I was reminded of a valuable lesson this week, of which I should have known long ago. It is important to care for the people we love not just by providing the physical necessities of life but also by being emotionally open to listen, provide comfort, support and encouragement.
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Sometimes as a parent you get caught up in giving your children all the material things you longed for as a child and didn’t receive. Obviously you feed, clothe and provide shelter but perhaps your most important role should always be first and foremost, being their emotional and mental shoulder to lean on. You should be the one they can come to with all their challenges and worries. If your children can’t count on you for those things, then who can they trust?
Children will remember, long after the toys have been discarded, that Mom and/or Dad were there every step of growing up, the good and the bad times, and together you all made it through happy, strong and healthy. Children will remember and be grateful for the conversations, the unconditional love, the support, the advice and gentle guidance. They will look back and appreciate they had people who listened, didn’t react negatively, didn’t judge and remained calm in the face of difficulties.
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Sadly and with regret, I wasn’t always that parent. I preach a lot of positivity but know I haven’t always practiced what I preach. I am being open and vulnerable and I hope I will not be judged too harshly.
Parenting is a tough job and no one does it perfectly. So if you’re feeling a little lost navigating the waters of raising a child, know that you are not the first one to ever make mistakes nor will you be the last. You may not always get it right but like most of us, remain hopeful that doing your best will be good enough to raise a child that is kind, empathetic, has ambitions and dreams and works hard to achieve a happy and satisfying life.
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I may have made many errors along the way and will have to live with a few regrets but parenting is a job that is never really over so I will continue to strive to give my child what she truly needs, my emotional support. I will work hard every day to Be Pretty, Plus and Proud of the Mom I am and will evolve into day after day.