Parenthood – it is the most rewarding but challenging role you will ever be fortunate to experience. I say this based on my own experience and feel grateful to have been blessed with my own child and realise not everyone will get to have this experience. Whether it is by choice or other reasons, it is an individual choice and sometimes, it is not a choice but one thrust upon them or taken away. It is and will be an emotional roller-coaster and steep learning journey.
Speaking to friends, other parents and mums, the challenges we face when bringing up our children can be heartbreaking to watch especially if it is something to your child’s detriment. The problem at times is often the cause of another person or other people, who most times will have issues themselves which have not been dealt with or resolved.
Our children become who we are so it is important that we are who we want them to be. I’m not saying this is easy – it is the hardest lesson to learn and one that you sometimes wish other parents would understand. The way your child is treated by other children are often the result of how that child has observed their parents/ families treat each other or other people. Our children tend to learn more from what we are then from what we teach. In saying this, I feel it then becomes imperative as parents to practice what we preach. If we teach compassion, then we need to show it. If we teach love and tolerance, we also need to practice it.
I find that when I speak to other mums, the issues that children are facing may be lessened if as parents, we all walked the talk! We need to put or money where our mouths are! I feel children are smarter than we sometimes give them credit for – they are a blank canvas and easily play, talk and learn from each other regardless of gender, religion or ethnicity. They can become tainted with the brush of adulthood – often what we observe we don’t like in our children or others is because we may recognise that behaviour in ourselves. If we would like that to change, we need to start with ourselves first. This is not an easy task, I feel it is something that requires constant insight, meditation and removing judgement.
I am teaching my child to remember that we can’t change/ control the way other people think, feel or behave but we can control our own thoughts, emotions and behaviour. This is something that is hard to learn at any age, let alone a child. It’s been challenging but I feel I’m slowly making progress. It is also something that I need to remember when I’m reacting to something. I have explained to my daughter that it is OK to feel whatever emotions she is feeling but not OK to let it control her or everything in her life. She is in control of that and how she behaves/ reacts to the situation or person(s).
I’ve always said to my daughter “What other people say about you is none of your business”. People will always say things about you, whether it is right or wrong and it helps not to take it to heart. What matters is that my daughter knows herself what is right and behaves accordingly. One of my friends said something that resonated with me when I spoke to her about this – she said that if she doesn’t know/ hear about what other people are saying about her then it doesn’t matter. I agreed and thought it is a great attitude to have towards it because people will always talk about other people, like Taylor Swift says “Haters gonna hate”. You can’t live your life based on what you think other people are saying about you.
I’ve written this post a result of ruminating on something a good friend and I spoke about – challenges her son is facing which as a parent, is heartbreaking to watch your child go through something and feel as though you can’t fix it for them. Sometimes your child needs to go through the experience to learn the lesson from it. And, as a result, sometimes as a parent we need to support our child through it even if it feels like it is from afar. As a parent, I am constantly challenged and continually learning – it is something that I feel is moulding me in a positive way that helps me to help my child Laugh. Love.Live to the full – Peace and blessings!