I just got finished watching The Legend of the Guardians – that movie with the owls. Have you seen it?! What a movie!! I got so inspired and of course somehow find lessons for parenting everywhere…even in a kids movie about rivaling owl tribes!
The movie was really about Soren, a young owl boy’s journey and learning to dare, trust himself and do the right thing. I was so touched by his bravery and started thinking about being brave. As a parent.
I always say “You have to be brave to be a good parent”. Which means sometimes making the hard choices, choices our kids are not always happy with, choices that sometimes may make parenting harder. But choices that our children need for us to make. I think being a brave parent has to do with seeing the bigger picture and acting from that place or level of awareness.
Take for example getting your kids to sleep in their own bed, quite diapers, listen, doing chores, or doing their homework, when we focus on their corresponding bigger picture – good sleep for the whole family, a contingent child, harmony and balance in the home, a tidy home, succeeding in school – parenting becomes easier.
I remember a friend of mine said to me years back, “I never have a hard time telling my kids no, when I know it is the right thing to do.” I see so many moms not parenting from a place of bravery, from a place of bigger picture thinking and many of us dipping our toes in too. Here some things that a lot of us do that serve to undermine our goals as parents…
- Say no, then after being harassed for 10 minutes, give in and let them have candy (undermining the larger goal of good health)
- Let them watch hours of TV because it frees you up to do stuff for you (undermining the larger goal of creativity and mental health)
- Dragging out processes like potty training or teaching our children to sleep in their own beds because ripping off the band-aid and just doing these things is hard, time consuming and frustrating (undermining the larger goal of your child’s independence)
But doing any of these things isn’t BAD. We need time to process changes in our children’s development in order to figure it out ourselves! But what happens is that we do figure it out and we often know exactly how to improve a situation, but we still don’t do it, because we are used to the way things are, are not confident in our ability to fix the situation or have yet to find our inner bravery!
Soren, the young owl got really good at trusting his “gizzard”, instinct for us humans, and it made him brave. He found himself doing things he never dreamed possible, because he KNEW it was the right thing to do.
Expect more of yourself when it comes to making improvements in your family’s lives and please believe me when I tell you, you know just what to do…listen to your inner voice and act on it. People will think you are brave, but you will just be doing the right thing for you and for your kids.
How can you, today, step up to the plate and be a BRAVER parent today?