As I prepare for a final push through driver’s training with my youngest, I find myself reflecting on what it means to successfully raise a child. This introspection has taken me down many a memory lane–some good, some not great, most incredibly amazing. It has also taken me to parenting blogs and a whole host of poems and quotations.
Probably, the most well-known parenting quote goes something like this: children need both wings and roots. One to stay grounded, the other to explore their independence. That said, this baby bird didn’t look too happy when momma and poppa shoved him out of the nest. While his much bigger brother seemingly got the hang of his new wings quite quickly, I’m not sure if this little one ever did. He wasn’t around the next day.
Over the past 26 years as a parent, I have learned only two things:
- I make mistakes every single day. Each decision I make and each interaction I have with my children impacts how they will act and react with the world around them.
- There is not, and should never be, a parenting book meant for all parents and all children. Raising kids requires flexibility for the time and space you are in, which is as fluid as the water in my mug. Because of this, the world is full of conflicting advice. In fact, I couldn’t even find a cohesive quote on parenting that wasn’t almost immediately contradicted by another.
Oh yeah, and a third thing–letting go never gets easier despite the fact that releasing our children into the world as healthy, happy adults is the end goal.
My hope for you and the youth in your life is that you understand and embrace the uniqueness of yourself and your children. No two parents and no two children are the same. While using a good parenting book can help get your own feet rooted in the right place, just know that you may have to find the one that works for the time and space you are in right now. The more children you have, the more books you may need.
If you have used a great parenting book, please let us know so we can consider it for our shelves. If you are in need of a parenting book, we can help you find one.
I have one more day before my youngest will be driving me around. I can only hope I’ve given him a solid road map to get us safely to our destinations.
Wonder where the books are on time travel? I might need to get that figured out before my nest is completely empty!
happy reading~ jody