Balancing Act

Love and respect trump a parent's imperfections

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Parents aren't perfect

Family. Albert Mollon, Flickr (Albert Mollon/Getty Images)

Well, me, too, obviously. What does this have to do with reminding them I'm human?

"The point is empathy and sensitivity and kindness to others," Mogel said. "It's about family citizenship and communal responsibility.

"It's careless and insulting on the part of the child and does not demonstrate empathy for parents if children aren't doing their part to keep operations running smoothly."

I think this is huge. We're teaching our kids how to live, which means growing their minds, stretching their imaginations and keeping them active, fed, balanced.

We're also teaching them how to love.

We get first crack at their hearts. They love us truly and, if we're lucky, for life. But there will be others — partners, friends, in-laws and, maybe, children of their own.

I want my kids to love with all their energy. I want them to love with compassion. I want them to know that errors are both inevitable and forgivable. I want them to show mercy.

If I don't teach them that, I'm not sure who will.

hstevens@tribune.com

Twitter @heidistevens13

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