“Being With”

Column Day! Today I talk about why I try to do things with my kids, not for them… even if it means cleaning up broken eggs. You can read it here.

Shawna and I got away for the weekend and we took in a parenting workshop with a British child psychologist, Dr.  Clare Gates.  It was really helpful stuff, and I’ll probably write more about it once I’ve had more time to process everything (and put it into practice). But one of the things she talked about was this idea of “being with” — essentially, our kids just need us to be there for them and walk with them through their ups and downs. She stressed that parenting isn’t about a series of techniques but a state of mind and a way of relating to our kids that helps them develop healthy and secure emotional lives. I’ve espoused a similar approach to parenting in some of my earlier posts.

As I mention in my column, it’s often a messier style of parenting. It means letting your kids express themselves and make mistakes and not behave like robots. We certainly haven’t perfected our approach, but on the difficult days we have faith it will pay off in the long run. Parenting is a marathon.

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