The time to be courageous in your parenting is now. Brave parenting requires a sense of values and what to be willing to confront and endure in order to have those values live within our children.
If you know your values, then you can ask yourself, “Is what is going on with this child serving those values? Will this child grow up to be an adult that embodies these values? What can I do to faciliate these boundaries so these values have a better chance of being a dynamic principle in our lives?”
Sometimes brave parenting requires making hard decisions that are not popular with our children and teenagers, and in this day and age of parents wanting to be friends with their children, this seems more difficult than ever.
When I lose the forest for the trees in parenting, the big things I look at are
- Perspective. Would a mom of a now grown-up child think this is a make or break situation?
- Boundaries. Have I been consistent, what are the boundaries? I have friends who cannot name ONE boundary their child has. This, folks, to me, doesn’t bode well for the teenage years. There are boundaries in life. They don’t have to be arbitrary or mean, but should organically grow out of your family’s values and love for your child.
- Strengths and weaknesses. Many of you have smaller children, but I have a 16 year old. So I constantly look at my older children and try to think ahead a bit. What skills does this child with their personality and temperament really need in order to succeed in their adult life?
- Will our relationship be overall preserved? Nothing should be so big a deal that it should shatter our love, but I am okay with my children not liking me for short periods. I want to be their friend when they are all grown up, and I want to have fun together, but my job as a parent is bigger than just that. I need to help guide them towards their own unfolding and their own discovering and yes, eventually their own life.
- Self-care. This is usually the one I totally lose, and this month has been a super stressful and exhausting month. Aggressive cancer in family member necessitating emergency travel, and emergency surgery for our horse who had colic. We aren’t out of the woods yet, so I hope I can look at self-care again. To me, one of the major components of self-care for homeschooling mothers might actually be just letting things go. We can always find more school days at some point during the year!
How are you brave parenting this week?