My Challenge to you as a Parent
I would love to challenge you to remember that each stage that you go through is a gift. There are good and bad in each stage, but the important thing to remember is that you must learn to appreciate each stage for all it offers. These treasures you will uncover along the way are not only for your child’s benefit but for yours and to all those that are part of this child’s life. The things that are tough are just as important if not more so than the things that come easy. You must remember that this child is unique, and so it stands to reason that there may be unique ways you should handle this child. You might need guidance along the way because they might not think like you, act like you or respond like you. The easiest thing in the world to do is crush the uniqueness out of your child by not taking the time to ensure you are responding correctly. I know as I screwed this up many times.
The biggest lesson I have learned about being a parent is that your child will count on you to make them feel valued and worthy. When you show your child that you love them just because they are your child and for no other reason, you are validating their existence and allowing them to experience how much you value them. Your child should not feel as if they need to do something to be worthy. That is what I grew up believing, which is why it was so hard for me to believe that anyone would find any value in me.
Lastly, don’t assume that your child will be perfect, and they can do no wrong, but love them through and more importantly, despite the wrong they will do. Do not make excuses for your children’s mistakes. Do not cover them up. Teach your child to recognize when they do something wrong, confess it, and move on.
I know who my children are and I can see them for who they are now and for all they have the potential to be in the future. They are not perfect in any of these areas, but they are learning, as we all are, who they are, what they are capable of and this is what their journey is all about. I have told my children, “You are not born completely into all you will be. You are born with all the potential you can be. It is my job as your parent to help show you your potential.”