Mar 2, 2021
Most parenting books fall into one of two categories: hopelessly aspirational – these often being written by relatively new parents or “parenting professionals” with an alphabet of letters after their names – or else the combat manual variety, pitting child against parent as intractable adversaries and filled with dispassionate bullet points for behavioral modification.
If X happens, input Y, and Z will be your guaranteed result.
Just follow your instinctive genius moment to moment and your child will unfold like a tropical flower reaching toward the sun/their ultimate destiny for greatness.
The problem is, no matter how many hours you spend co-sleeping or arranging Montessori spaces or doling out consequences which are both loving and logical (harder than you’d think), at the end of the day children are human beings with free will, and no amount of perfect parenting will ensure a guaranteed outcome.
Frustrating as hell, which, while we’re on the topic, has a little something to do with the friction and frustration inherent in family life: we have a common enemy, and he has each of our domestic churches squarely in his crosshairs.