Good Parenting—It's Not Complicated

Learning to be the type of parent that your child deserves.

Posted Aug 25, 2019

Vidal Balielo Jr. via Pexels
Source: Vidal Balielo Jr. via Pexels

I just searched for the term “Parenting” in the Books section on a major online platform.

Do you know what I found?

Over 50,000 titles!

This makes me happy… and frustrated. 

Happy, because if you’ve got valuable insights to share—on any topic—writing a book is a beautiful way to do it. (I’ve written 15 books, myself.)

Frustrated, because… hmm. How do I put this elegantly? 

Let’s try this:

Good parenting is not rocket science—and it shouldn’t require 50,000 books to help parents understand what is required. 

As a parent, your job can be quite simple. 

To care for your child, as you would care for yourself.

The problem is that many grown-ups don’t actually care for themselves in all of the ways that matter. They know how to care for themselves in the basic and fundamental ways—like brushing teeth, washing hair—but not always in the deeper ways, like maintaining emotional health or prioritizing self-respect and self-worth (which invariably translates into making positive choices.) Yes, making positive choices is a form of self-care.

The problem is that many grown-ups never learned how to truly be well-adjusted grown-ups, in large part because their parents or caregivers weren’t equipped to teach them everything they needed to know. So they tend to pass along that “shakiness” to their children, perpetuating the cycle of inadequate parenting and shaky life skills. 

It is heartbreaking, but true. 

This is a problem that 50,000 books are trying to help resolve. 

This is a problem that I have devoted much of my 30-plus-year career in the counseling field to solving, too.

So, what’s the solution? Another book on the shelves? Maybe. (Probably couldn’t hurt.)

Or maybe a simple reminder. Like this one:

No matter how you were raised, now that you’re an adult?

You can choose to do things differently.

You can learn to re-parent those aspects of yourself that may still be aching for love... perhaps hungry for attention... or feeling afraid and unprotected. 

You can learn to give yourself the emotional care that you didn't receive as a child. 

You can learn to fill in the gaps that your parents needed to—but were unable to—fill for you.

You can learn how to treat yourself with love and respect—and model that behavior for your offspring.

You can learn to become the parent that you never fully experienced.  

The type of parent that your child deserves.

Will it be easy? Maybe. Maybe not.

Will it take courage and consistent effort? Probably.

Will it be complicated? No. It’s not complicated.

It’s a choice.

A choice that your child is counting on you to make.

Choose to do things differently.

. . .
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional or psychological advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact a qualified healthcare provider before implementing or modifying any personal growth or wellness program or technique, and with questions about your well-being.

Copyright ©2019 Dr. Suzanne Gelb, PhD, JD. All rights reserved.