Parenting From Love
By Caroline Smith
Parenting is one of the hardest jobs there is, and one of the least valued. We get no training for it, and yet it is vital to the progress of our society. The payoff however is that it’s also one of the most rewarding jobs you’ll ever do.
What does parenting from love mean? Does it mean that we have to remain in that haze of hormones that flood us when our baby is first born, looking goo-ily at the object of our adoration and always feeling sweetness and light? Does it mean that we do everything we can to avoid upsetting our child? Well, no. It’s a bit more complicated than that.
Patience and kindness
Parenting from love requires patience and kindness, and a determination to cultivate those qualities in ourselves. That takes practice so we must also become patient and kind towards everybody else and leave behind judgmental attitudes.
We should be patient and kind with ourselves, allowing ourselves to have an open attitude of learning in parenting.
It also requires some critical thinking to correctly identify what our child needs, as opposed to simply responding to immediate wants. This allows you to meet the longterm needs of your child, enabling them to learn an ability to self regulate, confidence in their capacity and strength of character. It requires thought, consideration and consultation.
The family is the basic unit of society and the first one a child enters. It provides the optimum environment for the growth of the child, but it’s crucial that the family is united. Disunity makes it more difficult to parent from love. If the adults in the family can create a united approach to the life of the family, the children will thrive. This doesn’t mean there’s no room for difference, find unity in the diversity and you’ll create an even richer atmosphere where an array of things are learned, all in a spirit of love.
The comfort zone
In order to be able to meet the long term needs of your child, you’ll need an ability to tolerate some discomfort. This is important so that we don’t make parenting decisions in order to avoid uncomfortable situations, and so that we don’t indulge our children in order to avoid their discomfort.
Finally, parenting from love requires courage. It takes courage to choose a hard right over an easy wrong. It takes courage to focus on the real needs of our child over the expectations and influences of society. It takes courage to sometimes be unpopular with our children, or to brave the disapproval others. The pay off is that it’s very much worth the courage it takes.
“Children are the most precious treasure a community can possess, for in them are the promise and guarantee of the future. They bear the seeds of the character of future society which is largely shaped by what the adults constituting the community do or fail to do with respect to children.…An all embracing love of children, the manner of treating them, the quality of the attention shown them, the spirit of adult behaviour toward them – these are all among the vital aspects of the requisite attitude.”
Nightingale Training and Development is Ann O’Sullivan, Psychotherapist and Certified Trainer, and Caroline Smith, MIAHIP, Psychotherapist. Nightingale provides a range of training courses, including parenting, relationships, personal development and coping with loss and grief. firstname.lastname@example.org