When I finished reading the zillionth “How French/ Swedish/ Chinese/ and Antartican Parents Are infinitely Better Than American Parents” article, I sighed.
I had finally had enough.
For years, I’ve taken notes on each one of them, eagerly applying the gems of wisdom from around the globe and throughout time. But something about that zillionth one caused me to ask myself, “Why am I esteeming the methods of people I don’t know at the expense of the parents I do know – the ones who happen to be the most exquisite, generous, faithful parents imaginable?”
To my mother and father’s generation, I offer my lifelong standing ovation.
I particularly applaud my own parents, who raised 4 of the world’s wealthiest daughters – rich in love and learning. Your parenting methods were spot on, in good times and bad, for I consider my sisters amongst the top-notch mothers on the globe, with vivacious, curious, caring children of their own.
Then, I applaud my husband’s parents. You raised a man who can do anything. From the moment he holds our newborn babies, he never flinches from one opportunity to make their day, teach them something useful, or lead them to Jesus.
I applaud my friends’ parents. You have accomplished outstanding work. My friends think deeply, serve tirelessly, speak humbly, learn endlessly, and are, themselves, parenting with excellence. Your daughters do motherhood with such devotion! I spend as much time as I can watching them, talking with them, reading their writing, and learning from them. And your sons are connected, responsible, and so fun. One thing is for sure: you did something right.
I know that I represent a certain demographic, but I believe that my demographic must be included in the conversation about American parenting. (For the record, it’s not too narrow of a demographic. As I write this post, I’m thinking of friends who live in the city, others in suburbia, others in the country. Some are rich, others poor. I’m thinking of parents who work full time, part-time, or stay home with their children. They choose public school, private school, or homeschool. Some are Christians, others are not. And they practice a vast variety of parenting methods.)
I just couldn’t wait another day without saying that the American parents I know are amazing and their children are thriving.
So, from my vantage point, here’s what I see:
American parents feed their children healthy food.
They read them excellent books and listen to beautiful music.
They create healthy boundaries and aim to help their children grow in diligence and faithfulness.
They let them play outside for hours and limit their screen time.
They encourage them to respect elders, understand government, keep friendships, and serve others.
They take seriously their job of preparing their children for the future.
They give them age-appropriate chores and loving discipline.
They put them to bed early and teach them how to develop healthy lifestyle habits.
They research important choices like healthcare, diet, social media, and entertainment.
They see the importance of their role as parents and diligently try to make the wisest choices possible from extracurricular activities to vaccinations.
The American parents I know reflect on how they are doing, they read about parenting often, talk about it tirelessly, and aim to do well by their children for the present and the future.
When I consider the American parents I know, I see God’s grace lavished on three vibrant generations!
So, my friends – beloved American parents – be encouraged to continue in your work and in your love. You are doing exceptionally well.