Friday, August 11, 2006

Parenting like a penguin

Whilst dodging the packing this week, I finally got round to sitting down and watching March of the penguins, which is probably the best film I've seen this year. Absolutely amazing and inspiring watching everything they go through to raise their children, and the absolute trust that these penguins have in each other, and also, that ultimately, what will be will be.
For those who haven't seen it, emperor penguins congregate en masse in autumn and walk 70 miles to find a safe nesting ground where the ice is thick enough to be safe: then mummy and daddy penguin get together and start growing a baby. They then wait together until the egg is laid, when the fathers take over responsibility. From this point on, the parents juggle shared responsibility for their infants with the need to leave their children and meet their own needs, as otherwise the whole family will starve to death.
The point that struck home, though, was how the whole family just accepted independence as the time came right. There may have been power struggles and slamming of doors, but I didn't see them. Instead it came across as a graceful, but lonely, transition to maturity, and really hit home.
Maybe it's time to slacken the apron strings a little. My guys are having stresses, and I wonder if maybe it's time to give them a little more responsibility for themselves, their behaviour- even, maybe, their bedroom. Just pondering.

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