I recall a conversation between the two of us:
"when I was your age,
I was like this [fill in the blank]
and I think you should be doing this [fill in the blank] too."
To which my little boy responded:
"I'm not like you. I'm my own person, Mom."
At the time, I didn't know what to say back to him.
What I wanted was for him to be the person
I wanted him to be...
I was inexperienced.
we both grew up.
He is now a man with a wife and a job.
I'm grateful that I didn't do much permanent damage
to his little ego,
that he was stubborn enough
to be true to his inner voice.
The truth is,
he was a really sweet little guy.
If I could have a do-over of his young childhood,
I would so take that and run with it.
The older I get,
the more I realize how important it is for us
as parents to let our children
be the Leaders once in awhile.
I don't always have to know all the right answers
to all the questions.
some questions have many right answers,
we just have to be open-minded to see the possibilities.
It's called Evolution.
We're here on this earth to learn how to live happily.
We're supposed to make mistakes and learn from our children.
And it's important to realize that
our kids need permission to live and learn
and not be berated for their mistakes,
or too afraid to admit they've erred
for fear of the consequences.
I am a believer in Love and Logic
Common Sense still needs to be taught though.
And Natural Consequences are great Teachers.
The foundation for parenting,
in my humble opinion,
is mutual respect.
And before you think I became a parent knowing this,
let me assure you,
I did not.
Having been raised by wolves,
I had to learn this Mutual-Respect stuff
by trial and error.
I had to Educate my Self;
by looking honestly at my parenting skills,
reading parenting books,
talking to other parents whom I respected,
asking for divine help at every turn.
I wanted to be a better parent
than the parents I had.
Honestly, once I realized how much I didn't know
and how much mercy I needed for my own
faults and flubs,
I repented and gratefully accepted the fact
that I am capable of change.
And with that understanding of my Self,
came the awareness
that I also needed
to acknowledge the
in my children.
we are continually evaluating our methods--
somethings work with some kids at some times
and somethings don't...
so we re-evaluate our methods of training
though the principals we're trying to
remain the same.
I have found
and continue to find evidence
that this approach to life and parenting,
works for my family.
The ability to say to my children,
"Hey did you learn from this experience?
Have you evolved from your previous knowledge
to something higher?"
--has been a blessing for all of us.
What parenting philosophy works in your family?
Dawn aka Momza, is the Mother of 7, Gramza to a Ninja Baby,
Midwife Asst./Doula, Home Stager, Writer, and Convert to the LDS faith. She lives in the Colorado Rockies and blogs about it all at Momza's House.