I have a passion for life! I love who I am and above all, I love God. It is God that taught me to love myself. Then, the need for others to love me didn’t exist, but I learned why it is essential for me to love others. I was apprehensive about becoming a parent. It wasn’t something that was natural for me since my childhood had a narrative that was nothing less than horrific and scarring. Once I was, the test began and the one thing I wanted to get right in life more than anything else, was parenting. As a mother, the choice became mine to submit to what I was familiar with or do something to change the lucid visions that could hurl a fragile and scared little girl into her own dark world. I was determined not to replicate the abuse and pain. I made the decision to leave it behind, taking only the good experiences and memories, although it wasn’t easy.
I remembered my painful tears as a child and promised myself that I would provide my children with the things I prayed for. I wanted them to laugh from their soul, smile because it’s their natural expression, and inspire others because they know how. It didn’t mean they would be without challenges, but I gave them unwavering love, complete trust, and confidence as tools. Then, I taught them to have compassion, persistence, goals and why a relationship with God is an essential part of their existence. Every single day, I told them I loved them and I made a constant effort to make sure they could see it. I shared the mistakes I made throughout my life so they would trust coming to me for advice when they made theirs. My children had to learn how to be fearless because as a child, I lived in fear. They needed to know it was okay if they fell as long as they got back holding their head high. They were pulled close to understand me and talk about their day just as I shared mine with them while we cooked and ate dinner together. We prayed together, laughed together, cried together and lifted one another. They both think they are my favorite because neither of them felt I loved the other more.
The truth about parenting is that you will make mistakes, as I’m sure I’ve made my share. However, learning to correct parenting skills by listening to your children and learning from them helped shape me into the mother I am today.
- Love them as God loves you.
- Encourage them to be better than you and give them the tools to accomplish that.
- Keep them close rather than pushing them away when you get busy. Allow them to share in your success and understand your failures.
- When they ask you a question, don’t lie. Tell them the truth so they learn to do the same.
- Take time to ask questions before jumping to conclusions.
- Don’t assume they know you love them because you are their parent. Tell them, and more importantly, show them.
- Be the example that you want them to become. They are learning from you and they see and hear more than you think.
- Don’t tell them about God. Show them His work and help them build a relationship with God.
- Try not to react or discuss situations when you’re upset. Give it time and revisit it when you have a better mindset. Allow them to share their perspective as it may change yours.
- Remember, you were a child once.