The parenting paradox - tips to stay on track with yourself whilst being the best parent you can be!
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. (The Prophet, 1923)
This week's topic has been all about the role we play as parents. My belief is that the best we can do is be the best version of us. From that space, we are giving our children the best that we offer. And in turn that delivers the best version of our children. Simple really - but is it?
As parents, we have so many conflicting priorities and parenting is generally one of our highest values. But where does that put us when we lose ourselves in the process? We are tired, frazzled, unsure of ourselves because we are so busy trying to be the best version of ourselves to everyone else.
This is where you need to put up some boundaries that help you to focus on yourself and then in turn provide space for the family. Here's my top 3 tips that help me.
1. Hold the space for them.
Our children are on a journey and they will make their own mistakes. Their own journey
will not be any smoother than ours, regardless of how much we try to teach them. It will
be circuitous! I have a list of values that I want for my children. Things like great friends,
perfect health, confident, loving, kind. They are tailored to each child and on those days
that your patience wear a little thin, I go back to my list and remind myself that I hold the
space for them. This amazing space that I hold is so reassuring and I take myself there.
2. Balance control and delegation
We want to maintain control of our children whilst helping them grow and hence the
paradox. The best tip I have is to give them tasks that allow them to expand beyond
where they are now and then live with whatever they deliver. For example, make dinner
with veges included may be the task. If those veges are corn, peas and carrots then
that's OK. They'll improve each time but they did deliver on the task. It's not an easy one but so empowering for both the children and the parent!