Why Role Model Parenting is Superior
A few weeks ago my husband handed me the Wall Street Journal with the ever-vilified and now infamous “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” article included in it.
Not wanting to drag myself into another parent-to-parent debate over which parenting style is better than the other, blah … blah … blah, I put it aside and it sat in my nightstand book basket for a few days. Then the media firestorm about the article started (if you have not heard much about this, Google it – trust me you’ll see what I mean) and I pulled the article out and finally read it, then thought about it … forgot it … was reminded about it over and over again on the news, and finally came to a conclusion that I will now share.
But before I do, let me say — this blog is not a place for political conversation or the intense debates of our time, it is a place for joy, enjoyment and reflection. So that is what I hope you will see here … if you do not, call me out on it. I’ll listen.
My conclusion is this …
There is a lot of focus in this article, the book and the surrounding responses, about what parents should make their children do to be successful. But there is not a lot of focus on what parents should do in their own lives to serve as role models for their children — showing their children how to be great, good, purposeful and joyful human beings. And, now, after reflecting on this, I realize I am very much who I am today because of the role model parents I have.
Growing up they showed me, through what they did, what they said and how they treated people, their responsibilities and their family, how to be good, successful, faithful and strong people. We knew that bad grades were not acceptable, not because there was yelling and declarations of our inferiority as students when we came home with a C, but because they themselves were always good students, great learners and worked as hard as they could every day to do their best at everything — absolutely everything — they did (and still do) in their lives.
They showed us, by example, the importance of always following through, working hard, not cutting corners and embracing your talents to make your life, and the lives of others, better, successful and joyful.
We watched them work hard at their jobs and achieve success, help their community and serve their church and faith. We saw them lend a hand to family and friends in need of help, a place to stay or just a warm home-cooked meal after going through a tough time. We saw them use their talents — mom with her management, people and artistic talents, and dad with his design, engineering and educational talents — to create a wonderful home and life for us growing up. And, most of all, they showed us how to be good, committed, hard-working, helpful and kind people.
Sure, we fall down and do not always live up to the bar that they set. But the bar is there … it will always be there even when we are in our sixties and have grandchildren of our own, as they do now.
In the end, these two wonderful people have showed us that being a role model parent is, and will always be, superior to any parenting style around. Period.