Parenting 101

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Didn’t you wish there’s a formal course on marriage and parenting

Why is it that we didn’t receive formal training on parenting concepts, roles, responsibilities, skills, strategies and techniques when all of us will act as parents  eventually?  We can be biological, solo, foster, adoptive, parents –in-law or house parents at some point in our lives.  When our children become adults, they behave like parents to us, too.

We acquire a huge part of our nurturing skills from our parents.  If we grew up in strict and regimented households,  chances are we treat our children like soldiers who should follow before they complain. If they were extremely strict, we tend to resist and may have vowed  that we will be more relaxed and considerate to our children when we become parents ourselves.

We oftentimes devote to our children, the comforts that were deprived us during childhood. We buy them toys that we wanted and shower them with clothes and things that our parents couldn’t give us. We send them to the best schools we can afford because we want them to get better education than what we had.

We tend to choose and decide for them the course that they should study in college. We are anxious that they couldn’t  take care of themselves when they don’t get the education we prescribed.  We sometimes screen their friends subtly and give out standards for their choice of  life partners. We always think of their welfare. We want them to have a better and more comfortable future than what we have.

We get frustrated when our children fall short of our expectations. We feel disrespected when they do not toe the line. We question our parenting abilities when they get sidetracked and become more assertive when our parental authority is being challenged. We forget that our children have  their own minds and aspirations which may be different from ours.

Parenting is not about us.  It is about being there for our children as they carve their own destiny.

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From the  words of  poet, philosopher and artist Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet written in 1923

“And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.

And he said:

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.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrow are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrow may go swift and far,

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies so He loves also the bow that is stable.

—————-

Isn’t that a good reminder?

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