“My child would never do that!”
Actually having a child and being in the trenches raising said child will make you a liar.
A big, fat liar.
Of course the definition of “that” evolves over the years. At first “that” is a pacifier that your future child will never become dependent on. “That” will become your toddler sleeping in your bed. “That” will become your elementary aged child talking back and catching an attitude. “That” becomes an iPhone that your child will never receive in middle school. “That” will become a crime that your child will never commit.
That that that that that.
I can remember many times secretly rolling my eyes when people would say that their child would never do or say something, because I and everyone else knew the truth: They were doing and saying all of that and more.
I have only been a parent for (almost) six years, but I have heard people say that my whole life. Parents and non-parents alike. So, is it naivity, pride, or desperately trying to convince oneself of something? For me it was projection. I thought I knew it all because I had read every book I could get my hands on, I helped with my siblings growing up, and I babysat every day for years and years. (I know all of my seasoned friends are laughing by this point because there is no comparison to having an actual child. One that no book or second-hand experience can ever come close to.)
No child is perfect. No adult is perfect. No person is perfect. Can we all just agree on that one phrase? No one is perfect! I cannot stress that enough. We have to stop thinking that our children are perfect. First of all, it just ain’t the truth. Secondly, we are projecting unrealistic expectations on them which can ruin their lives. Third, it makes you look ignorant and out of touch. The list goes on and on.
How do we combat that? Grace. Forgiveness. Mercy. Unconditional love. Prayer. Those are just a few.
I will never claim to have all of the answers in this adventure of life. All I know is that I love my children, imperfections and all, and will never claim that they are incapable of doing and saying “that.” Whatever “that” may be. I can do my very best to impart love and kindness to them. I can try my hardest to steer them in the right direction and instill morals and good judgement into them. However, at the end of the day, it is all their choice: I cannot fight their battles or make their choices for them. (That makes me think of God and how He must feel about all of us, but that if for another blog post!)