Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Always Learning

While reading this article on handinhandparenting about the illusion of control I came across an idea that I had never really considered before. The gist of the article is that there is so much we don't have control over in our lives, that we should set goals that are more reasonable, namely, that we should treat ourselves and our children as learners.

Often time I will give my children the benefit of the doubt - I know that there is so much that they don't know about the world, about what's socially acceptable, about what's expected of them. Instead of getting angry with them for not knowing the things that they don't know, I try take the time to gently teach them. 

I don't give myself the same benefit, though.

I'm the mom, I'm supposed to be in charge, in control, I'm supposed to know things. So much is at stake so I have to have the right answers at all times.

But I'm also new at this. I've never parented this child on this day in this situation before. So maybe it's ok if I don't have all the answers. Maybe it's ok to say, "I'm going to try this and see what happens," instead of second-guessing myself. It works out? Great! I'll try to do it more. It doesn't work out? Great! Now I know what doesn't work. 

It doesn't matter how long you have been a parent for, or if you have parented a child of this age before, because every child is different. Sometimes even the same child is different on different days. If you can give your child the space to figure out what works and what doesn't work because you realize they are still learning, maybe you can begin to give yourself the same space too?

For Further Thought:

1) What does being a learner mean to you?

2) What resources do you have to support yourself as a learner?

3) How can you best support yourself when you're in a learning situation?

For Further Reading:

1) HuffPo: The Art of Parenting: Learning To Live at the Edge of the Unknown

2) Love, Joy Feminism: How I've Learned (and Unlearned) Parenting

3)  AhaParenting: Ten Steps to Unconditional Love

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