I marked this section from a recent book I read, Live Wire by Harlan Coben. I like it.
" . . . let me tell you something about parenting -- something none of those self-help books or parenting magazines will tell you." Dad turned and leaned in closer. "We parents grossly overestimate our importance. I know you think that your mother and I are the most amazing parents. I'm glad. I really am. We were good parents, I guess. Most are. Most are trying their best, and if they make mistakes, it's from trying too hard. But the truth is, we parents are at the most, say, auto mechanics. We can tune up the car and make sure it has the proper fluids. We can keep it running, check the oil, make sure it is road ready. But the car is still the car. When the car comes in, it's either a Jaguar or a Toyota or Prius. You can't turn a Toyota into a Jaguar. I know the analogy isn't the best and now that I think about it, it doesn't really hold because it sounds like a judgment, like the Jaguar is better than the Toyota or something. It's not. It's just different with different needs. Some kids come out shy; some are outgoing; some are bookish; and some or jocks, whatever. The way we raise you doesn't really have much to do with it. Sure, we can instill values and all that, but we usually mess up when we try to change what is already there."