks at school?; why aren't the kids making billions of dollars from their own Facebook company by now?; how can the kids be good global citizens when their bedrooms are like pig stys!!?? And so on...

Then it dawned on me the other day...

My husband and I have done a bloody good job as parents. How do I know?

My children have both left home and moved to new cities and country with little or no support from us...on their own volition...and just got on with things. They have both found jobs and somewhere to stay within a couple of weeks. Neither of them have got much money and certainly no support where they are now living. But they've got drive, motivation, confidence and insight to take a risk and go out and make things work for them.

I have been blessed with two wonderful children who are now making their way in the world. Yes, they're doing it on their own and I am extremely proud of them, but I am going to give my husband and me a little credit for giving them the skills to take this step into adult life. This is how I know I have been a good parent.

How have you measured your performance as a parent? What do you think makes a good parent? How do you get your kids to keep their bedroom tidy!!??

7 comments:

Anne Marie said...

This is lovely! Well done:)

Sarah Stewart said...

Thanks Anne Marie. And talking about Facebook...that's how I keep up with what they're doing :)

starpath said...

Being a mother is the best reward in life. Well done both of you. I must say I don't engage with our children on Facebook though. Skype and text are our media. (London to NZ)

AJCann said...

An article to bring hope to the parents of teenagers everywhere :-)

Sarah Stewart said...

@starpath and @AJ I have to admit it feels like it's taken for ever to get to this point but now I'm here...I'm loving it :)

Bronwyn hegarty said...

This is a great post Sarah. How to know you are a good parent, I reckon, is also whether your kids want to keep up a relationship with you and stay in touch when they leave. So you are doing that as well. Bonus points!

Sarah Stewart said...

But I get minus points because I'm still stuck with son's cat :)