Growth Is Imperative in the Journey Called Parenting

by ParentCo. December 22, 2017

Father and child enjoying celebration on festive season

Just like in every relationship, growth is a crucial element in parenting as well. Parenting offers us a chance to observe and sometimes self-reflect on our actions and reactions towards our children and everyone else. This act of observing, reflecting, and further improving ourselves helps in charting our growth trajectory in the journey of parenthood.

Children are like mirrors. They show us who we are and how we act, talk, and behave in social settings or in moments of crisis. Observing them will help us know how we've turned out as human beings. They are, indeed, the honest feedback of our own actions and behaviors. If we wish to see any good change in them, we need to invest in ourselves first to have it reflected by them. This is how we learn, improve, and grow along with our children.

When the children grow up or are in their teenage years, their world widens and they have a lot more people influencing them by way of friends, teachers, and more. At this stage, if the parents have already worked on the foundation before the teen years and have a strong friendship with their kids, then it will be a lot easier to control them and deflect any negative influences on them.

Growth in parenting is an ongoing process that will need every parent to stay open to observing their child’s needs. The proportion of emotional needs might increase compared to physical ones with growing age, hence the constant learning.

With every passing age and stage, the needs of a child might tend towards the emotional and intellectual more than the physical. Fulfilling the basics of food, shelter, and security are not just the pre-requisites of parenting. We are constantly required to be present, alert, attentive, and ready to fulfill our kids' other emotional and social needs as well. Children feel secure when they know they have parents to look up to or fall back on. It keeps them confident, happy, and stable and also helps to forge better social connections.

Some parents assume that, as their children grow up, their duties end and their learning can stop. However, the day parents feel as if fulfilling basics was their job and they stop responding emotionally to their children, they become obsolete in the growth process or, worse, wither away in terms of that emotional connection with their children.

I have observed many middle-aged parents or septuagenarian parents, whose kids are married or settled, develop the “know it all, done it all” attitude. Their belief that they know it all coupled with their ego barricades them from emotionally reaching out to their children. It's because of this emotional road block that the parental equation, which is supposed to be biologically wired with love and trust, boils down to mere “duty.”

Every relationship needs time and some amount of investment. The love, trust, and friendship in your equation with your child will require your effort and investment, and not mere genetics. Working on this love, respect, and friendship in parenting is what will require you to stay observant and have a “growth” mindset.

Develop the beautiful friendship that you have with your child. Only the element of duty is biological, love goes beyond biology! This is what we have to learn as parents and practice. If we manage to realize and practice it (no matter the result), our growth is guaranteed in this journey of parenthood. So keep growing!



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