Out of nowhere, my friend at the office surprised me with a copy of “Totto Chan” by Kuroyanagi Tetsuko. I asked her why she was giving me this book. She replied that it was because I was soon going to have a daughter. After taking a moment to consider, I perused the book and thanked her for the considerate gift. Little did I know, this marked the beginning of my journey through numerous books on parenting and child education. I gradually grasped the concept that being a parent was akin to a full-time commitment.
Over the past nine years, since embarking on parenthood, I’ve delved into more than 20 books on the subject. These resources have spanned various formats, from traditional books to e-books and Audibles. They not only aided me in navigating the challenges of parenting but also contributed to my role at Bookabook.id.
However, as of late, I’ve made a conscious effort to scale back. I began unfollowing certain parenting accounts on Instagram and became considerably selective about the parenting materials I consumed. I realized some time ago that my effort for parenting perfection had led to immense guilt whenever I deviated from the suggested methods.I was haunted by the feeling of not measuring up and the fear of falling short as a father. This stress also spilled over onto my children and wife.
It got me thinking. Can we, as parents, shield our children from all potential traumas? Is every traumatic experience inherently negative? Maybe not. Trauma in itself may not be something negative. In my case, my mother never allowed me to go to Disneyland, even with my cousins, because according to her it was a waste of money. This “trauma” caused me to hate theme parks and even if I go I find little enjoyment from it. Yet, this same mother is also a great financial planner, a resilient and self-sufficient person. I understood that and took that into account. So, the way a child interprets and copes with a traumatic event plays a pivotal role in shaping its impact.
I soon started to relinquish the pursuit of perfection. While these lessons are valuable, I’ve come to understand that not all advice needs to be rigidly adhered to. What’s most important is conveying to our children that we, as parents, are also humans. We WILL make mistakes. I think this is an important fundamental aspect of modern parenting. Unlike the past, where parents and elders were placed on a pedestal, immune to faults and questioning, we should admit our mistakes and extend apologies. By doing so, we make our children understand that our teachings are not absolute truths; they can challenge and question us, prompting explanations. This fosters understanding and, I believe, nurtures a close parent-child relationship that endures as they leave us and venture their own, navigating their journey into adulthood and the realities of the world.