August 26, 2021

What Every Human Needs

What you read below is for everyone. You were a kid once and maybe missed one of these in your own development. (And don't miss the news at the bottom of this.)

Back to school is in the air.

Whether you have babies or grown kids or something in between print these out and hang them up on the inside of your closet door. Read them everyday.

1. The aim of parenting is an empowered individual.

I want to enjoy a lifelong adult relationship with my children. Why doesn’t this happen more? All humans have insecurities. Parents have them. Their insecurities impact the child. When it’s done right parents help their children step by step advance into the greatness of who they can become apart from the parent. (But for sure the parent’s weaknesses and strengths help make the child. Nature and nurture!) The point of parenting is to release them so they can come back into the relationship as adults. That means you will be caught in a tension point that divides all political systems. Is it about the group or the individual?’s both. The group or family helps release the individual. It’s the yin and yang of it. All institutions that are healthy groups exist to empower individuals to build healthy groups. The point of parenting is to raise empowered individuals who don't need the validation of others for their choices. If your children need validation from you or others for their ultimate life choices then they will not become their own person. People that don’t become their own person tend to be victims needing validation for their insecurities or for some they become tyrants demanding validation for their insecurities.

2. Children aren't a blank slate to be written on but a painting to be studied.

The problem with the normal approach parents bring to parenting is that it creates anxiety. If the child behaves poorly or makes a poor choice the parent has done something wrong. To which most parents increase the intensity of their parenting rather than increasing the clarity of understanding their child. With deep understanding you can better impact their trajectory through knowing when and how to guide them. Parenting is full of limbo moments for the parent and child. There are so many moments in between what was and what could be as the child and parent progress through stages. As you learn wisdom principles and customize to their age/stage/personality you'll see how much fun you can have. You study them with wonder. You serve them with awareness. When you can turn irritations into fascinations you’ll experience a deeper joy of relationship. You can fast track your learning by using wisdom principles that have been tested for thousands of years. I’ll tell you how in a minute. Why don’t more parents seek deeper understanding in these limbo moments? Parents feel their own insecurities.

3. Children need a non-anxious secure presence as they test the edges of who they are becoming.

Parenting surfaces insecurities in you. It’s been said that you can be as happy as your saddest child. Parenting can exhaust you with its codependency. For some parents that codependency pushes them to the other extreme of not caring enough. It takes a parent secure in who they are to suspend building their identity around the child’s behavior. Children are testing out new ways of being. They are more attuned to the dynamism of identity. For a parent stuck in a static identity this can be unnerving.

4. Your child is a human first and your child second.

The most dramatic shift happens in parenting when YOU begin to see your child as a human before seeing them as a child. Here’s a helpful progression for your closet door or a screenshot on your phone: human (identity) > child (role) > family (community). A parent secure in their identity as a human fulfills a role as parent and builds a family. A child learning to be secure in their identity fulfills a role as a child and enjoys the family community. When I see my children as human first and my children second the relationship reframes to a greater depth and healthier perspective.

5. No one has parenting all figured out.

It's experimental. You really don’t know until you see them becoming independent and dealing with pressure, how they are going to do on their own path of independence. Don’t mistake the certainty of the aim of parenting for the certainty of how to parent.

My daughter’s phone was broken so we had to get a new one before school started. The essentials have changed. It’s amazing how teachers have incorporated the use of phones from having students take pictures of homework sheets to using music to do their work quietly at their desk. As the world has changed and so too parenting has changed. The bad news? With the rapid rate of change all parents are in completely new and novel parenting situations. The good news? Even though there are many complexities and changes you can count on #1-#4.

You’re here. You care. And you want to get better as a parent. That’s awesome.

I recently read a study that showed even pre-pandemic what a massive explosion of loneliness and pain children worldwide are facing. We can only imagine it might be worse now in this new chapter of humanity’s divisiveness.

Video of the above here

Audio of the above here



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