Thursday, July 26, 2012
Remember and refresh
I haven't talked about our parenting too much since, well, since a lot of things. Since we moved to Colorado, since the kids went back to school, since they have been back home for the summer. Though the days of freshly written thoughts and changes regarding unschooling and peaceful parenting seem to have passed, the days of living these principles the best way we can have not. I have much cause to remember and re-familiarize myself with those writings recently. The new air we breathe here has been fantastic and life affirming, but it has also been challenging in the sense of reminding me that how we live is rare, and the rarity of our lifestyle is extremely evident to the new friends and families we have surrounded ourselves with. It is for this reason that I must remember where we came from and how hard we worked to get here. Strangely enough, the other day I found myself reminding my son not to get too confident with his knife that he whittles with, that it's when we get too comfortable that carelessness can cause us to slip and make mistakes. How true this is with any skill.
And yes, parenting is a skill, an earned ability that continues to hone itself with each new age and each new challenge our relationship presents us with. We are not parents just by the right of biology, we have to earn this title as with any job that we commit to. And we are accountable though we may believe we have no one to answer to but ourselves. We have our children, our community, their futures, and even their children that we may be accountable to.
And we are rare, those of us who aim to parent peacefully and respectfully. Just yesterday a neighborhood parent of ours commented on a choice we made with our child. "Hmmm," he said, " I usually see these rules as black or white in my book, either they do what they are told, or they don't." Hubs and I looked at each other and smiled. Hubs said "We have a lot of gray areas in our parenting, A LOT", to which I agreed and added, "Yeah, it took us a lot to find the gray."
I see that everyday. I have no cause to judge harshly those that do not parent the way we do. At least I try not to with as much compassion as I can muster. I myself was not a child raised this way, nor did we ourselves begin with parenting respectfully. Those reasons stand alone in helping me try to understand, relate, and even remain silent, though my urge is to shout out how much I believe in what we are doing. I left those soap box days in complete acknowledgement that we cannot "teach" anybody anything, unless they are ripe with the strongest desire to change. I try to see how other parents must see us. I had one mother ask me, kindly, if we had rules and boundaries for the kids to follow. I was surprised at this question because I had no idea that the way we lived spoke that loudly to others.
This post is going far longer than I had originally planned. I feel like I have so much more to say, so much more to share. Like how do we know we need to change? How do we know our relationship with our children is suffering? How do we know if we are making mistakes with our parenting, and how do we get better? I feel like I have to tell somebody or I will burst. Lucky for me that I have a place to share, lucky for you that you have a choice to read or to not read. These ideas aren't new of course, they weren't new ideas when I discovered them. But what they can do for any family, if they believe in them, is very very new. And this I believe, is worth sharing.
much love and peace