When The ‘Better Parent’


There are now plenty of broken families scattered across the face of the nation. We live in a time when intact families are now becoming less and less the norm. This change in our social structure is due to many reasons but the end result is that often children are being raised under two roofs instead of one. The expectations and rules can vary wildly from one roof to the other.

Over the course of my life I have observed a pattern of how the children perceive life under the ‘two roofs.’ When they are young or in their teens, immature, and inexperienced, they seem to love and adore living under the roof of whoever requires the least. This of course is natural. Where nothing is expected or required, no bar is set. You cannot disappoint parents that require nothing. It is so fun to live under a ‘no expectation’ roof, because…well…you are bathed in freedom.

The problem of course is that there are consequences of that “freedom.” Often we don’t have enough maturity to recognize that when we are young. But when those consequences later come calling for payment, it is usually the maligned second roof children run to! Why? Because wisdom and structure brings forth safety and peace! Often, when children look back they recognize that the home with rules was the home of love.

Often I hear the Savior of the world used as the role model for being understanding and loving of all. But a ‘not so careful’ study of his teachings reveals that He required a lot of his followers. Forgiving, kind, and loving, yes! But as the Son of God, He required a lot to gain eternal life. It is written all through the scriptures. Of this there is no doubt!

So I believe that if the Savior of the world required much, parents can’t be too far off if they require much of the children they raise. Such parents hope that encouragement to standards will development the best in their offspring and bring them closer to true happiness and freedom from the consequences of sin; the recognition of such by children when they mature, will bring forth true thanksgiving to parents who have the courage to hold the line.

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