the pressure on parents to raise the perfect child

"The Perfect Child" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
“The Perfect Child” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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The pressure on parents to raise perfect kids is enormous. This is also true in the church. I know because Lisa and I raised three of them, and they grew up in the church. The judgmental eyes on our children, and therefore on us, were all-seeing.

We were constantly on guard and frequently tempted to be embarrassed because of our kids.

But we chose to let them grow up, experiment, make mistakes, and find their own way… because we wanted them to grow up strong, free, and independent.

They did.

But oh my I could tell stories from the journey that got us here.


7 Replies to “the pressure on parents to raise the perfect child”

  1. Great cartoon David! Spot on with the pressure on parents. Multiply that for those in churches, and then multiply it again for those in leadership in churches!!!

    We were pastors and we received loads of advice on raising our children. Everything from more discipline, to less discipline, to changing one of our children’s names because someone believed a demon had attached itself to the name we chose for our child! People targeted our children to gain favor with the church leadership – like the man who was helping with Sunday School who insisted my 11 year old daughter speak in tongues, laying hands on her and yelling at her in front of the other kids – all without our knowledge. He then bragged to everyone about his success. It was years later our daughter finally told us how terrified she was.

    I was so proud of our youngest son. When he was only 5 there was a visiting prophet in a crowded hall who called him out for a prophetic word. He said no. The prophet said he’d come to him and began to walk towards him. My son came to me and slipped behind my skirt and said no. I stupidly stood there, feeling for my son but frozen in the spotlight. The prophet walked right up to us and asked one more time, gently, for my son to come for prayer. My son looked out from behind my skirt and said “Why should I listen to you when you’re not listening to me?”

    He was spot on and I gave him a big hug and we left the room. But sure enough word went around that the prophet had called him out and he had “run screaming from the building” (the exact words). Those who wanted to make a case against us embellished our son’s healthy response. It’s absolutely shameful that people can be ignorant and abusive to that degree, and I regret not protecting my children more. My biggest regret, and I’m still hurt and angry many years later.

    I so appreciate you drawing attention to this David. I’m glad your kids survived and are doing well!

  2. My son looked out from behind my skirt and said “Why should I listen to you when you’re not listening to me?”

    THAT was the Word of Prophecy right there!

  3. This is a ‘BIT LATE’ in commenting but having read ‘Headless’s’ post I had to respond.

    Your SON is a budding GENIUS!! I’ve been chuckling about this for the last half hour as I regurgitate it in my tiny brain.


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