2016 May 9
Parenting with Joanne
As yet another mothers’ day rolls into the calendar and many expressions of love are made, why not we as parents, take a step back to celebrate parenthood? We would all attest to the fact that parenting isn’t easy. It comes with a 24/7 mindfulness of living beings other than ourselves and the responsibility that changes forms over the years, yet one that never really leaves us. This week, I thought it appropriate to spend some time reflecting on beatitudes that make us who we are. Three cheers to parenting!!!!
No parent, I’m certain, would disagree when I say that patience is a virtue that undergoes a certain amount of perfection in the threshold of parenting. Each phase of a child’s development brings with it its own set of challenges. From breastfeeding and wakeful nights, to giving away sons and daughters at a wedding, each stage ensures a testing of this profound virtue called patience. Many times, it is the thin line between patience and lashing out, that has enriched our relationship with our children. For most of us, this virtue is a work-in-progress. Yet, it gives us reason to celebrate the fact that we are, through parenting, becoming better human beings.
Having had the joy of being a special needs educator, I’ve seen many parents battle with the reality of what faces them when they discover for the first time that they have a child who is differently abled. At times such as these, I’ve time and again, been at complete awe when meeting with some parents who show nothing but pure acceptance and love, which I believe can transform a child’s life. Parenting teaches us to accept and love our children as they are. Many psychologists believe that it is the acceptance and love that a child feels at home which lays a foundation for all his future relationships. Consider the magnitude of that responsibility. Let’s celebrate it!
Parents require resilience. Each day of parenting brings with it challenges of its own. Yet each day we wake up with determination to get back into the roles that have been assigned to us as parents. If we linger on through a day, crushed and broken because of life’s burdens we cannot fully satisfy the pressing needs of our children. Our minds almost always have to be wiped clean each night before we lay down to bed; wiped clean of the disappointments, hurts and setbacks of the day. Children look up to us to be pillars of strength and perhaps, it is this realization that helps us bounce back with inner strength, which sometimes surprises even us.
When our young children cannot define or understand their own feelings, we feel it for them. What a wonder! When you bid goodbye to your young child at the school gate and the teacher takes his hand and leads him to his class, it is only a parent who would still know that her son didn’t have a good start that particular day. When the whole world sees your child smile, it is a parent who is able to see the tears behind those smiles. I consider this a gift. A gift bestowed on us parents, to ensure that our souls are bound to the ones we bring forth into this world. Celebrate it!!
If you are parent of a toddler, you know what I mean when I say, that no two days are ever the same. Every day will bring with it wonders of its own. There’s never a dull moment and very often no time to sit brooding over past happenings. Being a parent, pushes you to live in the ‘present’, especially when we have children who are younger in age.
Last evening I sang at church, whilst carrying my two year old son. When the priest walked down the aisle as the last song was being sung, my son observed with great delight. The song came to end and to my surprise the toddler in my arms spoke loudly into the microphone and said ‘Done’ ‘Let’s go’. The feeling I felt at that very moment, was new and I was sure that there were more new feelings to come in the future. In joyful anticipation of these emotions, let’s celebrate.
Have you ever seen a young child being led by the hand of a parent? The trust that pervades that scene is truly beautiful. Our children trust us from birth. It is up to us to cherish that trust and help them keep it. In almost every other human relationship, trust has to be earned. And we do so, throughout our lifetime. With parenting comes an inborn trust from a child to its caregiver. Yet, how easily do some of us break it by failing to keep our word. Let’s make a decision today to value that trust that our children place on us and to enrich it over the years to come.
Joanne Sathyadass has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Journalism, Psychology and English Literature from the University of Bangalore now serving as a Special Needs Educator
For any queries please email Joanne on firstname.lastname@example.org