When we think of parent, we may think of words like:
And while all of those words may be true, one of the greatest words we can use to describe a parent is:
I don’t think I’ve ever learned more in my life — of both what I know and what I don’t know — than when I was placed in the position of being a parent.
It’s humbling. It’s frustrating. It pushes on what we think should be happening and how things should be and really requires us to bow and to bend to what we need to see and where we need to shift.
So, here is a list — not an exhaustive one — of some of what I’ve learned from parenting. I would love for this to be a conversation and hear from you
What has parenting taught you?
Here are a few of mine..
– If I lead with kindness in my communication, my kiddo has a better chance of choosing kindness too.
– When I am safe enough inside of myself to admit when I’m wrong, I’m letting my kid know they’re safe when they blow it too.
– Kids will know how to have strong and important conversations with their peers if I let them practice strong and important conversations with me at home.
– Kids don’t have to speak their minds perfectly; they need to practice speaking their minds, freely, at first, and then, freely with finesse. It’s easier to teach finesse than freedom.
– If I expect my child to please me because I’m the parent; they will find another person in their life to either please or to rebel against.
– If I expect my child to please me in my neediness; they will forfeit their ability to listen in to their own true, deep, and real needs.
– If I can use my words to ask my student or neighbor’s kiddo to do something, then I don’t have to use my hands with my own child.
– I don’t have to win points with my child or against my child when I simply love my child and want us both to win at being loved.
– If I heal myself of my past wounds, my children will enjoy more of my conscious actions and less of my subconscious reactions.
– Making kids afraid of you so they’ll do what you want might make life easier for you right now, but it makes life harder for them later.
– We’re not raising obedient robots; we’re raising thoughtful humans. If they can’t think for themselves; they can’t trust themselves.
– Sarcastic communication from a parent can sometimes leave a child unsure of where they truly stand. Especially in the middle school years when the child might feel on shaky ground.
-Speaking honestly about what I know and what I don’t know allows my child the freedom to not know everything.
– Learning alongside my child on where Uzbekistan is (or how to spell it) shows my kiddo what learning looks like at any age.
– Taking my kiddo to Uzbekistan will show them all of our best common traits and our most wonderful differences.
– The media and news are not interested in telling me the whole truth; choose your sources wisely. In fact, when in doubt, turn off the news and go check things out for yourself.
– Don’t assume. Kids hate it just as much as adults do.
– Nature helps a child (and parent) recalibrate and recenter to their relaxed and peaceful self.
– Feeding kids a bunch of sugar, processed food, and stimulating media and then, expecting them to sit still, listen, and pay attention isn’t a realistic expectation for a child.
– Don’t punish a kid by taking away recess. They probably need to run and play to get their edgy energy out that got them into a time-out in the first place.
– If I choose sleep over Netflix, I will be more ready for that inevitable middle-of-the-night little one with a nightmare or a fever — or a teen with a story to tell, or something to confess and get off their chest.
– If I take time to live my dreams, I’m not being selfish; I’m teaching my kids that their dreams matter, too.
– Parents need a date night on a regular basis; and kids need them to have it.
– Sharing with other parents about when I blow it with my kids allows me the chance to feel understood and supported and that could open up some conversations for creative solutions I hadn’t considered before.
– One pair of shoes with gratitude is better than 100 pairs with entitlement.
– Playing with Legos and blocks is important for grown-ups, too.
– Stepping on Legos inspires a whole new set of vocabulary words for parents.
– Swearing in front of a child is different than swearing at a child.
– Singing Happy Birthday two times through slowly while your kiddo is brushing his teeth is a great way to get them to brush longer AND feel really special every day (plus, it starts a habit of them singing it to themself each morning and what a nice way to start the day; treating yourself like you’re special and the day is a celebration of you!)
I could add at least a thousand more!
What has parenting taught you?
Can’t wait to hear…