How do we know what is right and what is wrong when it comes to raising our children? Many times, parents that I talk with are trying to find the “right” answer, the prescription for raising children. Life would be so easy if there were a simple prescription to this very challenging job called parenting.
I believe, years ago, I was also one of those parents, looking for the answer. There were so many occasions where I told myself that I must have been doing it wrong. I constantly wondered what was right? That was the answer that I could never find. But I was searching outside of myself in books, therapists, and anywhere I could turn.
What turns out to be true is that right and wrong are nebulous. They are just judgments and labels that we put on life, decisions, and actions to make sense of them and characterize them in our own mind. Perhaps in some situations this works, especially when it comes to a math problem.
When it truly comes down to it, there is no right way or wrong way; there is just the way. Intuition and inner wisdom, in my opinion, are two important ingredients for raising children.
When we are quiet enough to hear our wisdom and listen to our child, we find the way, the path to raising “our” unique child in a way that serves the distinct character of that particular child. It is again not about what society tells us is “right” or “wrong”. No one knows our child as well as we do. No one lives with our child and see’s the needs of him or her as much as we do. So, the world at large cannot determine what is “right” or “wrong” for us, only we know the way.
In my own parenting, when I began to see things in this way and utilize my intuition and inner knowledge, I responded to each one of my daughters in a way that I felt internally would serve each of them. Every day is about trial and error, about doing the best that we can, and about listening to our intuition and learning from our children. The less we focus on these words, “right” and “wrong”, the more we can find the freedom to explore our heart and soul and the wisdom that resides within. When we do this, we are offering a deeper connection all around.
As Tom Ford says, “there are no right or wrong answers. There is only intuition.”
How do you define the way to parent in your home? Do you allow yourself enough room to listen to your intuition, as well as watch your child and adapt to what he/she needs?