The other day I had an awakening. Some of the things we do as parents have a direct correlation to the way we were parented ourselves. That could mean something different for every one of us, which also means it’s part of the reason why we parent our children differently.
In order to fully understand this we have to think back to your our childhoods: how we were raised, how we were punished, what the rules of the house were.What did you feel like when you were in trouble? Do you now have those same rules for your children? How do you feel now as a parent?
Remember the universal saying we directed at our parents when we were kids and teens? “I’m never going to be like you when I grow up!” Well, I’m here to tell you despite our protesting, sometimes the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I remember thinking that I never wanted to parent the same way my mom and dad did but now I definitely parent similarly. Why? Because that is what I know; it’s how I grew up and there’s just no getting around that!
I was in an ECFE class when I was first introduced to this topic and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. When we first started talking about it I was calm and collected… and then I became a little rattled. I even shed a tear in front of the other parents and it made me realize how much I take this topic to heart and that at the end of the day, dang it, we are all human and we are doing the best we can!
I looked around the room and I knew I wasn’t the only one questioning my ways. We are not perfect. We are human. We mess up. We need to understand that this job of raising little humans is not the easiest task. There are challenging days but there are also so many good days that can come from our hard work. The lessons we instill in our kids now will forever shape them and influence what they teach their children. Through the tantrums and tears will come good things in the future, I promise. Be calm, mama. Try your best to teach in those hard moments. Through the tough decisions and awkward times we will all grow… together. That’s what’s it’s all about right?
Either way you look at it, we are raising and shaping the next generation who will then pass on their learnings to the next. Not to put more pressure on ourselves, but this is a very important job we are doing!
Taking some time to reflect on our childhoods and what we remember and experienced and trying to pass the good things along to our kids is so amazing to think about. It also means reeling ourselves in and becoming the role models we want our kids to be. That may mean dealing with some of the struggles we had along the way.
Being a parent is hard. I didn’t write this post so we can all sit and wonder if we have done the right things or wrong things in the past with our children. I wrote it so we can be more aware in the future. It just may open up your perspective on a few things and get you thinking about this topic more than you ever have.
Remember, you are your children’s number one fan and their number one role model in this world….teach them well.