The question “What’s an ideal child?” comes up many times in my parenting workshops. I find it fascinating to discover and re-discover that some parents have only a vague idea of what an ideal child should be like, yet they are disappointed with their own children for not being ideal.
Furthermore, much of these parents’ daily energy is spent on maximizing their kids’ academic achievements, but in their definition of the ideal child, there is no mention of academic achievement.
When I ask them to describe the best possible child, I see surprised looks around the room and people say, “Isn’t it obvious?” Well, no, not really. Later on, their surprise grows when I tell them about the high correlation between parent’s expectations and how their kids turn up. As we work through their expectations, the parents are shocked to discover how their own expectations have fashioned their own kids.
Our definition of the ideal child forms the framework of our parenting plan. Whether our definition is conscious or not, it still determines how we relate to our kids.
In this part of Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss, I asked each blogger to describe their ideal child. I find it interesting that each of them had a different definition of what it means to them.
How would you describe your ideal child?
Ria Sharon – My Mommy Manual
Seriously? Mine. Both of them… because they are themselves. They are not perfect, but they are the perfect mirrors for the lessons we must learn about ourselves. I also love that each of them has come into this world with their own amazing spirits, ones that I would never have thought to custom order and so much better than I could have imagined.
Richard “RJ” Jaramillo – Single Dad
One that breathes.
Sue Scheff – Sue Scheff Blog
Is there an ideal child? Having a child that respects you and others is a great foundation for a positive future. Whether they are your little Einstein or have difficulties with academics – having respect for yourself and others are most important in my opinion.
Susan Heim – Susan Heim on Parenting
An ideal child is one who has been raised with a strong sense of self-worth but also a heart of love and compassion for others.
Annie Fox, M.Ed. – From the desk of Annie Fox
There is no “ideal child” as there is no “perfect parent”, “perfect marriage” or “perfect family.” Your child is your child and the two of you need to figure out together how to respect and understand each other as best as you can.
Maria Melo – Conversations with Moms
There are many qualities that would describe an ideal child: empathy for others, kind heartedness, discipline, courage to make mistakes, drive, etc. But ideally, what I want from my children is for them to be happy and to feel and show love.
Annie – PhD in Parenting
There are qualities that I admire in children and that I try to bring out in my children, such as curiosity, creativity and empathy. Obviously, it is ideal if my kids are happy. But really, I think that every child is unique and that child’s uniqueness is what makes them ideal.
Ronit Baras – Family Matters
In a course I took at the age of 18, the facilitator asked us to answer this question, long before I thought of having kids. I think I planted this answer in my subconscious back then and I still stick to it today.
My ideal child is “Happy, healthy, smart, sensitive, flexible, creative and curious, with a sense of adventure, with rich experiences and tolerance and … mine”.
I have three of them at home.
Join us next week when Ria, Richard, Sue, Susan, Annie Fox, Maria, Annie and I share our thoughts about the education system.
Until then, I would like to encourage you to use the comment box below and tell us if you think there is such thing as ideal child or not. If you do, please describe your ideal child
If you wish to know more about the bloggers who take part in this project or contact any of them, please visit their blogs, follow them on Twitter and/or become their fan on Facebook. Alternatively, you can send them a question or comment through the comment box below.
This post is part of the series Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss:
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (1): Introduction
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (2): Parenting Challenges
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (3): Best Parent Qualities
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (4): Parenting Changes Life
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (5): Ideal Child
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (6): Education
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (7): What drives you nuts?
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (8): Discipline
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (9): Profound Parenting Moment
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (10): Parenting Tips
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (11): Government Policy Suggestions
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (12): Parenting Boys and Girls
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (13): Parenting Teens
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (14): How to Keep Your Kids Healthy