I am the mean parent. I can feel it already.
At the tender age of 3, my daughter already hears that her house is “small” from her neighbor friends. No TVs are in her room, unlike her friends, and the one we do have is shut off many times. The computer stays off unless mommy is working, daddy is looking for work, or we are searching for craft or cooking ideas. And I keep asking relatives to refrain from buying lots of toys.
I am the mean parent. But I do it with love.
My daughter, at the age of 3, is inspired by this world. She knows rosemary from oregano by sight – after all, she’s grown them both. She gets her hands dirty in the garden. She loves to bake. Our home is littered with “art” projects. And just yesterday, she was busted for bringing “baby snowballs” and “mommy snowballs” into the house.
If I do one thing right as a parent, it will be that I taught my kids how to get around in this world. That they can think creatively. That their identities are not tied to stuff. And that they know they are connected to each and every one of us.
If we can teach our kids these lessons, maybe this world would be a better place. If we start to worry more about “we” than “me,” imagine what could take place. We could lift up those in need. We could improve our environment. Our food sources. Our economy. Our schools. The air we breathe.
Imagine if we worried about the “we” of tomorrow instead of just “me” today. It’s a lofty goal, but then, I have two smiling faces counting on it.