Looking back… If I had my parenting time again
I was having a very constructive conversation with a friend last night, and one question was raised – if I had my time again, would I parent my children differently?
This is a great question, and it has been occupying my mind the whole night and morning. What would I have done differently if I were to parent again, based on what I know right now?
Would I be a little more tough or softer?
What skills would I acquire?
What sort of support would I need to make my parenting journey a bit less bumpy?
Had I done enough to give my children the best possible encouragement and empowerment for their life?
Was I a good role model for my children?
So many possibilities, and so many regrets. So much judgment, but so many happy and fond memories. So much laughter, joy, mixed with love, and yet so may ifs…
It is always easy to look back and make tons of comments and judgments. If we only had crystal balls that could predict the future, life would have been different, wouldn't it?
My children are now in their early 20s and both are in the workforce. Looking back 20 odds years of being a full time parent, what did I learn from that?
Remember though, we all want the best for our children, and we are always doing our best we can to form a loving relationships with our children based on the information, resources and support we had at that moment.
So what would be the one key thing that I have learned over the past 20 odd years?
It is to "TRUST" myself. Knowing that I am the "expert" of myself and my children's needs!
However, we are somehow caught up with our own fear of being judged for not following the "norm", and the guilt of fearing we are not good enough to be the parent we set out to be.
You see, all those years ago, I did not understand that as parents we already have an innate wisdom of understanding our own children. Parents know what to do and how to see to their children’s needs. When our children were born, we would have already deeply connected and attuned to their needs through our inner guidance and attunement.
As a younger parent then, my understanding of parenting was based on the Malaysian way of parenting, which was how I was parented and the experience of how the community raised their children. However, when my first child was born, I was on my own and totally relying on other professionals and friends to advice me what to do.
On one hand, I had my Malaysian family and friends advise me on how to parent the Malaysian way, and on the other hand I was listening to the parenting ways of the Australian practices.
Along the way, I some how unconsciously stopped listening to myself and… and stopped "trusting" myself. By loosing that connection and trust of my inner knowing, it actually caused a lot of stress, anxiousness and confusion during the process. Literally I was doing something because someone told me to do it and I did not truly understand why I was doing it.
Looking back and realising how that affected my confidence in my parenting, I hope I can impart and share something useful from my experience.
No matter where you are in the world, no matter what parenting information you are receiving, always remember to connect to your own knowing. Listen to yourself, learn to trust yourself and stay calm.
When you are comfortable with yourself and deeply connected to your own knowing, only then you are able to connect deeply with your child, and to parent your child with full confidence and knowing.
I hope this article has been helpful, and I would love to hear your thoughts and your experiences.