Joy AE Dennis, writer, life transformation facilitator, spiritual alchemist, hypnotherapist, Reiki Master and Intuitive.
Some of us thought about the kind of parents we would be once the time came, others of us never really considered planning ahead in this way. I am the latter. I knew that I wanted to have a bunch of kids, I knew that parenting was going to be part of my story. When it came down to it, as I held my first infant in my arms, I realized that I didn't know what the heck I was doing. I didn't even know how to change a diaper.
All these years later as I reflect on my journey as a parent one thing becomes crystal clear, I did a good job, I was and am a great parent. In those early years I chose my main goal, my legacy. This was to make relationship with my children my top priority. I wanted to know them for who they really were and would become, I wanted them to know and see me as a human being, not a collection of services. Choosing this has shaped my children and it has shaped me as a parent.
When I am working with clients I engage with a lot of people who were not parented in this way. Families have different priorities, however one common theme seems to be that parenting is equated with controlling, dominating and punishing. This type of parenting does not lead to healthy, empowered individuals. This creates adults that second guess themselves, doubt their value, struggle with perfectionism, have low self-esteem, make poor choices, eat to comfort themselves and experience depression/anxiety.
So, what does it look like to heal from poor/unskilled parenting? One of the first steps is to decide what kind of parent you want to be. You don't need to have kids, cats, dogs or any parenting experience. Deciding what kind of parent you want to be is about choosing a parenting style that resonates with you. Read some books, check out some blogs, do your research. Take what you glean and apply these newfound skills to yourself! You deserve to be loved unconditionally. You deserve to cut your own path, be your authentic self and make choices that bring you life and joy. It is never too late to take up the role of parent for yourself. Give yourself encouragement, comfort and guidance. Believe in yourself! Take good care of you, put on a sweater, make yourself go to bed when you are tired, eat healthy food, don't watch too much TV, go out with your friends, share, love and above all BE YOU. No strings, no vicarious dreams, no shadow of someone else's pain or story, just YOU. You have a purpose on this planet, one of your very own. Seek it out, embrace it and love it to life. Be a great parent!
Joy AE Dennis-Struss, writer, life transformation facilitator, spiritual alchemist, hypnotherapist, Reiki practititioner and Intuitive.