What kind of a parent do you want to be?
Guest post from Christina Fletcher
A child sees an ornament or beautiful item at a store, and in her own curiosity and wonder reaches up to touch it, to feel it, to know it.
As a parent, we see it from the other angle… will the ornament break, will the store person get stressed, will our child do something wrong… will we “get into trouble” or even just embarrassed?
The mirage of thought traffic that goes through our heads at that moment is almost bottlenecked, often resulting in a snapping remark of “Don’t Touch” or grabbing a child before fleeing out the door.
We then feel guilty or awkward, knowing within that we might have repressed our child’s own sense of curiosity.
As parents, we often forget that we are also still people as well. We carry with us baggage from our own childhood, from beliefs of how we should act, how our children should act and often we don’t pack light. From the moment we sit with our children in our arms for the first time, we can feel pulled in all directions, scrambling to uncover what we really think and feel: Who are we each in this role of a parent, what is important to us, what do we want our children to know for sure?
I think for many of us the simple answer is Love. We want our children to feel loved and whole. We want our children to feel supported and confident as they grow.
But then daily parenting experiences happen, and they happen fast. That reaching for a breakable object takes mere seconds. We all need to do the inner work and self-development sometimes to shift our own patterns so we can react as the parents we WANT to be. We don’t become that ideal version of ourselves overnight, it really is about learning, defining and growing, along with our children we love.
This parenting art is a lifelong journey, but it can’t wait. For each day we practice being the parent we wish to be, the more secure our children feel in themselves along this journey. The more we offer our own growth and vulnerability the more our children get to witness self-development and improvement. The more they get to witness, the more they learn of the journey itself; they don’t need to be perfect and in all honesty, neither do we.
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