Monday, March 26, 2012

all the love in the world

Joel and I had the chance to attend a parenting seminar over the weekend - it was a welcomed chance to get training at something there is typically no training for.  You get trained to drive.  Trained to ride a bike before taking off training wheels, training for new employment....but anyone can parent.

Sad but true.

I sat there reviewing notes and learning about my tendencies.  How I control.  How I want perfection from my children, perhaps in a way to want perfection from myself.  I took a breath and realized how much more important it is for my sons to grow up with this simple fact: You are loved.  Your feelings matter.  Your thoughts and expression mean a lot to me even if I don't always agree.

Parenting can be so taboo - we can so easily judge other children by how they behave, how they dress, how they speak and the truth is -every kid is so incredibly valuable - their ability to take in life and NOT judge is sometimes what I envy most.  While it's so easy to 'say' what other parents might be doing wrong, I fear how that could even affect your own children.  I fear what our own sons would think of hearing me judge another child....putting them into a place 'I need to make sure I'm not like that so Mom/Dad will approve...."

BAM!  There it is.  Performance Mentality is born.

It happened in me - perhaps as an only child more exposed to adult discussions or situations - trying not to become like what others 'disapproved' of so massively.  In reality, I was learning the art of lying & ability to manipulate others into seeing in me what I wanted them to see.

Fast forward.  I'm the parent.  I see 2 angelic (sometimes) boys who love life, enjoy being tickled & reading stories.  While I must teach them to adopt our rules & authority, I value them simply for being able to be who they are....without fear of me judging it, forcing them to change or simply choking out their desire to speak openly.

I guess if we can grow sons who know they are safe, loved & heard....that will be a tremendous start at creating in them the desire to have the same in their own little families.  One day at a time.

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