Fortunately for me, I cannot recall ever having been fed direct parenting advice from others in the almost ten years of being a parent to two young children. People who know me as it relates to the subject of self-empowerment, would know me well enough to know that I would consider unsolicited advice aka judgmentalness (in many perceivable cases), to in fact, be dis-empowering and possibly insulting. I have however, come from a previous professional background of working in social services, primarily crisis management, and many of our clientele being children, adolescents, and single parents, which I myself am, a single-parent. It was not uncommon for even the highly skilled, trained staff members under my supervision, to have voiced seemingly harsh opinions as it related to the variety of parenting styles that came through our emergency doors. In many cases as well, I was working with children in group home/foster home residential care settings who had been apprehended from their parents due to issues involving all forms of abuse including parental substance abuse and addiction type crises. I have come to know and learn that people who are entrenched in deep pain do not need someone else in their lives to rub their noses in their mistakes, regrets, or challenges and truly, to approach people in this vain when they are their most fragile, down-trodden, and raw in life is only further contributing to the problem, and therefore, very counter-intuitive and demeaning in my humble opinion.
When we as individuals, fellow parents, and professionals can choose to focus on the bigger picture of being solution-focused…of making it our individual responsibility to refrain from seeing the world through our own lens of questionable bias and archaic, pre-conditioned thinking… it is then we can make the transition of tapping into our own humanity, essentially, everyone’s humanity. It is more critical that we re-adjust the scope of our own contaminated filters in order to remain vigilantly focused on compassion, empowerment, education, awareness, imparting tools and resources so as to elevate other people’s own sense of awareness and consciousness. We don’t know what we don’t know, however, if we deem it to be our inherent responsibility from an accountability standpoint, for the overall well-being of the masses, the collective – to question how it is we can individually be more servant and less judgemental in our leadership of both ourselves and of others…how much healthier, solid and unified a global community would we then be? Profound transformation and internal shifting occurs when those requiring and requesting support and elevation are invited to be an integral part of the process.
Being a parent for those of us who are, know that it is the most rewarding AND the most challenging role to ever step into. Those of us who take the gift, privilege, responsibility, and honour – seriously… do not require external criticisms or unsolicited advice to keep us in check as we are our own staunch critics with the continual internal dialoguing of asking ourselves the necessary questions,”Did I do enough?” – “Could I have done more?” – “Could I have been more?” – “Was I present?” – “Was I kind?” – “Was I patient, compassionate, nurturing, attentive?” – the mental check-list and conveyor-belt of personal inventory is un-ending. Knowing that the definition of family, what constitutes family, and knowing that the family constellation differs across the board for every member who belongs to one, should be enough of a preview for us to appreciate and respect the differences which exists within broad-spectrum parenting styles and practices. I of course, refer to anything outside the realm of abuse and violence – that goes without say. Any opportunity afforded to each of us whereby we can empower a parent in front of their children or positively reinforce what a terrific Mum or Dad one is to their children, or compliment a parent on how well they handled a challenging situation involving their child(ren) is a WIN WIN for all said parties. It is so easy to stand back on the sidelines to judge and to condemn… whether it be overtly or passive-aggressively through use of disapproving body language or by overriding a parents boundaries or by undermining their own authority and role while in the presence of both the child(ren) and the said parent(s). It is not acceptable, nor appropriate to diminish or erode any parents level of self-confidence, especially if we ourselves as fellow parents, can appreciate the ongoing challenges and hardships of what it is to effectively and to consistently parent our own children. My ‘favourite’ critics of all-time are those who have no children nor any personal parenting experience of their own, yet have an expert opinion on the entire subject at hand. Once upon-a-time, I deemed this to be insulting and offensive, and now, I choose not to give it energy – rather, I prefer to view it as somewhat comical and naive. In many instances, these are the very same people sheepishly wishing to retract their previous views and statements once immersed in the hands on reality, themselves. Like everything else, it simply becomes a live and learn scenario.
My views on this are not specific to solely this subject matter, alone. I share the same outlook with regards to any aspect of life and life circumstances one could potentially debate or weigh in on. I am continually committed to doing the self work so as to regularly challenge and question my own belief systems and thought processes. I want to always be as properly informed as possible, to do my homework and research, ask the appropriate people the right and fair questions, know all the relevant facts and circumstances before hastily rushing to inaccurate or unfair presumptions. Like everyone else, I too am flawed. I too have made my fair share of mistakes, and will most certainly make many more throughout the course of my lifetime. In saying this, however, I do tend to favour being on the right side of being fair than being on the wrong side of needing to be right.
To everyone out there who is truly committed on a daily basis of wanting to be the best and most improved version of themselves, especially for the benefit and well-being of ones own children, I say… good on ya! Keep Growing! Keep Going! Please try and be mindful of the fact that you are never alone no matter what your unique challenges and obstacles may entail and please also be mindful that what you are experiencing emotionally is not foreign to any other parent, including myself, who has felt the tsunami while riding the rollercoaster of parenthood. Sending you love, strength and compassion.
Uplifting you to fear less and to live more!
Love & Gratitude ~ Lisa
#Grateful #LivingFearlessly #Thrive
Originally published at livingfearlesslywithlisa.com