It is probably the hardest thing i have ever done in my life; being a parent. The problem is babies do not come out with parenting instructions; and everyone has different ideas of how to parent; they either parent the way they were brought up; or total opposite. After 2 marriages spanning over 37 years and 5 children later; i have come to the conclusion that the only way to parent is to set an example they can follow.
This is easier said than done for most people; when you are young and still finding your own way in life and getting used to having a wife and a small baby to contend with; it is not easy. If you were one of the lucky ones who were not brought up in a dysfunctional family; then parenting would have been a lot easier.
Children copy their parents; they mimic every characteristic the parents has; watch a father and a 5-year-old son walking down the street hand in had; the 5-year-old walks exactly like his dad. I used to say to my children of my second marriage; don’t do that; (if they were doing something i disapproved of); their response was“why you do it”!! I would just respond; “you got me there”!!! And then i would ponder on what i had said.
Parenting is a two-way street; the children are there for us to learn from; and not the other way round!!! You can learn more from your children than they can learn from you. Remember i made the statement that; you need to set an example when parenting; children mimic their parents in every way; well that means EVERY way. Now if they are doing something you do not like; then take a good look at yourself and see if it is a reflection of yourself being given to you by your child. (Just a note here; that goes for anyone who gets up your nose; not just your children) Right a list down of all the qualities the person has that you do not get along with; and just see how many of them apply to yourself. To be fair to yourself it is best to get a close friend who is not going to judge you and let them check off the list; because most of us can be in denial about some of our character traits. See how many of these traits apply to yourself; most aware people will immediately stop blaming the other person; and see them in a totally different light; and the conflict has gone; try it, it works.
I want to tell you a great lesson i learned from my son who was 19 years old at the time. He would lay on the couch watching TV all day; not sitting but laying down watching children’s programs. This used to annoy the hell out of me; one because he would not even get up to eat if he was hungry; he would expect us to bring food or drink to him; or he would just go without. I had learned from past experiences about how children were a reflection of ourselves; but this one took me a while to figure out. I saw him as lazy and was not taking responsibility for his life; he was 19 years old and should be starting to take responsibilities; like get a job!!! He had a few but never lasted very long; it was time to grow up a bit and stop looking at kids programs. Whow!!! that is heavy; right? Anyway after a long time i finally worked it out. The reason why i found it so hard to figure; i have never been lazy; i was always a hard-working and taken responsibility for my life. Then the penny dropped; I was never allowed to be a child when i was growing up; i was brought up on an orchard; at 5 years old after school i would work in the orchard till it was dark. I never played kids games; i was 6ft tall when i was 12 years old; everyone treated me like and adult. So what he was showing me was to lighten up and start to enjoy life and not be so serious about everything. I went up to him and apologized to him for giving him so much grief about his behavior; and said i would love to be able to have his child like attitude; and i understood why he was hanging onto his childhood for as long as he could. After that our whole relationship changed for the better because i saw him in a totally different light. I have always loved him unconditionally; but he had the knack of rubbing me up the wrong way; one of those kids; if i said it was black; he would say it was white; i certainly owe him a lot for my personal growth.
Some people are born parents; their goal in life is to have a family from the very start; domesticated; both male and female. There are people who are more career orientated; it does not mean that they are not good parents; but they seem to have more difficulty coping with parenthood; i was the latter.
Well i will leave it at that and my next blog will be more on conflict resolutions with your partner. Hope you enjoyed my blog as much as i enjoyed writing it; any comments are most welcome. Have a wonderful day filled with JOY and happiness; LOL Murray