Raising children isn’t for the faint of heart, impatient, or selfish. It goes without saying that being a parent comes with not only responsibility on all levels, but also serves as an intense and unassuming learning experience.
As all children are uniquely different so are parenting styles. With a plethora of books, blogs, and experts available we tend to create our own little world of principles and rules to guide us. Others among us look toward our own upbringings to refer us to best practices.
Pass it on
For those out there who look to the past to raise kids, you are some of the lucky ones. With this perspective, and with a great experience of your own as a kid, the past is an indispensable tool to draw wisdom.
Timeless lessons, adolescent experiences, and some of those good-ole-fashioned “talks” are invaluable assets when raising your own children. As a bonus, and if grandparents are still around, the advice is interchangeable with generations. Enforcing, reminding, and solidifying those principles can cultivate a universal belief, value, and moral system among the family.
I’m not really a part of the above camp. When my son was born I felt like I was winging it from day one. Thank goodness for my wife. She has that certain something about child-rearing that I didn’t have.
Over time, I’ve had to eventually discover and utilize the unassuming tool of experience. I had to look within instead of to others’ experiences from the past.
In other words, instead of looking at how I was reared, I started to look back on my personal experiences as an adult for lessons, principles, and defining moments that shaped me into the person I am today. I also had to keep in mind that I’m a work in progress; a so called life long learner with no real finish line.
With that new perspective and vulnerability I could now move forward with a plan on how to at least begin parenthood. By drawing on real life experiences from going through cancer, military duty, and the countless challenges I’ve had with employment I could finally have a foundation to draw from.
To each their own
Every parent is wise whether they know it or not. We are wise on what to do and when, but also wise on what not to do. We are wise women and men in the school of parenting for the rest of our lives. We are learning every moment, sometimes dragging our tired, patient, beat-up bodies into the classroom of life putting in even more hours than yesterday.
It’s a wonderful, beautiful, wild ride and I’m so glad I got on and am thankful I have some unique experiences to pass on.
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