ARE YOU YOUR PARENTS?
Have you given any thought to what kind of parent you want to be?
In the midst of all the labour and birth preparations, it can be hard to look so far ahead to how you will raise your child. Mostly you just want to survive the birth and get as much sleep as possible.
But newborns turn into toddlers.. who with the blink of an eye are teenagers!
It is not necessary to try to map out all the details of your parenting philosophy but it is a good idea to give it some thought. This is especially helpful if you are parenting with a partner. Strife in your home is easy to stir up when you disagree on parenting style. What deal breakers do each of you bring to the table? It can be a daunting conversation to have but it can clear the air and allow your family to move forward together in a more harmonious way.
Each parent starts their parenting journey from their own unique place; bringing their history and experiences right to the starting point and it is useful to know that there is more than one way to do it. Your values, ideals and notions of how humans should live will also inform how you parent. No one person has all the answers. Each child, each family and each situation is different so clear cut answers are not always accessible, necessary or good.
My philosophy is this: face in the direction you want to go with the understanding that there may be detours along the way. This is a life philosophy for me but parenting is life and so it does apply.
One of the things that many parents find helpful is to draw on the way they were parented. We can learn a whole heck of a lot from how our own parents did things, We can learn what we want to do and what we don't want to do. We appreciate some of the things our parents did and the other ones... not so much. How we were parented WILL inform the way you parent your child. Whether that is for good or not so good will be up to you. Being aware of the issues we bring to our own parenting is the first step in overcoming those issues. We can start here; Ask yourself...
What 5 things will you keep from the way you were parented?
What 5 things will you discard from the way you were parented?
There definitely will be some things about the way you were raised that you feel are worth repeating. And there surely are things that you would never want to repeat. Was it having dinner together every night? Bed time stories? Never being spanked or being spanked? Being made to do chores? Curfews? Tons of physical affection? A religious/spiritual emphasis on life? The amount of freedom or structure you had? The amount of sacrifices for education? Proximity to extended family? Siblings?
Making conscious choices about the direction we want to face in life is a big boon to lessening the anxiety of parenting. You can make those choices with an open mind and an open heart. Loving your child is a huge step in the direction you mean to walk but a map is always helpful.
Enjoy the journey!