“It’s the intention that drives us; it’s the unintended that defines us.”
For adults who were once children, the important thing to remember about parents is that they are, first and foremost, people. And the problem with people is that they are immensely prone to fallacy. People, as a whole, are less than ideal beings when considering other people, removing one’s self from the broader notion of humanity in order to consider humanity as a whole. Therefore, when a person becomes a parent, that parent then becomes a person with great expectation, a person unable to remove him/herself from the equation of the child’s life. And these types of parents, who hold great expectations for their child (or children) are the worst.
All of this, of course, hinges on a haughty, narcissistic belief that they—parents—embody goodness, intelligence, meaning, and are thusly good, intelligent, meaningful beings. Unfortunately, however, the mere act of procreation does not give life meaning. It may in a superficial sense, but remember, a parent is a person first, which means that that person must also be “somebody” independent of whatever offspring he/she brings forth into the world. To think otherwise is to worship the self above all things, that somehow, by doing the one thing that life does makes a person somehow meaningful when, really, that is the meaning of life.
The only reason why any of this holds any relevance in the mind of a time traveler stems from the realization that sometimes (the majority of the time, statistically speaking) parents are extremely toxic people. It’s the expectation that guides them, rather than the acceptance of whoever the child turns out to be. Yes, of course, a parent wants the “best” for a child, but what does that even mean in the context of the individual who needs to grow up before he/she can know what the best thing for him/her could even be?
Anyway, parents want a child to be something. Bad parents want a child to be something specific. And when that child does not live up to the something the parent has specified, the child has somehow failed. But think about that? In order for this delusion to be true, the parent must be a shining example of what it means to be human, furthermore, that same parent must know what a shining example of being a human is. Oh, the conceit. This, of course, is impossible. That is what being human means, in the clear reality that a mere human does not and cannot know what it means to be the thing that it is.