The courage to be a parent or what it means to be a parent today
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Laura Ivan, psychologist Sensiblu Foundation
We could talk about the difficulties we face in our daily lives, about the way of life of most of us which involves many hours spent at work and very few at home. And of the latter, many are allocated to domestic affairs, shopping, dating relatives, friends. In these conditions, how much longer do I spend with my child, with my partner and especially with myself? How can we make this time a quality one that will nourish us emotionally, mentally and spiritually and help us build harmonious relationships?
What I propose to you is an inward journey to discover the challenges that the parent experiences in relation to the child, each in its own way and each time different.
One of the first concerns of parents is to provide the child with material comfort and safety. Even before we were born we arranged and furnished the baby's room, we bought many of those needed for his care during the first months. With his arrival at home, we take care not to miss anything, from food, diapers, clothes, a warm and bright atmosphere, to toys and anything that can be bought with money.
When the parent's main concern remains anchored on this material side, the child learns that material goods and gains are more valuable than those of a spiritual, spiritual nature. As the child grows older, his or her desires are growing larger and parents fail in this labyrinth of comfort and fulfillment of their desires. It is his labyrinth of "having" in which we train ourselves and each other.
What does being a parent really mean?
And if being a parent is more than that? If I were to tell you that there are countless exits from the maze of (exclusively) material care and care?
The newborn baby opens the door to a new world, fascinating, amazing, attractive and overwhelming to the same extent. Step into a world of endless possibilities, endless quests and discoveries, permanent questions, the world of "thinking", "doing", "creating". What is a mystery today, tomorrow will be an acquaintance. What is a challenge today, tomorrow will be a success. What is unimaginable today, will be fulfilled.
It is an endless adventure in which parents are their first companions, first guides, first landmarks. Witnesses of the first words, support for the first steps, source of the first answers and truths, spectators of the first creations, partners in the game. How the parents will fulfill this task depends on how open, courageous, eager to know and confident in themselves and in the world the child will be from now on.
At the same time, the baby enters a fascinating universe that is his family, this fabric of relationships, interactions, modes of communication, exchanges between the most varied. It is the universe that adopts and which the child in turn will adopt. It is the land of gestures full of tenderness, words of encouragement, smiles, compliments, the mannerisms that soothe, of love with its thousands of faces, but also the land of first worries and fears, of pain and suffering, of confusion, insecurity, disorder.
It is the realm of emotions, feelings, feelings, words and gestures, of "to feel" and "to express". We constantly communicate to each other, and implicitly to our child, what we feel and what we think at all times and, most of the time, this is done without words, beyond words, above words.
The child absorbs all these contents inside and communicates in turn himself, discovering himself and through his parents. Depending on the quality of these emotional exchanges, the child learns the language of love or hatred, compassion or indifference, violence or reconciliation, sharing and closeness or isolation and alienation. In this way the parents become the first mirrors in which the child can know and recognize himself, he can differentiate, he can learn to take control of his own emotions and feelings so that he can then become richer, more and more powerful, more and more confident.
Enter your child's universe
How can we access these universes that often escape us, being trapped in the whirlwind of daily worries and tasks?
• Start by giving yourself a reason to get in touch with yourself and be present. Present in relation to self, present in relation to the child.
• Get involved completely, totally, with passion in what you do, when you talk to the child, when you play with him, when you listen to him or when you simply look at him. Now you are already in the most precious place, his realm of "to be" and "to become"! And more than "being" is "being aware", "being present" with all your senses, attentive and open to everything that comes from within and from outside. Because between being physically present and being present with all your being is a difference from heaven to earth.
The latter means to pay attention to what is happening inside you, to put into words what you feel and what you think, to become aware of your actions and their possible consequences. That way, you can become an authentic, strong and self-aware presence, capable of initiating and maintaining a harmonious relationship with your child, in which he or she feels valued, respected, recognized as unique and free to make their own choices.
Because when you know and express yourself as you are, when you are aware of what you say and do, when you are present in relation to the other and attentive and concerned about his or her good and the other one feels free to grow and to fulfill their potential.
These are just a few thoughts of a parent concerned about improving their relationship with their child on a daily basis, of a professional oriented towards facilitating open communication between people and especially between parents and children, so that each one has his or her space. privileged for expression, growth and fulfillment. I also invite you to meditate on what it means for you to be a parent, not a perfect parent, not a parent at the height of others' expectations, but a good enough parent to feel good in their own skin and to enjoy themselves. in relation to his child.