Raising Allies is a blog that advocates parenting respectfully, with unconditional love and compassion, fully accepting our children as the individuals they are.
The words sound good, but how do we apply them to our lives with our families?
If I had to list three concepts that create a solid parenting foundation they would be:
Focus on your relationship
Let go of your expectations
Stop trying to control your child
There are so many voices telling parents how they should parent that figuring out how to be a good parent can be overwhelming and confusing. How do we know what to do, how to handle every age and stage and situation that comes along? Applying cookie cutter parenting techniques to our unique child doesn’t work. How do we find the answers we need when we feel challenged in our role as a parent?
Using the three concepts listed above we can create a set of questions that help us stay focused on the parent we want to be, for the child in our life, based on our values.
Focus on your relationship. Nothing is more important than your relationship with your child. Always start by asking yourself if what you are doing, or considering doing, is going to draw you and your child closer together. Is what I’m doing strengthening or damaging my relationship with my child?
Let go of your expectations. Your child is doing the best they can at any given moment, in any given situation. Trust this. If your child isn't meeting your expectations then examine your expectations, don’t punish your child. What are my expectations? Why do I feel they are important? Am I placing more importance on my expectations than on my child’s experience or our relationship?
Stop trying to control your child. Start acting as your child’s support system. When conflict or frustration intrude ask yourself: What does my child need and how can I meet that need? As they get older you may also need to ask: What does my child need and how can I support them in getting that need met?
When our desire is to parenting respectfully, with unconditional love and compassion, fully accepting our children as the individuals they are, we have a framework, or point of reference, for everything we do as parents. We can compare our parenting to how we want to be parenting, checking in and changing course mid-stream if we find ourselves failing to be the parent we want to be.