“Parenting is the intersection of our struggle as a parent and their struggles as children.”

During this long Covid season we are living through, we all are left at least a bit fragile from the experience – both parents and children.

The insecurities, the unknowns, the questions, the decisions to make for ourselves, our families, our children on how to be safe, how much is too much when we think about interacting with others – when we thing about social invitations, when we think about finances, about work/home, about schooling.

On top of those are the everyday minutia between children and parents like  learning to listen, sibling interactions, cleaning their rooms, picking up toys, staying in the yard, sharing, whining, too much screen-time, follow-through.

And it’s especially when our children disobey, find excuses, don’t listen, that their struggles meet our parent struggles head-on and personal.

Yet it’s up to us as parents to try and separate our frustrations (why can’t he ever listen, just pick up the toys, go to bed?) and respond instead first to the struggle our child is facing, by acknowledging it – by naming it – “I know it’s hard to stop playing and come to the table to eat” and then following through with what we need him to do.

For it is during this patient parent understanding and response to a child’s behavior that helps children move forward in over-coming their struggles –  even as we, ourselves,  grow and learn in an understanding  of our own parenting struggles.

Nobody said it would be easy, right?  But definitely worth every struggle!

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