Reap the Joy of Parenting

A joy of parenting is watching a child develop and mature. Possessiveness has been a hallmark of parenting for hundreds of generations. Today, parents can no longer consider children their possessions. Children have rights and are watched over by the general society. An indication of this is the fine line drawn between punishment and child abuse.

Perhaps the paramount desire of parents has to do with simultaneously giving roots and wings. Parents model, foster values, and teach by what they say and do. They provide the shelter, clothing, affection, and security so necessary for a healthy environment. All of these provide roots. Parents also give wings and hope that the direction of flight will be toward responsible living. Perhaps the combination of roots and wings was most eloquently expressed in 1932 by Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet.

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing
for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which
you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make
them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living
arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the
infinite, and He bends you with His might that
His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also
the bow that is stable.


What gifts are you giving your children today?