what parents want

April 9th, 2012

Speaking only for myself, of course.

When our children are infants, we want them to be normal.

When they are toddlers, we want them to be competent.

When they are preschoolers, we want them to be geniuses.

When they are kindergarteners, we want them to have friends.

When they are first graders, we want them to be polite.

When they are third graders, we want them to be gifted.

When they are fifth graders, we want them to be talented.

When they are middle schoolers, we want them to be competitive.

When they are high schoolers, we want them to be ambitious.

When they are in college, we want them to be elite.

When they are adults, we want them to be normal.

If you’re near San Francisco, join me for “The Art of Non-Parenting,” a public presentation at  Central Elementary School in Belmont on Thurs., May 31.


  1. you rock, mama

    Comment by Colleen Ludka — April 10, 2012 @ 6:45 am

  2. How true. And very capable of ruining my very peace of mind. Because the consistently normal children seem to live elsewhere.

    Comment by Harmke — April 10, 2012 @ 8:11 am

  3. Every parent should go to a meeting like this. Too bad it’s a couple of thousand k’s from where I live, or I’d go 🙂
    At least I learnt an important lesson from my daughter (who was almost 6 at the time) about wanting things. We were talking about what she wanted to do when she grew up, what would she like to be, and in the end she cried out ‘but I don’t want to become anything!’
    I could only agree with her.

    Comment by Daniel Hake — April 10, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

  4. What I wanted:
    At one for my daughter to be able to walk
    At two for her to be potty trained
    At three to ride a bike

    Well neither of these were met at all and I have learnt to accept that with love, now all I want is for her to be happy (she has Joy as a second name for a reason) and to come into her-self.
    She has just learnt to walk with stilts and she is starting practicing on a uni-bike. Isn’t that wonderful.

    Comment by Simone — April 11, 2012 @ 12:08 am

  5. sometimes the scars are deep and wounds so raw that wanting a child who breathes is enough

    Comment by MJ — April 11, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

  6. Are you able to do the public presentation “talk” on your blog please?! I would love to hear what you are going talking about, as well as the questions people will be asking you, but, like one of the people above, we can’t get there (we live in Australia).
    BTW – I love your books and blog – thank you for all your hard work and time on these.

    Comment by Magda — April 11, 2012 @ 9:13 pm

  7. Yay! You’re going to be in my neck o’ the woods. I hope to see you there, Maezen.

    xo Robin

    Comment by Robin — April 11, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

  8. You once told me in a dream “Your parents would want you to have white teeth.” It’s a nice koan for me.

    Comment by Honmei — April 13, 2012 @ 8:47 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

archives by month