Friday, 14 February 2014

We can't parent the way our folks did

We can't parent the way our folks did
14 February 2014

It stands to reason, that when you become a parent, your primary role model, of how to be a parent, and the person you most try to emulate in parenthood, is your mother.  And of course your father.  They both play an equally important role.  Albeit slightly different ones.

This is most particularly true, if you value them as a person, as a parent and their parenting skills too.  If you have pleasant, mostly rosy, memories of your own upbringing.  If you still go to them for guidance and help, even now as an adult. 

If you’re lucky enough that your parents are still alive and in good health, you can still tap into their wisdom.  If they’re no longer there, I think it can be said that deceased parents become perfect parents in your memories.  Forever coated in hazy glowing perfectness.  And if not in perfectness, then in perfectly remembered fallibility, which somehow makes them even more perfect.

Personally, I’ve tried to copy bits from my mom.  Sometimes adding a tweak of Helene into the mix.  Taking consideration of who my children are.  How they differ.  What their circumstances are. 

But in my mind’s eye – my mom, as a mother is, and was, sublime.

Understanding.  Empathetic.  Caring.  Loving.  Kind.  Embracing.  Encouraging.  Supportive.  Positive.  Happy.  Grateful.  Proud.  Inspiring.  Enthusiastic.  Involved.  Accepting.  Driven.  Passionate.  Wise.  Honourable.  Knowledgeable.  Funny.  Unique.  Different.  Warm.  Joyful. 

All attributes, I strive for, and long to nurture and evolve.  In myself and in my kids.

But at the same time, I’ve come to realise something else.  Though I can take the concept of how my mom parented and implement it into my parenting style, I can’t copy her exactly. 

The world she parented in, is very, very different, to the world, I’m parenting in.  We live in different times.  We and our kids are exposed to different things. 

These times, bring stresses and strains, not even conceived many years ago.  True, also that value systems and accepted standards of what exactly is the norm, continually fluctuates too.

Still I believe, in my heart of hearts, that I am implementing my mother’s strategies. 

Yes, some things have changed.  Some things have become more modernised.

But like time is immemorial, good parenting should be immemorial too.  Especially if the wisdom of years ago, is still applied to the world we live in today.

Yay for moms!  Most especially mine.

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1 comment:

  1. Ag Helene. I appreciate your compliments. Always feels one could have done better.
    But I think the three of you turned out real good!