After much soul searching and wondering what my purpose was for being in this world, I finally got clarity on what I need to do with the time I have remaining on Earth. Focusing on Emotional Intelligence skills for parents and kids is how I see myself being able to make a difference in the world in the most impactful way.
Why parenting? When it comes to parenting, how many times did we all wish that we had a color-coded parenting guide book that answered all of our questions, came with guarantees, and helped to guide us along the way on this perilous journey?
We all want to know that if we followed certain rules or adhered to the method espoused by a certain parenting expert, our children will sleep through the night, be happy, make friends, achieve professional success, and stay safe.
The uncertainty of parenting makes us question our values, our beliefs, our sense of self-worth and most fundamentally, makes us wonder if we are doing the best for our kids’ psychological sense of wellbeing.
Brene Brown, the author of “Daring Greatly” says this about parenting: “Our need for certainty in an endeavor as uncertain as raising children makes explicit ‘how-to-parent’ strategies both seductive and dangerous. I say ‘dangerous’ because certainty often breeds absolutes, intolerance, and judgment. That’s why parents are so critical of one another –we latch on to a method or approach and very quickly our way becomes the way. When we obsess over our parenting choices to the extent that most of us do, and then see someone else making different choices, we often perceive that difference as direct criticism of how we are parenting. Ironically, parenting is a shame and judgment minefield precisely because most of us are wading through uncertainty and self-doubt when it comes to raising our children.”
I decided to become a parenting Emotional Intelligence coach and trainer not because I think I am a parenting expert, in fact, I’m not sure that I even believe in the idea of “parenting experts.” Like for many of you, parenting is by far my boldest, scariest and most daring adventure.
What I always thought was my biggest challenge in life, has also become my greatest gift. What I always considered the hardest and the most arduous task has become my compass for where I see myself going.
When I am filled with self-doubt and crumble to my knees because I am not sure if the path I am following will lead me to a place where love will always win, I remind myself of this quote I read many years ago by Brene Brown: “Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting.”
I learned so much about myself, my values, my fears, my doubts and ultimately my strengths in the last 17 years of being a parent that when I look at what’s in front of me now, I see clearly where I need to go and how I can help others navigate those same challenges that I faced.
Being blessed with a biological child, but also learning how to be a step-parent and slowly, over a period of time erasing the limitations of the word “step” has been my biggest gift. It is this gift that I want to pay forward as a way to express my gratitude for all that I have been given in this life.