A good parent provides direction and orientation to their children so that they will have a coherent maturation process. All but the best parents seem to not understand this and so they leave things to chance. They assume the public schools will provide the direction. They figure if they just go with the flow, they will get at least average results. The only fish that go with the flow are the dead ones.
Becoming a mature person is an ongoing process. People who are self-knowledgeable will, over time, come to realize their mistaken assumptions of the past or where their logic didn’t parse through all the way. They will come to realize behaviors that did not serve them. They will take on new responsibilities as they grow and have changes in perspective. But the process, which I advocate, is generally the same. It is the daily commitment to rationality, sobriety, and an openness to the dreamy, higher brain function insights that come over us when we’ve been living relatively without sin.
Children desperately want to grow up, hence they emulate the behaviors of the adults around them. They want to integrate and take on more responsibility, themselves. They do not so often grasp the underpinning ‘why’ of adult behaviors. This is why it is so important to have a thorough ‘why’ fleshed out (check out my book Peaceful Parenting) before having children. If you have failed to shine a flashlight into the back corners of your own decision making processes, there will be less “pull” built into your mind to get you back to a condition of leadership and exemplary parenting.
The thing about growing up is that the more you do it, the more gratifying it becomes. Just like a person who practices piano 8 hours a day through their teenage years enjoys the highs, lows, and delights of interfacing with the greats such as Beethoven and Bach, so does a sincerely self-knowledgeable person come into contact with heretofore unseen insights that reorient life. Children gain this satisfaction from the simplest of daily living that they see us carry out. We do well to empathize with them in this regard.
We should not mire them in a premature developmental state by exposing them to the boredom of public school or the sexualization of corporate giants. We should carefully tend to their growth so that they become self-responsible. There are few greater satisfactions for a parent or grandparent than to see the next generation live in a condition of “high art”, gained by Providence and a consistent life’s philosophy. Who but us will undertake this 50 year responsibility? Who but us will build the great cathedrals?