My kids are OK, yours are terrible
Admit it, you think your kids are better than mine. They're smarter, better behaved, more talented, healthier... and the list goes on. I know because I feel the same way. After all, it's only natural for parents to be anything but objective when it comes to their children. And a recent study on families by the University of Virginia's Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture proves it too. Researchers were surprised to see that most parents thought their kids were doing fine, specifically when it came to trying alcohol, being overweight, having sex and getting good grades in school--even when statistics say otherwise. But, in most parents' views, those numbers refer to other kids, not theirs.
Having unrealistic views of our children, however, is not good for our society as a whole because it makes us less empathetic--less able to put ourselves in other people's shoes and quicker to judge.
The thing is that most parents I know don't like to admit their kids are doing anything wrong because imagine what that would say about our parenting skills. Sadly, that's why many of us are completely taken by surprise when we find out things about our kids that we never thought possible.
Read more in ¿Qué más?: I waited to become a mom and I don't regret it at all
Researchers believe that having a rosie view of your kids has a lot to do with another national trend in which seven in 10 American parents say "I hope to be best friends with my children when they are grown." I don't subscribe to this desire at all. I'm not interested in being my kids' best friend because I'm their mother--and that it so much more than any best friend will ever be.
While my kids are still way too young for me to worry about certain things such as them having sex, trying alcohol or smoking, I'll try to keep in mind the importance of being realistic about their overall well-being--and that just because they're not perfect doesn't mean I failed as a mother.
Image via mclib dot net/flickr