I am doing a master degree in development management. In parallel to a master degree on parenting. My child will be awarding the degree. Stakes are high. Principles and values are simple.
Read lots of books on parenting. The list of my favorite books includes:
Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five, by John Medina,
Baby Hearts: A Guide to Giving Your Child an Emotional Head Start by Goodwyn Ph.d., Susan, Linda Phd Acredolo.
What All Children Want Their Parents To Know by Loomans, Diana, Godoy, Julia.
All these readings made me plunge into my childhood. Lots of my current beliefs and behaviours got suddenly a crystal clear explanation. But this post is not about that.
So back to my master’s in parenting. In parallel to others wisdom and experience I also rely powerfully on my intuition. From early pregnancy days, my core ABC values are:
A. YOUR baby is your guide. Not your relatives, neighbours and all kinds of ‘good-wishers’, whose “advise” is to be listened to or dismissed with, sometimes, huge sense of humour.
B. Treat your child as you would like to be treated yourself. It’s the Golden Rule of reciprocity and basic respect.
C. Treasure yourself. Parents’ supreme responsibility is to be there for their children in good physical and mental health.
How I explained my B value to my partner, who had issues in adjusting to his parenting role as in a “fast grab it & do it” parenting style? Imagine you are being approached by a guy 3 to 5 times your height and 7 to 20 times your weight who is verbalising in an alien-like-adult-prejudiced- sound track and is suddenly grabbing you and holding up above his head and finds it funny and expects the same from you?!… not quite funny isn’t it, if looked at from the other end :). And all forms of patronizing are, to me, an antonym to parenting.
OR for day-care dropping: imagine you are visiting a friend in another country who cannot see you tonight and instead drops you at a party in the neighbourhood in a room of 100 strangers talking different languages, waves you goodbye and says “you’ll be fine”. Not quite funny, is it? :). It’s a “walk in their shoes” approach.
What’s central is respect, as reciprocity is an immediate manifestation in a parent-child relation.
I am loud, my baby is ear-splitting.
I am respectful with others, my baby is politeness-incorporated!
I am sad, my baby is tearful!!
I am vocal, my baby is choral!!!
I am reserved, my baby is demur!!!!
I am a fighter, my baby is Che-Guevara-ish!!!!!
I am happy, my baby is happier!!!!!!
I love and my baby loves life, animals, small bugs, flowers, the wind and the city she calls Paris… .
And reciprocity is what makes parenting a really beautiful endeavour.
Enjoying to respect kids and enjoying being a parent is a choice. Easy one. When done with love.