Parenting, it’s hard to raise kids, especially hard these days. Not only do we hear, “when I was a kid my mom would…” but we live in this crazy techy world where information is at our fingertips and social media is everywhere. From the moment we give birth, even before that actually, we make choices that will impact our little ones’ lives. – prenatal vitamins, chord blood banks, natural birth, disposable diapers, breast feeding, fast food, co-sleeping, spanking, timeouts, organic food and all the debates surrounding each of these choices and more. It just doesn’t stop. Sometimes I feel like I am drowning in information overload. There are opinions about everything everywhere. Tell her she’s beautiful, don’t tell her she’s beautiful or she will develop an ego. He needs to share, no he should wait his turn, just because he wants it doesn’t me he can have it. Adults should be addressed by Mr. or Mrs. – no, he can call me Jane, I don’t mind there’s no need to be so formal. Every child is special – no child is special and if you tell them so they will feel entitled…. and on and on. Is your head swimming yet? Mine is. We do our best. But it is difficult and there always seems to be someone pointing fingers or judging us. If you watch Parenthood, and if you don’t then you totally should, Zeke recently told one of his daughters, “the only way to not screw them (kids) up is to not have them, and wouldn’t that be a shame.” In a way I think he’s right. We are human, created perfectly imperfect and we are going to make mistakes. Even with the best intentions mistakes are guaranteed to happen. Not only are we human, but the information we arm ourselves with to make educated choices with changes and shifts continually. What was right yesterday is harmful today. My mom and grandma have both relished the fact that their kids grew up and are fine because if I did half of what the experts told them to do, my kids supposedly wouldn’t make it. My grandmother says, “It’s a wonder my kids made it.” What does this all mean? We (parents) are darned if we do and we are darned if we don’t. Children are resilient. Thank heavens they are. We are going to mess up, our kids are smart enough to get that it’s just part of how things work. We need to treat them with love, to show them the right way to act or react in the face of mistakes, to forgive and ask for forgiveness and to tolerate knowing that the time will come when we will be the ones asking for or needing tolerance. Love them crazy. Every moment of every day choose love. It may not always be easy. In fact, more often than not it will be difficult. Patience is hard. Tolerance is hard. Selflessness is hard. And when we loose our way or step off the right path, we have to pray and hope we don’t stray too far pick ourselves up and jump right back on track. Apologize. Forgive. Love. Laugh. Use kind words with an even kinder tone. Let’s face it, we are on a difficult journey, but when we diligently to try make an effort to be the best we can our kids will recognize our efforts, our love, and they will be ok. They will be more than ok. They will learn from us the skills they need to live and cope in our imperfect world. They will learn how to rise from their struggles and mistakes so that they too land on their feet, loved and loving, just like we do, which in the end is really what matters.
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