REAL Parenting is creating conditions
for your child to be the best version of himself.
REAL parenting is NOT about meeting every one of your child's needs or making her life as easy as possible.
REAL parenting IS
about creating conditions that allow your child to be her best self.
Picture a thriving organic fruit tree. Strong, vibrant colors. Giving us its sweet, nourishing fruits along with its beauty and shade. Seems like a miracle. And it is. But the miracle of that prolific fruit tree happened because of the conditions created for it to be able to have strong healthy roots and to grow into the best version of itself.
It's the same with your child. You want her to be able to offer her 'fruits' to the world - time, talent, kindess, intelligence, passion, spirituality - just to name a few. And she can. You help create the conditions that will give your child strong roots so she can produce healthy fruit and make the world a better place.
“I’ve always believed that parents are not for leaning upon, but rather exist to make leaning unnecessary.”
Each child is unique. What helps one child grow 'fruit' might actually keep another one from thriving.
How do you know what your child needs most? There's no one right answer and no guarantees when it comes to parenting, but that doesn't mean you should do nothing!
There are plenty of things you can do to create the conditions for your unique child to live his best life.
Love Unconditionally ~ What every human being wants is to be accepted and loved just because. No exceptions. It's not always easy to give love unconditionally to your child, especially when he's in the middle of a tantruming phase or she's making poor choices in friends or he's not living up to his potential in school. Keep working at it though! Loving your child unconditionally creates the foundation for him to grow into the best version of himself.
Think Long-Term ~ You're not really raising a child. You're raising an adult. Envision the kind of adult you will be proud to say you parented. What kinds of qualities does she have? How does she make the world a better place? REAL parenting is not about forcing your child to be a certain way, but it is about making the decisions today, even when you are tired or overwhelmed, that increase the chances your child will grow into the self-reliant, generous, passionate, healthy adult you hope she will be.
Be Present ~ Both despite of and because of all the technology available, it's easier than ever to be disconnected from your child. It's simple to get into the habit of tuning out. Whether your baby is crying in the night, your toddler is in the middle of a series of 'but, why mama?' questions, or your teen is rolling her eyes at you, what your child needs most in those moments is for you to be present. To acknowledge and respond to the behavior but mostly to see behind it and connect with his true spirit.
Take Responsibility ~ As a parent it's tempting to want to be your child's best buddy; to make sure she is having fun all the time and life is easier because of you. REAL parenting means taking responsibilty for being your child's parent and that means taking responsibilty for your child's health and happiness. Feed her REAL food. Help solve her health problems. Set boundaries to keep her safe. Let her actually do whatever she can do on her own ~ even when it's a little hard for her ~ so that she can become more resilient and self-reliant.
Learn over a Lifetime ~ Your child needs to see you as a lifelong learner - when it comes to parenting as well as other interests and passions. Show your child that your mindset is not fixed, but that you have a growth mindset and that you are willing to take risks, make mistakes, and 'outgrow' yourself as person. And, encourage him to to do same thing!
Love Openly ~ Family, friendship, spirituality, sexuality - there are so many areas through which you can support your child in learning how to love in a healthy way. It all begins with your child loving and respecting herself, and what better way for that to happen than to see a parent who does the same.
Give Back ~ Together share your gifts of time, talent, money, presence, hard work, creativity, kindness...the list goes on and on...with the world every day. When your child sees you giving back - making the world a better place - and when you make this a priority in your parenting life, your child will look for ways to naturally and happily be of service in the world. In doing this make sure to take responsiblity to teach your child to set healthy boundaries and know how to also gracefully receive from others.
Being a parent is arguably the most important role you have, especially when your child is still at home. It's also arguably the most challenging role of your life. There's no one right way to parent and you can't parent each child the same way.
There's no manual or guidebook. But there is some science. And you can look at what has worked well for parents over time. Plus there's your intuition and common sense. REAL parenting is about you becoming the parent that nourishes your child's roots every day to the best of your ability. (
make sure you enjoy those sweet fruits along the way!)
Angelle Batten, MEd. is a Holistic Health & Parenting Coach and co-founder of get REAL for kids™. She teaches parents how to feed their children REAL food and parent in a more connected way every day - so despite a crazy busy life they can raise healthier, happier children who make the world a better place.
Susan McCreadie, MD is a Holistic Pediatrician and co-founder of get REAL for kids™. She shows parents how to find REAL health for their child, so they can stop treating their child's symptoms and instead find solutions that help their child heal from the inside out.