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A Parenting View

Parenting is a learn on the job event. You think you know how to parent until you become a parent, and you realize there are so many things that no one mentions. What does parenting mean? The Cambridge English Dictionary says it's the rearing of children. Merriam Webster's definition of parenting is the act or process of becoming a parent, taking care of someone in the manner of a parent. These definitions are correct, but they lack the nuances of what I think parenting is.


Parenting is more than providing food, clothing, and shelter. The job of parenting is nurturing your child or children to help them figure out who they are outside the family's controlled environment. Allowing them to figure out who they are is accomplished by providing unconditional love to your child/children. Your love for your child shouldn't be contingent on some action or behavior on their part. You will not like everything they do. You won't like everything they say. They might look like miniature mini-me's, but you have to remember they are not.


The next hurdle is to be supportive. This can be tricky because support comes in many forms, and each child will respond differently. Support can be in the way of you being their biggest fan/cheerleader. Or it can take on the form of "Trial by Fire" or in the form of "You Do You." Are you asking yourself what the difference is?


Trial by fire allows them to do things their way, and you are willing to pick up the pieces if needed. The "You Do You" form is when you know it will fail or they are going astray, but they don't want to listen or heed your advice. You allow them to do it their way and fight the urge not to say, "I told you so!" when it works out just like you said.

And as a mental note: saying "If I recall or If my recollection serves me correctly…" is the same as saying "I told you so"! You are allowed to chuckle to yourself, but be sure to turn your back or go into the other room, so they don't see it.


Parenting is teaching your kids to know when to stand tall and when to bend. To know when to lead and when to follow. To find humor and a glimpse of joy when days are wearing heavily upon them. To be true to themselves. If you can accomplish that, then you are on the right parenting path.


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