When we choose Conscious Parenting there is no shortage of teachable moments. Almost every situation offers us a moment to share insight, to point out something unique about ourselves or the world and to help our child become critical thinkers about not only their lives, but the world we live in. The question at hand […]
I’m a glass-is-half-full person, I’ll admit that. I always look at the upside, the opportunity, and the silver lining. I believe that positivity creates more positivity and that our thoughts create our reality.
This morning I was planning on writing about ‘perfect parenting’. As I compiled my thoughts Caidin came downstairs and we veered off into a conversation about a stuffed penguin. The penguin used to be mine. I was 7 or 8 when he was given to me, so that would make the penguin about 40 years old.
In order for the penguin to stand, he has a flexible wire piece in each foot. Over the years, the wire started to poke out and last night Caidin asked me if I could fix the penguin. After Caidin went to bed, I sat down and patched the penguin up.
This morning, Caidin thanked me and as he was carrying the penguin away, I said, ‘he’s really old, you know.’ ‘He’s in pretty good shape,’ was Caidin’s response. I told Caidin that when the penguin was in my care he wasn’t meant to be played with. He was a gift from my uncle’s tour of duty in Antarctica. The penguin sat up on my shelf most of the time, along with the beautiful Tibetan dancing dolls that my uncle had also given me. They weren’t for playing either, they were for looking.
I found myself thinking about my life growing up. We had a fancy living room just for guests, we had covers on the furniture in the family room and we when we got new clothes, we weren’t supposed to wear them right away.
I explained to Caidin that when I was growing up, sometimes there were things that we just appreciated or we saved. He thought this was weird. It didn’t make sense to him. (Note to self, check parenting ‘how-to’, did I miss an important lesson along the way?) So that led me into another conversation about the Great Depression (and a comparison to today’s Great Recession).
We also traveled down the discussion road about the ways in which our lives are influenced by not only the people in our lives but the circumstances of the time. I told him that his Grandmother had lived through a time, similar to today, where people had lost a lot of money, jobs were tenuous and the times were uncertain and how this most likely influenced her upbringing and some of the rules she carried into her own parenting.
I could tell that he didn’t like this idea of not being able to play with the penguin. I think he was waiting for me to tell him to put the penguin away, but I didn’t. The penguin had waited 40 years to be played with; I think it was time for him to have his day.
Where am I going with all of this? It isn’t the post I had intended on ‘perfect parenting’ but it lets me make the same point. As parents we do what we think is right in the moment. We base our decisions and actions on our own experiences, on what we know and on the circumstances we find ourselves in. There is no perfect parenting, because when our kids grow up, they are bound to question why we did certain things and said certain things. If our kids are glass half-full-people they will recognize that we did our best. If they become glass-half-empty-people they will undoubtedly find fault in our choices.
‘Perfect parenting’ is a myth that will drive you crazy if you try to chase it. All we can do is our best, be willing to admit to and acknowledge mistakes and then move on. When your kids are older, if you did this, and they want to blame you, that’s going to say more about who they are then it does about you.
I also like to think that the sum of my life experiences, good and bad, makes me who I am today. Whatever approach to parenting my parents had, whatever rules and restrictions we had, whatever injustices I feel I experienced –all of these things make me who I am and I like me.
So I’d like to thank my parents for their imperfect parenting.
I can only hope that my imperfect parenting raises a glass-half-full kind of kid who turns out just as happy with himself as I am with me.
© 2012 Christine Agro
Christine Agro is a clairvoyant, naturopath, Master Herbalist, conscious mom and author of 50 Ways to Live Life Consciously as well as of The Conscious Living Wisdom Cards (Special Moms’ Edition). Christine is founder of The Conscious Mom’s Guide , a membership site where she helps support you on your own journey of living life consciously and on your journey of being a Conscious parent. You can also join Christine on Facebook. To contact Christine, invite her to speak or to schedule an appointment with her please email her.