The Psychic Parent

Every good parent has a sort of psychic ability. You know, the eyes in the back of your head thing. If your child isn’t where he or she is supposed to be, or is doing something wrong, you sense it. Somehow you’re just tuned in to your child’s frequency.

Notice I said “good” parent, though. Just because you have a child does not mean you automatically acquire this skill. Some people never get it, and others seem to be able to turn it on and off at will. Those are the ones who accidentally leave an infant in a car at high noon in July. Or the ones who let their 4 year old wander off at the mall. Or the mother who is so focused on the boyfriend that her kid drowns in the tub.

Of course, the situation is not always that extreme. Often what happens is the child grows ups feeling overlooked, uncared for, or vaguely unsafe. But this, too, can have a profound lifelong psychological impact.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with never acquiring the psychic parent skill, if you choose not to become a parent. Not everyone should be one. Just because you’re physically capable of reproducing does not necessarily mean that you should. I have nothing but respect for people who know themselves well enough to make thoughtful life choices.


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