The most challenging, rewarding, hurtful, and humbling experience in my life is being a parent of a handsome, loving son and a teenager.
It’s taken me 15 years to get an idea of how to parent or rather be the best “guide” for my son through his life, and that is to surrender to my son, support and empower him to be the best he can be – whatever that is. Up until now, I have not done that. I am saddened by this because those early years are gone.
When I say surrender, I don’t mean to stop guiding him, but to be watchful of how I communicate with him as a parent and always question where my reactions are coming from and what is triggering them.
I don’t remember reading in any parenting magazines or books that parenting is all about me.. What I say to my child, “rules” I create in my home, how I relate to my child is all about me based on mypersonal experiences as a child.
I learned that my parenting “style” was influenced by how I was raised, how I responded to my own parents, how I managed my own happiness and anger, how I was loved, spoken to, and treated by my parents and others. As a result I developed my own philosophy of life as a youth, as an adult, and now as a mother.
For example, when I was a teenager, back in the late 1960’s there were no cell phones. I would take off with my friends and not return for hours. My mother let me do pretty much what I wanted and there was no discipline or accountability for my behavior (yes, I was a “wild” child :-)).
With my son, I get annoyed if he doesn’t check in with me using his cell phone to tell me where he is. This is an area of strong disagreement between us. Here is where I began to see that I needed to surrender as a parent – somewhat to nurture his need to be independent.
I wanted my son to know and live my philosophy of life – do what I say, because I asked you to, could that have been done a better way? Now I feel I could have nurtured him better, chosen different words, created a more loving environment by using kinder words.
Now my son, and it could be a teenager thing, a teenager phase, he wants nothing to do with me. “Ouch”. But his “teenager behavior” made me reflect on my own behavior. If I focus on what I think he should do , say, or, be, how is that helping him?
I share this with you because if you’re a mom-to-be I want you to learn from my mistakes. You can guide and nurture at the same time. You can guide your child in learning how to tie his shoes through loving words instead of “c’mon, you know how to do this! We’ve only done it a million times already!”
Children are precious, so very precious and they are babies, toddlers, and 10-years-old for a very short time. Hug them often, be inspired by them, empower them.
My son has taught me so much and I am forever grateful to him. Children are our teachers, we just need to listen. They don’t always have the words to say what they feel, but their behaviors will tell you.
Watch this video,