Some time ago I was speaking with a few “seasoned” (code word for kinda old!) Quakers and we were talking about some of the challenges that families face today. One woman said to me, “Kevin, you’ve been working with parents and kids forever, do you see repeating pitfalls where parents are failing their kids over and over again?” Now that’s a question! I thought about her words for some time. I could have written pages and pages about the seemingly repeating pitfalls I’ve observed over the years…but who wants to read that? So instead, I’ve boiled it down to How to Fail Your Child below.
Give them everything.
Give them only what you know.
Give them only what you have.
Give them excuses that you’re late, too busy, too this or too that and maybe-later.
Give them your fears and hurts and traumas and ask them, “What’s wrong with you?”
Give them freedom without boundaries.
Give them nothing but success without failure.
Give them boundaries without freedom.
Give them lessons how to medicate their world.
Give them parenting without touching them.
Give them nothing to hold on to.
Give them nothing to release from.
Give them life without the sacrament of wonder.
Give them only the God you know.
Give them power without principle.
Give them everything but hope.
Give them everything but you.
Text and image by Kevin Lee