The (real) purpose of parenting

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That children must be educated is unquestionable. Not in vain is there a great quantity and variety of literature on the subject. Methods and theories about the most effective, beneficial and healthy way to raise and educate our children. We can find multiple books, videos, podcasts... You can look for interesting articles in Mom's Blog (El Blog de Mamá) or in child psychology pages. The truth is that all parents want to educate their children well, and it is common that sometimes, when having so much information, we have doubts about whether we are doing the right thing or if, on the contrary, the form of parenting (in spanish: crianza) chosen is not the most appropriate. And this doubt is normal, even for those who have more than one child.


Some mothers who will soon be going through or have already gone through their third childbirth continue to feel certain doubts within themselves, because it is evident that the upbringing of their other children has not been and is not being perfect, because unfortunately, perfection is still demanded of mothers, but this perfection, let's face it, does not exist. And that is why the essential thing in any upbringing, beyond the methods we are going to use, is to look for the way to give an answer to a question that is tricky, since it seems very easy but in reality it is not so easy 

What do we want our children to be? 

What do we want to achieve as a result of parenting? Do we want to raise our children to develop all their inclinations and abilities? Do we want for our offspring a comfortable and uncomplicated life? Or is it enough for us not to get in the way too much? Are we the kind of parents who have stipulated in a roadmap every day of their children's lives, controlling everything from their meals to their hobbies and the profession they should have? Do we prefer to give him so much freedom that he feels alone and without direction or guidance when he fails on his way? It is interesting to try to answer these questions honestly, although it would be natural to answer the first question that titles this section with a single sentence: I want my child to be happy.

This statement implies greater difficulty than it may seem at first, since happiness cannot be offered like buying a toy. Raising happy children implies raising functional and prepared children, adapted and adaptable to the changes of the world in which they are going to live, even when their parents are not there. So, from that point on, we have to find the difficult and necessarily balanced path of upbringing for a happy and full life. And for that both parents need to be coordinated and in agreement in the happiness objectives of their children. The direction of parenting is once established consciously, and often unconsciously, by the goals of parenting. 

Think about what goals you want to achieve in parenting!

We should talk about educational and developmental goals when we are in a reasonable and conscious state. Are we often in this state? Day-to-day life, work, family commitments... there are many factors that can cause parents to live in a habitual way without thinking, being in an unconscious state or in an automaton mode. In this way they do not raise their children, they only live with them and only attend to their most basic needs, such as eating or sleeping. How? In different ways ... Sometimes they 'get rid' of the children, they get rid of the children, and sometimes they give the children everything they ask for 'so that they don't bother', thinking that in this way all their needs are being met. However, raising a child requires quality time, and that quality time sometimes makes up for more than all the automaton time you can devote to your child. 

Quality Time vs. Automaton Time

What is quality time? Quality time is that time you spend focusing solely and exclusively on your child and the parenting goals you have agreed upon for him or her and that have as a goal that he or she is happy. And to do that, you need to know them well. This quality time is about that, the more and better you know your child, the easier you will find the way to raise him or her, the child himself will show you the way, just focus. 

In the long run, quality time can be much more productive than robot time, because a well-bred and educated child brings far fewer problems and more satisfaction. 

The time of automaton is that in which we are with our children without paying attention to them, without really getting to know them or to attend to their real needs, and also without being able to see and correct in time some attitudes or ways of acting that could cause problems in the future, and that will force us to invest more time and efforts to try to revert them.


At the same time, a well-educated child is still better than a poorly educated child. Poorly educated children are wild children who live their own desires and perceive everyone around them as something they can use or need to fight. On the contrary, a child with an elementary education is already a person you can take almost anywhere with no problem, knowing that it will not cause any trouble. Yes, he is still a child, but at least a well educated child.

And what is the task of advanced parents who want and can do more?

As a general rule, good parents want to raise their children, first of all, healthy physically and mentally, developed (sports, culture, education and even more school curriculum), intelligent (free thinking, vivid and precise), decent (respect other people, take care not only of myself), happy, creative and disciplined, willing to face life's difficulties and able to carry out great life projects.


In setting goals for learning and development, parents are attentive to three things: 

1) what is demanded in life

2) to the child's inclinations and abilities 

3) to what the child himself wants 

But this is all, really, a minimal task. Safer parents who are willing to invest in their children set more ambitious goals. They often want more and better educated children, making the most of all their abilities and with great preparation for their future. All of this can be very good if it is what the child is demanding, however, sometimes you run the risk of forgetting the answer we gave to the big question. Because of course we want our children to be better than us, but above all we want them to be happy, and no other priority should come before that. 

In this way we can have happy adults who in turn raise happy children, that is the ultimate task in parenting: to educate children so that they themselves raise children who will be happy. In this way, the short term project 'child' becomes a long term project: family. A happy family, a saga of happy people.

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