I was recently watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood without my children. They had lost interest and after a full 20 minute show, I realized I was the only person still in the room completely zoned, yet entranced by Daniel’s mother. How is this tigress able to communicate with her children so eloquently? How is she able to keep her cool with Daniel’s frustrations. He’s always frustrated about something. She’s really no different than any other parent on a children’s program. The parents never show emotion besides compassion and understanding for their children’s feelings. Are children’s shows painting an unrealistic portrait of the modern-day, real-life parent?
I think so.
It got me thinking about my own parenting style. The more realistic, unanimated version. While there are many ways to parent I wish I was better at, the reality is I’m not. And that’s okay!
Here are 10 examples:
- I cook wholesome, healthy meals for my children each and every day… but sometimes, I don’t.
- I keep my cool and have an abundance of patience for my children in every situation possible… but sometimes, I don’t.
- I read stories to my children every night before bedtime… but sometimes, I don’t.
- I take time for myself, drink lots of water, exercise, get 8 hours of peaceful sleep… but sometimes, I don’t.
- I wake up rested before my children, get dressed, and am able to get some work finished before they wake up… but sometimes, I don’t.
- I clean my house (including toilets) regularly and without complaining… but sometimes, I don’t.
- I am able to constructively criticize my children when they are doing something wrong and teach them a lesson along the way… but sometimes, I don’t.
- I am compassionate and coddling to the children when they are hurt, angry, frustrated, mad, temperamental, irrational, or sad… but sometimes, I don’t.
- I step away from my work, cleaning, and cooking when they ask for help with something…but sometimes, I don’t.
- I feel beautiful and completely confident in my parenting… but sometimes, I don’t.
So raise your glass, from water to wine, and let’s have a toast to all the real-life parents out there.
Keep in mind, for the times you feel as though “sometimes you don’t”, it only means: most of the time, you actually… DO!