Hi there! You can scroll to the bottom for the full playlist, or keep reading!
I had the pleasure of hosting a podcast series with Susan called “Parenting Class” which is basically five videos that take you through the class that is facilitated here at Suncoast a few times a year. Topics range from teaching your child that “no” is an answer to how to give directions and connect with their heart. Feedback from the class is wonderful, so we figured a digital version might benefit parents near and far (thanks internet!). I do not have children (in fact I used to be terrified of children) so I wasn’t sure if the information would benefit me in this stage of life.
I was surprised to find that being a “good parent” can easily translate to being a “good person”. It’s all about listening, understanding, showing respect, treating others with dignity, and most importantly: love. When we show these examples in our own lives, and we allow children (your own and others) to feel as if they deserve the same kind of treatment, they will do the same. Essentially, you’re raising adults. As we went through each podcast, I had flashbacks of my own childhood, the interactions I’ve had with parents (as they parented their kids), and my experiences as an aunt. I started to see trends, and I began to understand the “style” or “method” my parents used on me. Perspective is important, especially in the era of “should you have kids or stay childfree?”. I want to know as much as I can before deciding to embark on a life changing journey like parenthood, or choosing to forgo it.
To be completely honest, the idea of being a parent is daunting. I imagine all the ways I would fail or “ruin” my child, all the frustrating times that make some parents question their capabilities, but especially, I think of all the ways I would have to change in order to be the best I can be (I like sleeping, thank you). I’ve read plenty of Youtube comments like “don’t have kids, they ruin your life” or “if I knew it was this hard, I wouldn’t have had kids” or the unbelievable “it’s different when it’s your own”. Yes, some parents feel the need to warn the childfree community of what’s to come, and maybe that’s what scares me the most: some parents regret having kids.
That reality forces me to ask the question “will I?”. On the other hand, I get to witness family members and close friends say it’s all worth it, good and bad. How can I believe that? The chemicals in my brain are different, they don’t tell me to love that screaming thing unconditionally, so how can I know for sure? Maybe the lack of sleep forces some kind of delusional state to convince the parent that it’s all ok when it’s not. Don’t get me wrong, there are some beautiful examples of “good parents” that inspire me, but I see them as saints (which I ain’ts).
I am willing to bet that I’m not alone in these somewhat ridiculous (but kinda valid) thoughts which is why I was looking for answers in these podcasts. Let me start with Susan. She is the living example of “good mom” and you can see that in the relationship she has with her kids (now grown and thriving). That’s what I would want, so why not learn from someone who’s done it? I also need to mention she is SO MUCH fun, she has a great outlook on life, so clearly parenthood didn’t drive her too crazy (tehehe).
What Susan taught me is valuable and if you watch the podcasts, you’ll get it too. I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to care. I have to care enough about building a healthy relationship, being honest when I could do better, and changing things up when it’s not working. It’s over before you know it (the days are long but the years are short) and if you stay aware and present, there will be tremendous reward. This is true with or without kids, and I would say the class makes parenting seem a little less daunting and a little more adventurous. I mean, every hero needs a handful of tools to succeed on their journey into the unknown, I just never thought they would be cute little refrigerator magnets.
Thanks for reading, and check out the class playlist (5 videos) right here: