The Duck Effect

My wife and I were at Mass one Sunday with our kids.  It was kind of a circus – the kids were wiggly and talking.  I had to take the older two out on separate occasions, and our youngest started howling after dropping a toy she’d been playing with. 

It was a pretty typical Sunday for us, and we mostly praying that we weren’t going to get the stink eye from anyone around us.

After Mass had ended, an older couple started heading over to us.  My first thought was “Uh-oh. Here it comes.”  But instead they told us how great it was to see young families at Church and how well our kids did during Mass. 

Again, my pessimistic thought was“Who?  Our kids?  Seriously?”

But I realized that we, as parents, can tend to assume the worst about other people’s reactions to us, and about how we’re doing in raising our kids.  If our kids trip, skin their knees, and cry while we’re picking them up to comfort them, not everyone is going to assume that we’re horrible and negligent parents.

As parents, we can be tempted to feel discouraged when things aren’t going perfect.  But perfection isn’t the goal. 

Kids will have tantrums, they will get sick, they will do things that boggle the mind and leave us asking “What were you thinking?!” We will not always be on time.  Our houses will not always be pristine.  Dinner will sometimes be scrambled eggs and a bowl of cereal rather than a four-course meal.   We can shoot for these things, sure, but they’re not the most important part of parenting.

The most important part of parenting is to connect with our kids, and help them understand that they are loved and worth spending time with.

This website is a place with resources, tips, and suggestions for parents looking to engage their kids with love, and gain a little hope on seemingly hopeless days.  This is a place to take a stand against discouragement and start choosing to look at the hundreds of tiny, surprising joys that make up parenting and can easily be overlooked in the chaos of the day.

Welcome to The Duck Effect.

         -Michael

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