Parenting By Example: The Power Of Perspective Parenting
The moment you decide you want your child to have a better experience in life is the moment you become a better parent.
My mother is here visiting from Ohio and it's always a blessing when she is here. Being able to allow my mother who has lived in Ohio her entire life to basically have a bi-coastal life has been amazing. This goes back to my previous post about success being relative in life. I may not have reached my career high, but being able to provide my mother with freedom to travel is a success.
When my mother first got here, she was afraid to swim. She has pretty much been this way my entire life. The huge difference between my mother and I are our levels of sensitivity. My mother is an amazing, beautiful spirit and she is very understanding and accommodating to everyone and their needs. I am very similar to her in that sense, but different in how I handle it. My mom decided she was going to learn to swim at 59. This has been a beautiful thing for me to witness. To see my mother continue to challenge herself and push her own limits is a blessing. The funny thing is she really had no choice. It's 90-100 degrees here everyday and I'm not sitting on the side of the pool with anyone. We are all going to swim and we are going to have a good time. So she had to figure it out because my daughter wanted her in the pool.
I believe in pushing people out of their comfort and not babying anyone that is capable, but just unwilling to try. When my daughter wants to do something, but can't, I evaluate the reasoning behind the "can't." Is it because she is physically or mentally incapable or is it because she fears the process of learning how? Fear can be debilitating and block many blessings in your life. I don't want her to ever live in fear of change or challenges. My daughter seeing her Abuelita (Grandma in Spanish) teach herself to swim and try harder every single day is what matters. Her seeing me push myself physically in the gym on days when I'm tired. Her watching her father and I have disagreements and talking them through to a resolution. These are the experiences in her life that will mold her to be great.
I call it perspective parenting; teaching your child to learn through action. What does she see everyday? What behaviors are displayed? That is what's most important to every single child in this world. My words as a writer are important to me, but as a dancer I rely on movement to truly express myself. I know that I can say I love you five million times to my daughter. I can tell her what love means, write a book about it and sell it. Those things are important, but without action they are nothing. We have to remember that our children watch us even when we aren't aware. So what are we doing that is influencing them and is it for their betterment? I would like to believe that my actions of love and respect are what will affect my daughter the most. She will remember how I made her and the people around me feel.
* Parenting Tip: Practice the action of doing versus saying. Respect your children's mind and know that it is far more capable of complexity than we give credit. Be a "doing parent" more than a "saying parent." Let your actions and behaviors match your words. Also remember that it is never too late to be better and do better. Even if it was never given to you, give it to your children.