Seeing Ourselves and Our Kids Realistically

“To drive well, you have to keep your eyes skinned to notice exactly what is in front of you. To live wisely, you have to be clear-sighted and realistic — ruthlessly so — in looking at life as it is. Wisdom will not go with comforting illusions, false sentiment, or the use of rose-colored glasses. Most of us live in a dream world, with our heads in the clouds and our feet off the ground; we never see the world, and our lives in it, as they really are. This deep-seated, sin-bred unrealism is one reason why there is so little wisdom among us — even the soundest and most orthodox of us. It takes more than sound doctrine to cure us of unrealism.”

Knowing God, J.I. Packer

With 30+ years in parenting and 20+ years into overseeing a C&C school, this quote really rings true. It is very hard to see ourselves realistically and, it seems, even harder to see our kids as such. I’m reminded of the story I once heard of a pastor saying that in marriage counseling, it’s easy to get the husband to recount the sins of the wife and it’s easy to get the wife to recount the sins of the husband but if he brings up the sins of the kids, the couple is immediately on the same team defending the kids.

A school can be a great help to parents as the staff are partners that love their kids and see them “as they are” without the bias that parents often bring to the table. And yet, the school is only help to the extent parents see them as help. I’ve seen too many parents over the years who don’t want to hear what the school has to say. They immediately go into defensive mode when the sins of their children are brought to light.

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