This article is from my 2008 collection of unposted blogs. With time on my hands (something for another post) to read those unposted articles it is very interesting for me to note that my opinions haven’t changed much in four years - perhaps you have noticed the same? But now to my subject of that rare commodity, the genuinely calm parent.
If you think that a perennially passive parent also equals a calm parent, you are sadly mistaken. Many passive parents engineer themselves to be that way, often and most particularly if they are teachers or critical care nurses or in similar occupations, in order to stay in charge and appear ‘calm’ while they are in their stressful job.
However, if these same people continue their engineered persona when they are home with their children they are depriving them of a real person, a parent who is genuinely calm or who even exhibits the normal range of emotions. Such parents rarely show enthusiasm for their babies and toddlers when picking them up from daycare at the end of the day.
I have been in the company of many career people, often women since they are still the primary caregivers when at home with their children, and on only one occasion have I known a mother who, upon returning home from work, became what I call ‘a true mother’ to her children; she was a calm and responsible mother. Yet even her children exhibited characteristics which indicated to me a poor level of childcare whilst the parents were working - flat head syndrome in one and gray pallor in the other.
The children of most of those artificially calm parents frequently show signs of behaviour problems from a very early age (under 3 years) and some I know ended up being diagnosed on the autism spectrum.
I’d like more parents to step up to the plate and show a range of genuine emotions, including being calm, so that their babies and young children have someone to learn from.