Introducing a new book: Real L.I.F.E. Parenting
Real L.I.F.E. Parenting: The Antidote to Parenting Information Overload
This is a book to empower parents to resist old wives tales, warnings, unsolicited and conflicting advice, their own fears and dependency on experts so they can find a real basis for trusting their own innate wisdom to parent the child in front of them.
There are countless “How to Parent” books on the shelves that teach methods. They include everything from bottles to books, diapers to allowance, fevers to siblings. This book is not one of them.
Even the best of those books offer only relative truths and their principles do not always apply to every child and often even the best advice is easily taken too far. An excellent example of this is the emphasis placed on parent-baby bonding immediately after birth. While this is certainly a wonderful thing, I have seen parents who fear their whole parent-child relationship has been tainted by a less-than-perfect birth and post-birth bonding. Such fear is unproductive, misplaced and unwarranted. Perfectly wonderful relationships can come from rocky starts and perfectly awful relationships can come after apparently perfect beginnings.
Real L.I.F.E. Parenting is an invitation to recognize that
- there is more knowledge, information and advice than any of us could ever learn, much less remember in the moment; and
- that the best we can do is to be present, Real, in this moment rather than reacting to our past or fears or trying not to be like our mothers J. The first half of the book is addressed to this.
- we can have a simple basis for evaluating what to do now. This is L.I.F.E., an acronym for four simple standards against which to evaluate parenting choices. This is part two of the book.
Let’s face it, you’ll get some of it wrong, maybe a lot. You’ll make mistakes and have regrets. See my article, I, too, Cry in the Night
You may do everything “wrong” and your child still thrive. You may think you’ve done it all “right” and your child still have overwhelming problems. In the end though, we don’t control the outcome. Our children, families, friends and the broader circle of the human family all have their ideas of what is true and workable and they influence the outcome. We can only hope to live with the knowledge that we did our best, we didn’t skimp or slack or take the easy way out too often.
The bottom line is to examine your own beliefs with an open mind and to discard those you find false for it is only through this honest soul-searching that we can arrive at a higher truth. Diligently sorting out what is true for us and what is false is a lifetime’s work. While hopefully this quest for truth has been going on long before the birth of our first child, once we do have a child we likely become more driven to be and do our best. As we do this sorting out what is true from what is not, we rise in integrity and strength and this gives more impetus to the quest.
And you will stumble. We all do. You will fear the old wives and do as they say, against your better judgment. You will think you are in the moment and then here words come out of your mouth that you heard and dreaded hearing your own mother or father say. You will have times of tried patience, fatigue, selfishness, pettiness and doubt. We all do. But we get back up again, we recover our senses and carry on. We only fail when we fail to get back up again.