Today I am at a ‘Parent Enrichment’ class hosted by our school. It’s a series of 6 sessions, run buy the Counsellors and free for 15 parents to sign up. I did a similar course a few years ago and found it pretty useful to identify the ways of parenting that no one tells you about. To think before I speak. To find a voice I am comfortable with.
Parenting: it’s that minefield where blogs and books and anecdotal evidence only go as far as ones own doorstep. Enter that doorway and it is a variety of mind sets and personalities. Individual and intricate situations that one can tackle and hope that all our efforts at this game are not for naught.
Here is the rub: you can watch your parents parent you, you can watch how your friends parents parented them, you can watch your peers parent their kids, you can read every book known to man and every piece of advice online. But, when it comes down to it, you can only do what works for you. And that my friends is parenting - a hill full of holes and tantrums and arguments and cooperation and moments that feel like a win and caves of emptiness and guilt. It’s all a lesson in the fact that there are no perfect kids and no perfect parents and everyone is stumbling about this hill blind and hoping to come to rest on a rock that bears some semblance to what might be appropriate or useful..
This here class, it’s 2 hours and 15 parents worth of lessons and guided discussions. We are all looking for strategies, methods and pointers in dealing with the many many dilemmas that being a parent involves. Tone, active listening, body language, cooperation yada yada yada. We nod knowingly; we’ve heard it, we intrinsically know most of it, we just don’t seem to consistently apply it. This class should help us focus a bit more. Everyone here has a problem, a parenting style they struggle with, a partner that disciplines in a different way to them, an overwhelming feeling of needing to change something and somewhat a sense of failing their children. And no matter who tells you you are a good parent, that’s the kind of test which you feel you cannot score top marks at and which always makes us compare our marks to others.
These here are my people.