How is it that we don’t get training or need some qualification to be a parent?
I wanted to be the best father on this planet. I remember rushing out to the bookstore the next day after hearing I’m going to be someone’s father. As excited as I was about the prospect of being responsible for another human being, I was terrified of getting it wrong. I wanted to read up and do research on fatherhood and parenting. I needed to get the fast-track from the experts on how this should be done. One thing I did know without having to buy bundles of books or doing much research, the largest role in shaping a child’s life is played by the parents.
My older Brother studied psychology at university and shared his love for the discipline. In the 1970s, neuroscience and advancements in understanding how the brain functions were still in their early stages. But, the impact of society and how we raise our children in their formative years was confirmed. I knew that getting more information about the task ahead was imperative to succeed.
When I turned to my Brother lamenting, “How am I going to do this?”, his answer was simple. If people from the Khoisan have been having babies and raising children for millennia, with all our medical and technological advancements , this should be a breeze. With an armful of books, I set about learning “Parenting 101”.
Although learning all the theory on the subject in the world is never going to prepare you, it’s a great start. Asking my own parents and friends and family with kids, you soon realise most parents are winging it. Learn on the go and figure things out as they happen.
Although, trying to be prepared for all eventualities helps in most situations, learning what to do year in and year out is a finer art.
As hard as I tried to ensure I get things right and raise the best little person I can, I got some things wrong. I love my children that I would lay down my life for them in a heartbeat. And even though love and safety are key elements in raising a healthy, balanced child, what we say and how we act around them leaves a lasting impression. It serves to shape their character and personality. Schooling will provide a large part of the influences and experiences that shape your child, as will grandparent’s and caregivers in their company.
As a grandparent, it’s been fascinating to watch as my children navigate parenting for themselves. Even as an aunt, my Daughter shows how being responsible and purposeful around a kid has positive effects on the child. The many things I got wrong as a parent and wished I’d done different are now sealed and locked in. I can only hope the negative effects are minimal and the good outweighs the bad.
What more can any parent hope for than to raise well balanced, independent, caring and loving children with the purpose of making this world a better place? My children have shown even with my bad parenting, having love as their guide, being a good parent becomes natural.
Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄
As always, thanks for reading 🙏
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