According to the dictionary, Parenting is the activity of bringing up and looking after your child.
The dictionary meaning makes Parenting so simple. But we all know Parenting is hard. There are no rules or set theories which one can follow while parenting a child. There are multiple resources and research on parenting methods to help you with parenting but you may not always find the solution required by you.
I read a lot about parenting. But I strongly believe and have faith only in my instincts as a mother when it comes to parenting my daughter. Let me tell you, though I am always confident that I will never go wrong I have and made numerous parenting mistakes. My aim to have a blog of my own was to interact with parents and look for answers to my doubts. I was looking out for support from fellow parents who would tell me in real-time, “Don’t worry, everyone makes mistakes”. A parenting book would also tell me that but it feels right when a fellow parent shares his own personal story to re-assure me.
When I look back to the past 9 years of parenting my daughter there have been occasions where I have lost my patience and raised my voice and my hand on her. I feel extremely guilty of doing that but I have to confess, I did that. Even if it’s once, it’s not right. That was another reason which made me write about parenting. As I took to writing, I calmed down a lot. I got a platform where I could share my apprehensions, anxieties with people who don’t know me. I had this belief that I will not be judged. Thankfully I found a very supportive community.
Now I embark on another journey- an important transition in my life as I will approach midlife. Much will change. Again, there will be compelling circumstances arising due to the overwhelming physical changes. I know I don’t have to lose my calm on such occasions. There can’t be a repeat of mistake I did earlier while raising a toddler. My daughter will enter her tweens and I will enter my midlife. Both of us will go through an emotional roller coaster. The relationship can turn fragile. As a parent, I will have to nurture it and make the bond stronger than ever.
While reading articles on parenting during midlife, I came across this very interesting opinion which suggested that midlife concerns over one’s identity may lead mothers to have misgivings about their competence as a parent. This could be so true. Midlife years are the ones wherein we do a lot of introspection and soul-searching. My entire series is based on introspection and about how I want my future life to be. I would not want my intense midlife concerns to question my parenting capabilities.
I am also conscious that by the time I reach midlife my daughter is going to be independent yet adolescence can be a confusing time of change for her. Though she might not need me as she does now yet she will require my silent support.
Here is what I intend to do.
- Set reasonable expectations.
- Set a positive example. Which means I am not going to fret over the transition in my life. I will be careful about my behaviour. Through it, I shall set a positive example on ways to cope with stress and be resilient.
- Spend quality time together. Do things she would love together.
- Acknowledge that she has changed. Acknowledge that she will depend and spend more time with her peers.
- Keep the lines of communication always open. Lend a listening ear, that’s what they need the most.
“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Do read this very interesting article I came across on Parenting Teens.