One of the tragedies of today’s nuclear family is that an essential element of interaction with our children is missing. We tend to rely on artificial stimulation and institutions to raise our children and, by doing so, abrogate our role as parents.
In her book, For the Children’s Sake, Susan Schaeffer Mccauley stresses the importance of this role and illustrates how parents can succeed in today’s helter-skelter world.
Some of the points that she makes are that this is an adult world, and children that learn at early age to live in the presence of adults are better equipped to be successful as adults. Children are bored in the presence of other children; and, where they may learn a certain amount about social interaction, this is not likely to equip them for dealing with grocery stores and restaurants in which they are expected to behave like adults.
As hard as it may be on the parents to endure that interruption on a business call, our dogs do this, and people understand. Children have to learn when it is appropriate not to interrupt, even more so today when so many of us work remotely.
But, most importantly, Ms. Schaeffer stresses the critical role that parents play in identifying their children’s gifts. These are what will differentiate us as adults and give us a greater sense of our personal worth and, perhaps, lead us along a more satisfying career path.
We are not allowed to accept the norm. The advantages of this modern world have separated us from our children and incentivized us to rationalize that we are doing all of this for a worthy cause – our retirement.
Spending time with our children today will yield greater dividends than any other investment that we can make in our future today. They do not have to be robots. They can serve to build a better future for both themselves and others.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”