Being a parent is a role that can bring up intense emotions. You can experience great joy, pride, and happiness as well as fear, frustration, and self-doubt. There’s never a dull moment in a parent’s life!
Children don’t come with instructions on how to raise them as you embark the journey of nurturing and guiding your child through life. You will have to lean into your own experience growing up with your parents, read about how to raise a child, be vulnerable and ask friends and family members how they deal with certain situations and behaviors, but there will be times that you will feel lost as a parent. Using the present moment and the dynamic you have with your child will offer information about what you need to do.
The journey of being a parent is about self-discovery and learning a whole new set of skills that require self-awareness and commitment. Being a parent requires action, not just words. You have to “walk the talk” to be able to model for your children the behaviors you want to see in them. My invitation is that you work on yourself as a parent and embody the person you want your child to be. It doesn’t have to be a perfect person. It needs to be an authentic person, someone who is connected, and open to learn new things and make mistakes. We don’t teach our children by telling them how to be and act. We teach them how to be by being that person!
Teaching kindness and compassion to your children will require being kind and compassionate towards them and others, but especially towards yourself. You will make mistakes as a parent. How you deal with them and mend those mistakes will make a difference in your child’s connection to you and how they learn to express their emotions and deal with failure. Wheatear you have an infant or a teen, your children need to see you acting on the values that you’re teaching them. You need to be their champion and role model.
Next time your children trigger a mood in you, instead of reacting out of frustration, take the time to sit with those feelings and uncover what is upsetting you. If you have difficulties managing your emotions and you tend to react to your children, feel insecure and lost as a parent, counseling can help you learn ways to accept and cope with your emotions, learn the skills you need to be effective, and really enjoy your role as a parent.
“What we are teaches the child more than what we say,
so we must be what we want our children to become.”
Joseph Chilton Pearce
Book Recommendation: The Journey of the Heroic Parent
When a child is hurting, it can be the most painful challenge a parent will face. With compassion and perspective, Dr. Brad Reedy offers hope and wisdom for children who struggle and the parents who love them. The Journey of the Heroic Parent presents a journey to a happier, healthier relationship with your struggling child—and yourself, through connection and resilience.