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April 23, 2017

What “This is Us” taught me about my parenting and teens

This is Us, Jack and Rebecca
Image credit: This is Us Facebook page

Jack and Rebecca Pearson taught me a valuable lesson about parenting.

Thanks to NBC’s “This is Us,” I have learned that no matter what my husband and I do, our children are going to have issues.

No matter how good our intentions are.

No matter how much love we pour into them.

No matter how much we teach them.

They are going to struggle.

They are going to make mistakes.

Kate endures a lifelong battle with weight and body image. Randall battles perfectionism and anxiety. Kevin wrestles with insecurity.

Despite everything Jack and Rebecca invested in them.

And that’s OK.

This is Us
Image: This is Us Facebook page

Despite their best intentions, the writers from “This is Us” didn’t create a perfect family. They created a real one.

Real families struggle. It’s comforting to see Jack and Rebecca second-guess; I’ve lost track of the times I’ve wondered about how my decisions would impact my children.  Did I do the right thing? If I didn’t, will they grow up to be mature and responsible adults?

Watching the adult Pearson children gives me pause. Viewers know that Jack died at some point during the Big Three’s teen years, but producers have yet to show how he passed. Nonetheless, the patriarch’s death has a lasting and painful impact on the family. As adults, Kate, Kevin and Randall obviously love each other, but their love for their mother seems strained. What happened during those volatile years? What’s happening during my teens’ volatile years?

Relationships with teens can often feel strained in and of themselves. They’re pulled toward a strong desire for independence, yet they’re not quite ready for the responsibilities that come with that desired freedom. Adult bodies with child-like brains. As a parent, we’re struggling to hold on just a little bit longer so we can squeeze in as many life lessons as we can. Our children are wriggling free.

No matter how good our intentions are.

No matter how much love we pour into them.

No matter how much we teach them.

They are going to struggle.

They are going to make mistakes.

Because this is us.

In real life.

This is Us
Image: This is Us Facebook page

 

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