One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.

~ Maria Montessori ~

Personal Development Not Desired

June 22nd, 2014 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 27 secs

Don't get parenting? Relax.

Don’t get parenting? Relax.

Okay, hand up all those people who didn’t know that parenting was a personal development course in disguise. Aha… I guessed. But it’s true isn’t it? When you touched that tummy and felt those mysterious kicks from within, nothing was further from your mind. Then came the birth. Wow! But you got through, realizing that it was an unmistakable sign that life was never going to be the same again.

Not that you had much time to think about it. Things got incredibly busy with nappies (diapers), teething, and controlled crying… and that was just you.

Your baby, meanwhile, was taking it all in and growing at a rate of knots right before your tired eyes.

You probably didn’t recall the day your precious baby turned into a toddler. Nor, when they first started arguing with you about this and demanding more of that. Like ill-fitting underwear it just crept up on you.

Amidst all this, what you probably didn’t see was that you were really getting into parental personal development 101 (before going on to do your triple bachelors degree).

Nobody explained this back in neonatal classes either. While you were puffing hard on command and keeping calm during discussions about breech birth, nobody said anything. Not even the slightest whisper that this was some elaborate personal development course in disguise was even hinted at.

I wonder if many of us would have had kids had we known it was going to be such a tough gig. And, no, I don’t want to hear from pretenders declaring, “Well I don’t know what you are talking about as our child never gave us a blowfly’s cough of bother from the moment he was born.” They are either delusional, lying, or must have raised a robot.

Real families have difficulties at least now and then. This is not wrong or even bad. Just how it plays out in reality versus our irrational imagination.

As kids move into their teen years it’s natural for them to test the boundaries. Just as it’s natural that they want you to hand over the car keys, your credit card details, and apologize to them for wanting to help around the house.

You could throw your hands up in the air and feel your situation is hopeless and that it’s the worst in the world. Or, you can recognize that personal development is no cakewalk.

We think we are raising them. But as it happens, they’ve been raising us. And, as hard as that can be at times, it has all the potential to make you and I better for the effort.

People pay a lot for personal development courses. But the process of parenting is the most costly of all. It takes all you’ve got to give and then some and money is really the least of it (though they’ll be wanting that too).

Yet, despite the price and the pain, we do it. Kids grow up and in the process we do too. Despite the fact we never knew what we were getting into, the potential for self-development in helping them grow is immense.

So, if you are a parent, know this: yes it’s a tough course. But you’ll make it if you keep applying yourself. Though it might not show where you want it to go, the best you’ve got to give will be revealed. And, ultimately, it’s going to polish you too.

When Did You Last Enjoy Playing?

Getting Always Being Best Off Your Chest You Can’t

You Can’t


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