Parenting is one of the few professions for which there is no formal education. Books about parenting have been written by people, claiming to be experts, with degrees in physiology and doctorates in education. By that definition I might be considered an expert. I do have a bachelor’s in music education and multiple years of practical experience in the classroom. But that did not prepare me for being a parent. My husband and I came home with a baby. A baby! A small helpless person – without even so much as an owner’s manual. That’s all it took. No interview. No personality tests. Just congratulations, it’s a boy!
Experience Makes the Parent
After raising two sons and now becoming a grandmother, I realize that experience makes the parent. Even then, no one will ever have all the answers. There are just too many variables in this equation. Each child is different. Each situation is different. While there is no way to acquire the experience needed prior to becoming a parent, I have, however, observed that love, logic, patience and inspiration are very useful tools.
Love happens the moment you are told you are going to be a parent. The instant that small beautiful, helpless child is born, overwhelming emotions flood in. Over the years that love grows and changes. Some days love is challenged, and you find yourself not liking all the chausse this little person causes, but the love never wains.
Logic, on the other hand, does not just happen. Some days you wonder what happened to logic. You find yourself trying to speak in logical terms with a person who has no logic and you wonder, when did all my conversations become about poop and pee? As parents we discover logic is what we need to teach our children and they are learning it by watching us.
That brings me to patience. Patience is something parents learn. The earlier we learn it the better! Patience is required when we want to become the child. When we want to scream in frustration and cry in anger. Patience warns us to leave the situation before we lose all control. Patience is something we practice and discover, over and over. How little we have and how much is needed.
Inspiration occurs as we watch our children and observe their needs. It is all those little “ah-ha” moments when you are in the right place at just the right time to share a meaningful learning experience with your child. That’s when the magic happens. And that is why I started Bringing Up Nana. I hope this will be a place where parents and grandparents can come together and share those moments so that we can all benefit from each other’s experiences. The good, the difficult, the inspired. Because, while you think you are teaching your children – it is you who will learn the most.