My youngest son teaches a class at his workplace, which consists of many young children. The other day, one of the children decided he didn’t want to do the one, easy thing for that day that was required of him in that class. He told my son, “My mom told me that I don’t have to do anything I am not comfortable with!” My son immediately responded with, “Hey buddy, how do you expect to grow and become better, without doing hard things that make you uncomfortable.” Genius, right?! That is one of those proud parent moments we all talk about and want to experience. The little boy then went to his mother, told on my son for being too harsh a critic, and he was immediately reprimanded by this mother.
When my son related this story to me, I was flabbergasted. When did it become okay, as parents, to shelter our children and protect them so much from becoming that we become enraged at a stranger that would help and empower our child to grow, simply because that stranger’s ideas, philosophies, and beliefs, differ with our own, and aren’t in alignment with what we want? When did it become okay to raise our children to be weak, overly-comfortable, unchallenged, fragile, and rendered completely incapable of personal growth? The idea behind raising a child, in my opinion, is to ensure the child is safe, the child’s actual needs for survival are met, and to provide growth opportunities in that child’s life so the child will then, eventually, gain the confidence and self-esteem needed, to go out into the world and become a fully-functioning, contributing, valuable, successful, happy, member of society.
In the mother’s defense, I did the same exact thing for years. I am embarrassed to say that I was a helicopter parent. It was my very best I knew how to do at that younger time in my life, and I believed it was the only way. The truth is this: Our very best is good enough. Our very best is excellence.
As parents, we can only perform at the best level at which we know how to perform. When we KNOW better, we can DO better. Knowing better comes from self-introspection, self-examination, and self-awareness. Doing better comes from creating new routines and forming new habits, which will empower us with the strength, skills, and momentum we need to perform at higher levels. There is nothing a good parent wants more than to be able to learn how to do this.
Excellent parenting, just like excellent living, is an achievable, practicable skillset, that any one of us can aspire to and work hard towards. It is in the small moments that this is done. Waking up extra early to practice self-care, fill our energy cup up for the day, and prepare ourselves physically and mentally to be better and capable of doing more than the day before.
Here, on my website, are free suggestions as to how to be and do more, through habituating new skills, and implementing them into daily life in order to enhance and optimize not only YOUR healing and YOUR lifestyle, but the healing and lifestyle of your children.