Last weekend, and on the day before The Guardian changed to a new, smaller format, Tim Lott, one of my favourite columnists, wrote his last article.
It contains “a few principles worth thinking about if you hope for a functional family life”. There’s some gems in the short article.
Be kind. If there is a simple secret to relationships, it is probably this. However, not too kind. You can do as much damage by being overindulgent as by being neglectful. Your children are your children, not your friends. Their positive judgment of you is good to have, but it is not a necessity.
Given our recurring conversations about whether or not to move to a bigger house, I found this reassuring:
Maintain intimacy. There are a number of practical methods for doing this. Don’t buy a big house. People are always trying to extend the size of their living spaces, but smaller spaces bring people together.
And then, as a parent of two strong-minded, wilful, but ultimately pleasant children, this also reassured me:
Finally, and perhaps most importantly – you’re not as powerful as you think. And you are going to fail as a parent – everyone does – but less than you imagine. Children are independent beings and make their own choices and interpretations. There’s culture, there’s nature, there’s nurture and there’s how each individual child chooses to interpret what’s coming at them. That last part, you have no control over. So don’t beat yourself up too much – or pat yourself on the back too much, either. You’re a fragile link in a long chain of causality.
Source: The Guardian