What Kind of Parent Will I Be?

Gema is a 19-year old from Miami, FL. She loves reading and writing young adult fiction and claims to pass out in the presence of sterile wit.

What kind of parent will I be? Strict like a military sergeant? Cool like a rock star? Loving, cold, crazy or calm? Now that I’m entering my twenties – the decade in which it’s socially acceptable to procreate – that question is looming alarmingly close. It’s waiting to surprise me with an answer.

My first issue is that I’m not even sure of what kind of parent I want to be. I have yet to see the magic parental formula, possibly because there is no perfect human to begin with. I know that I want to be a caring parent. I want to listen to everything they have to say. I want to teach them to read at an early age and introduce them to amazing books. I want authors to be their heroes. I want to be the parent that’s able to help them in their schoolwork and take them to afterschool activities. It sounds impossible because of work and other adult responsibilities that I will have – but I want to at least make the effort.

On the disciplinary side, I’d be traditional. In Spanish, there are two ways to say the word “you.” – Tu and ustedTuis colloquial and usted is proper. Usted is what you call a person of respect, like a teacher or a parent. I plan to raise my children bilingual and I would like for them to address me as usted. I get angry chills when I see children shrugging their shoulders at their parents and calling them bad names and even swearing in front of them. I would demand respect in my household and in my presence.

That’s not to say that I’d be a prude. I’d like to be the sort of parent that my children trust. It’d be a fine line to walk but it’s possible. I’ve seen it in my mother. She’s a lady in every aspect of the word. I can’t even think of cursing in front of her without feeling a pang of guilt. But at the same time, I can tell her anything. She listens. She mends broken hearts and brightens dark days. I hope that I inherit that skill.

But I have a question – do we even get to choose what kind of parent we will be or is it something innate? Do we become the parents we had or the exact opposite if the parents if they were horrible? Are the choices parents make directly influenced by the way they were raised or by the tools they’ve picked up by fellow parents? A combination? I’d like to think that we all have a choice in what kind of person – or parent, in this case – we become. What do you think?

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  1. 2/18/11: Articles for Parents This Week | Radical Parenting - February 18, 2011

    […] Still Hear them Now? Though teens still listen to the radio, most have transitioned to the Internet.What Kind of Parent Will I Be? Without a magical formula, it’s tough to imagine what kind of parent a teen will become.This […]

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