In reading the book, The Energy of Money, I was inspired to transfer over some of her thinking here, to parenting. Dr. Nemeth spends the beginning of her book helping to bring clarity to the idea of money in our lives. She refers to it as the air we breath. Can we imagine any aspect of our lives not affected by it? I think not. Her goal is to bring our awareness to this point. We can’t change what our thinking is, the choices we make are until we have clarity about what is we are talking about. Money is not something many of us are willing to openly talk about. It is important for us to give off the impression that we have our act together financially. Regardless, it just isn’t polite. Money is a private issue. While that may or may not be true, we do have to find a way to be honest about it with ourselves, at least. Honesty and clarity on big issues like money can relieve a burden from our shoulders, we then know what we are dealing with.
So, how about parenting? This isn’t any less of a sensitive issue. We have lots of ideas for other people’s kids, but when it comes to the behavior issues we experience with our own we can easily come up short. As a parent, our children are the water we swim in. We can’t easily be objective because our perspective can so easily be lost. We do know when things are not going so well. We know when we are not having a good day or did not make the best choice with that particular situation.
I think we all went into becoming parents with a certain set of expectations on how it was all going to go. We knew how we were going to do it better or raise the best kids in the world. Maybe we are doing exactly what we set out to do, or maybe it has turned out to be different than we thought it would be. I am going to offer up an exercise to take some time thinking and writing about your thinking around the idea of parenting or being a parent. Take some time, either a couple shorter sessions or one longer one, to just write. Here is a list of some questions to consider:
- What does parenting mean to you?
- What did it mean to you as a child?
- What is your goal with being a parent?
- How do you see yourself as a parent now?
- How would you describe to someone else?
- How would you describe it to your kids, if they would ask?
- How do you see your friends as parents?
- Describe the qualities of the people you admire most as parents?
- Describe your best qualities as a parent?
- What are some things you feel you need to work on?
- Who are your best supports in your role as parent?
- How do you think your children see you?
Let me know what other questions came up for you as you did this exercise. If you have any questions or thoughts, I would love to hear them. Happy writing!