“I didn’t parent the way you and Mom did Dad.”
“I know Sis.”
“I took out the good and tossed the bad.”
“You did good Sis.”
It was a brief conversation I had with my father recently.
You ever heard that saying, “Children learn what they live?”
I have; long before I became a parent, though I never thought much about it until I found myself as one.
I find there’s a lot of truth in those words, but it’s not black and white.
I think it’s true in a sense that children learn what they live. They either learn this is the way to do it, this is the way not to do it, or take this and leave that.
And I don’t sit here all high and mighty. I’m a parent. I know my children will take out the good and toss the bad, at least I hope they do.
Because honestly, parents are people too. And where I may have corrected some patterns I “learned” from my parents, I’m not perfect either.
In many ways children do learn what they live, but in hearing that little quote one should be very cautious in taking it at face-value. It does not necessarily equate to mirroring.
I learned to hear my kids when they became adolescents with their own thoughts, ideas, and questions.
I learned to try to understand where they were coming from.
I learned to meet them where they were.
I learned not to walk away from them.
I learned that my stuff can never be so big that I don’t notice them.
I learned grace.
I learned clean-slates.
I learned letting go of defenses.
I learned believing in them even when they didn’t believe in themselves.
I learned to raise the bar for them when they needed it.
I learned how to make that bar attainable.
I learned the importance of laughter.
I learned how to handle hard truths.
I learned this and so much more from my parents.
I learned how to be a parent as a child that learned what I lived.
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