Parent’s point of view

One simple question from a frustrated mom with older children triggered an avalanche of responses on Facebook. All she wanted to know was, “If children knew that their choices would determine how the world would judge their parents, do you think it would make a difference?”
Short, quick comments followed. “I think not.”
“No, probably not.”
“No, because the root of wrong choices is being self centered.”
“No more than we felt much sympathy for our parents when we made our decisions.”
“Sadly, no. They are still so in their own little world, they just (in general) are unable to see past the end of their little noses. But we love them, train them up, TRUST the Lord with them and breathe.”
“No ’cause their brains are not fully developed yet and they can’t think ahead!”
Her husband wrote, “If there are any parents out there that think your kids are immune from making bad decisions because you raised them properly, do I have a lesson for you! No parent is immune to their kids wandering down a wrong path no matter how you raised them. I was thinking back on being a teen and never once do I remember thinking, I better not . . . . because it will make my parents look bad! Never judge someone because of the choices their kids make.”
“I never wanted to hurt my parents, but I never worried about how the world would judge my parents or worried about their reputation. Seeing good Christian families with four kids and three kids are perfect while one rebels, one wonders ‘why the difference? The parents didn’t raise that one child any differently then the other three. Every situation has its own set of circumstances. I will never judge a parent on what the kid does – a lesson I unfortunately I had to learn.”
Another philosophically wrote, “I often tell younger parents a quote I once heard, “I used to have six child rearing theories and no children, now I have six children and no theories.” A web search says it originated from John Wilmot, second earl of Rochester who lived in the mid-1600s.

This issue has been around for a long time . . . since the beginning of time with this idea recalled from minister: “God created Adam and Eve perfect. Gave them just a couple rules, spent time talking with them every day, and they still chose to do exactly what He said not to do. If God, the perfect Father, had those results, why do we assume our children will do any differently? That does not exempt us from obediently teaching God’s way to our children and living it before them; it is just a reminder that free will does exist. I personally needed to hear and be reminded of that as my children grew up.”

A woman of many years wrote, “I don’t think they ever think how something might hurt their parents. As they get older and have children of their own, they might think then about how they have hurt their parents, or they may not. Each child has to learn that on their own, you can’t do it for them.”
After commenting on her own difficult situation, another mother said, “I chose to be a mother. Now I choose to pray. We all cause our parents angst at times but it isn’t always a lack of respect – it is usually from acting out of selfishness, which can be very addictive and habit forming if not addressed.”

Two days later, after 28 comments from more than a dozen friends, the mom wrote, “Wow! I admit, I was feeling rather reflective and just plain sorry for myself when I wrote this. But now I am thankful and encouraged. And to my own parents, I know I was self-centered and I apologize for it. I can only hope I’ve made you proud all these years later … and I PRAY I will get to hear this from my kids someday. We don’t all get the blessing of fully realizing our children coming back to us if we train them up in the way they should go. But we keep moving, through fire, through rain, through heartache and pain. We’ve all been there and thank God for friends. So thank YOU for responding. I feel a little better now.”
(Joan Hershberger is a reporter at the News-Times. E-mail her at