Parenting Series 1: What is Parenting?

I’m focusing on parent/child dynamics. I believe that there is a lot of healing that can take place in the world when people resolve issues regarding their parents. My goal is to help people move past their pain. Assisting with the release of the tension with parents and/or help release the tension with yourself. Couldn’t we all benefit from the exploration and breakdown of the first relationship we had since birth?

As I continue to explore parenting dynamics, I will be focusing on an array of different aspects of parenting. I’m going beyond the things parents are obligated to do, which is feed, clothe and shelter your child. I am really going to explore the talking aspects, the listening aspects, coming out of your comfort zone and being stretched to rise to the occasion to be patient beyond what you thought was possible.

Are you an adult child affected by a parent just showing up vs. parenting you? Has the dynamic affected you negatively, positively or a little of both? Has it affected your romantic relationships? Does it impact your parenting? I would love to hear your story, and your thoughts on this topic

1: What Is Parenting?

There is a difference between parenting and raising children. I’ve only been a parent for  9 years to 5 beautiful children, but I’ve also been someone’s kid for 33 so I can tell you a little about what worked and what didn’t.

Parenting is loving. What is loving? Loving is even when you’re pissed at your kid you don’t beat them mercilessly, you do not tell them hurtful things, you do not belittling them. Loving is finding out what’s at the root of the issue, really going deep and sorting out the problem. Loving is supporting your child gently with solutions and if there needs to be consequences the child is still left empowered while conscious of why their behavior was inappropriate.

Parenting is checking yourself at the door. Parents who aren’t self critical nor self introspective will wild out on their children without regard for their little minds and emotional development. As a parent if you do not regularly check your attitude, mood and personal growth your child could become your reason to be mean, abusive and absolutely unfair. Parenting is knowing when to take a few steps back to sort yourself out before interacting with your child. Parenting is realizing that the issue starts with you and never the child. Children take our learned behavior and internalize….check yourself at the door.

Parenting is sometimes just shutting up and listening. While it is imperative that we teach our children, don’t ever get it twisted for one second and think that our children are not our greatest teachers. Parents are already jaded and can no longer see the innocence or newness in certain things. But children can and their perspective is valid and accurate for where they are in life. Stay a while, listen to them. Some of us as parents talk way too much and it’s often unnecessary at times.

Parenting is celebrating your children for every reason and no reason. Yes, everything is worthy of celebration. At no point as parents should you stop celebrating your child because they are too old or because you think they don’t deserve it. We are their first line of defense, their internal voice and how they view themselves. There will be times when they will be bullied, left out, treated badly, and dogged out. The children who are celebrated at home, praised and honored highly will have an easier time with the ills of the world. A child who is not celebrated, honored on their bday, honored for accomplishments or if those things stop past a certain age will feel it in their minds, hearts and souls. Celebrate them, they deserve it.

Parenting is remembering that your child didn’t ask to be born. They didn’t ask you to bring them into this world. They are here, so you better be damn sure that you take your job very seriously. Love your children, be kind, go out of your way to show them…SHOW THEM…(not just talk) how to be kind by being kind to yourself and them. SHOW them the proper way to deal with anger and frustrating emotions. SHOW them the way to love themselves when they have messed up as opposed to making them feel worse. Teach them how to overcome situations that feel absolutely shitty. Teach your children about redemption and coming back from a bad situation but making a triumphant come back. Teach your children about failing, failure and the feelings that may follow. Parenting is being there through all of that and not judging them for it, making them wrong for it, or punishing them for it. You brought them here, do the right thing.

Parenting is about forgiveness. Children will mess up. Some more messed up than others and it’s okay. As parents it’s on us to forgive our children for their mistakes. Some things will be embarrassingly bad and will make you look bad too. But honestly, who cares about what other people think. Your child and you have to heal a situation and it can happen effectively if too many people are involved in the situation. Stop telling your kid’s business to everyone even in situations when we as parents cannot help ourselves to do so. You and your child find a way to move past the breach in trust. It’s your job to do it lovingly, and compassionately but firm enough so that they overstand.

Parenting is always about saying I love you, kissing, hugging and being affection with your child at every age. Every child needs this. There are no exceptions to these rules.

Parenting is not just about providing food, clothing and shelter. A homeless shelter can do that, so can an orphanage or prison. It’s not enough. Parenting is also about being emotionally intelligent with your children. Being there for them, listening and considering their feelings. It’s also about interacting with them in a positive way. Eat with them, play together, talk, hold hands, listen, laugh and be close.

Raising kids is easy…parenting is a serious thing and can be hard but so worth it!!!!!!!!

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