Are You Really Parenting?

As the mother of a 6 year-old, one of the things I’ve discovered is that parenting is not something you can learn in a book. Sure, there are many texts that can tell you how to potty train, handle tantrums, and get your kid to eat her veggies. But I’ve yet to find a parenting book that teaches you how to build confidence in a very young child. Actually, that is not true. I’ve read a few books on how giving a child independence and giving them responsibilities will give them confidence.

That may work at home.

But for confidence out in the world, I find that children learn best by watching (not listening) to their parents. And I’m not talking about sitting down and showing them how things are done. I mean your child, watching what you do, all-the-time.

They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Yes, but it’s also how children learn. So, if you want to raise a healthy child, I’m sorry to say it, but you, yourself, are going to have to get healthy as well. We teach by doing.

I want my child to know that she can do anything she puts her mind to. That’s why I make sure she comes with me to my races, and that she knows when I’m going out to run or to exercise. I want her to SEE what I am doing on a daily basis, not just hear about them. I let her join in with me when she wants to try push ups or crunches. Olivia once asked me why I race. I told her, because it’s hard, but I want to prove to myself that I can do it.

This is what parenting is. It’s building a base for strong children who believe in their own possibilities and dreams and know that they can achieve what they want with a lot of work. It’s letting kids know that they can go against what’s popular, what’s mainstream, and do what they want in life.

Whatever you want your child to be in life, you need to be that for them.

Parenting…it’s way more than just diaper changes and bottle cleaning.

So tell me, what kind of parent are you?


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