Parenting in Perspective

By Sal Haque 2019-12-11 14:35:11

Parenting can be a difficult and dynamic endeavour. It requires poise, tact, and infinite amounts of patience. There are good days and there are bad, and at times, fatigue kicks-in, frustration rises, and anger dawns. A five-year-old can wear down a dad's patience like a pair of Feiyues at a music festival. Combine that with the hustle of work, general life issues, and limited emotional outlet, and it’s fair to say that sometimes we slip a little in our parenting. After all, we’re human too.

As parents, we try to uphold the highest standards for our children and consciously allowing our kids to digress can often result in stress and concern. Perhaps you forgot a warm sweater and now he seems cold? Jah-forbid, he eats a couple of donuts for breakfast…for shame! I did that once and I did not feel good about it. When I met my fellow parents at school, I pulled the “single –dad card” and waned sympathetically about not having enough time to prepare a healthy breakfast.

But ya know what? It just wasn’t a big a deal. My kid usually eats “relatively” healthy, he lives in a nurturing environment, he’s well-loved and overall he’s happy. Plus, there are few things in this world as spectacular as a Tim Horton’s Rainbow Sprinkle Donut.

More importantly, one day my five-year-old is gonna be 30 years old, probably bald, and most likely an accountant (he can smell a strongly worded memo from miles away). I’m sure that one time he was cold, or the night he fell asleep watching Dragon Ball, won’t affect his Charted Accountancy Test scores.

As a parent, I’ve essentially resigned myself as a steward to an unreasonable five-year-old with selective hearing. I think it’s safe to say that there’ll be a few times when I’m tired or straight-up busy and I quite simply employ the time-honoured method of “screw it”. Fine! Eat your cereal in your obtusely built pillow fort barricading the kitchen door. Cause who needs a kitchen? But it’s important to realise these “concessions” in parenting probably won’t do much harm. I often have to imagine my kid as an average middle-aged man, complete with thinning hairline and an emerging gut. Kind of like a half Asian Burt Reynolds. It’s tough to envision him out of his age of innocence but I find it really helps put my parenting in perspective. I’m able to assess problems with more clarity and often come to realise that in most cases it’s not even really a problem and certainly not a cause for frustration or anger. Like yeah, he’s having a tough time writing the letter “K”, but it’s all good, I’m pretty sure 30-year-old Nesta (my kid’s name) will be tearing up words like “Kalimba” or “Kangaroo” .

I find a bit of perspective can really afford us a stoic sense of calm. Even in cases of sickness, it's safe to say that most children recover pretty well. It’s inconvenient and sucks for the kid, but how much is it gonna affect 30-year-old Nesta? He probably won’t even remember it. The same goes for a break in routine or a day of artisanal hotdog-bun nutella sandwiches. In most cases, the kid is gonna be just fine.

So remember, it's ok to slip up in our parenting, and sometimes we might find ourselves saying, “screw it”, and that’s ok too. For all the minor issues our children face, and for all the times we’ve side-lined our A-game for the far more convenient D-game, one day our kids will grow up, they’ll probably be bald, and they’ll definitely be an accountant and they’ll be just fine. Cause really, a lot of the little problems that affect us as parents aren’t even really problems.