Monday, 12 May 2014

Parenting Manual?

Why is there no parenting manual ?

Child pretending to ride a motorcycle
We live a society that places regulation on our lives with increasing frequency.  We don’t smoke in public places, obey the laws of the road and in many American States and all Canadian provinces we must wear seat belts. So how it is that there are no prerequisites to becoming a parent?

Anyone who is biologically able can become a parent and only after they have proven that they cannot parent does society step in and take action.  Why is this?   Does it not make sense that there would be a list of requirements that every parent has to go through: a license to parent? A textbook to give instructions and a test to make sure we know how to do it?
Three children playing dress up
Thirty-three years ago I would have appreciated a manual to our first born child, BUT if there had been said manual, it would have been worthless in preparing us 6 years later for our next child and still worthless when our last child arrived.

Every child is unique from the moment they are conceived and every moment thereafter.   There is no manual because every child needs a unique type of parent and most parents have the capacity to be that unique parent.
Two children eating breakfast
 What did it take to be a parent to our three children? 
1.    Humility in the face of the unconditional love they gave us despite our shortfalls as parents
2.   Selflessness in the face of their needs, joys and celebrations
3.   Insight as we came face to face with our personal hopes, fears, inadequacies and desires for and in our children
4.   Self-compassion as we made many mistakes and our children grew into themselves despite us
5.   Family and friends who encouraged us, cried with us and step in providing breaks when we needed those.
6.   The ability to laugh at ourselves and with our family
7.   A willingness to learn who we were as parents in relationship to each of our three children.
8. That willingness to say we were sorry to our children when we messed.
Grandpa reading good night story
I think that Bill Cosby summed it up best in this statement

 “No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I'm not talking about the kids. Their behavior is always normal.”

Grandma Snyder
©2013-2014 twosnydergirls 

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