22 Oct What matters when it comes to Parenting……..
At its best, parenting is about showing up for ourselves and our children as often as we can, with as much kindness as we can muster. When we do that, over and over again, we are getting parenting right, even when it feels like we are doing everything wrong.
We are showing our children, in the most powerful and meaningful way possible, that we love them, that we are committed to them, and that they are worthy of our time, attention, and energy.
And each time we make the choice to focus on our own needs, we’re telling ourselves that we matter deeply as well, and we are modelling the importance of self-awareness and self-care.
Practicing something – anything – isn’t always fun, and we can feel frustrated and defeated at times. Fortunately, the power of practice is that we get better at it. And I believe everyone can get better at parenting.
Rather, if you take the time to really figure out what is going on for you and your child, if you can learn to trust your experience, you’ll figure out what you need to do, which may range from hanging out in the emotional mud with your child until the storm clears, to consulting an expert for advice on how to handle tricky situations or ongoing challenges. As long as you stick around – physically, mentally, and emotionally – as much as you can, whatever you do will be good enough. Really.
Whatever challenges we may face, we learn to focus our energy and attention on the factors that will keep us as connected as possible to our children – and as grounded as possible in the process.
The reality is that most of us spend a great deal of our mental energy stressing about the details we think we can control and whether or not we got them right.
There is no question that we need to spend time reflecting, planning, and learning from others, but more often than not, our time and energy are best spent acknowledging and accepting what is actually happening so we can move forward, rather than getting lost in temporary details, the perceptions (or misperceptions) of others, the past, the future, or things that we have very little control over. The trick is to notice that we’ve gotten ourselves lost, and then bring ourselves back, again and again, to the stuff that matters.
Excerpted from Parenting in the Present Moment by Carla Naumburg, PhD © 2014 Parallax Press.