The Parenting Challenge

Sunday in the USA it’s Father’s Day, the day we celebrate the Dads in our lives.  Many people don’t like celebrating these holidays (Father’s/Mother’s Day) because their parents (dads especially) have been invisible parents.  You can probably think of a few of those people.

It’s a fact that some people stink at being parents.  Sometimes we question why some people choose to have kids even.  I believe that parenting is more than just being able to create kids.  True parents love, care for, respect, teach, trust and support their kids (there’s usually some discipline in there too).  Just because you’ve made a baby doesn’t make you a parent.

You become a parent when you do your best to make a positive impact on a child’s life, or when you intentionally support them, or when you’re there to listen to them and what they’re dealing with.  With this definition of parenting I’ve got a lot more kids than I physically have, and you may too.

Many societies throughout history had practices of living out the statement “it takes a village to raise a child” by supporting each other’s kids and stepping in when help was needed.  It’s not a bad thing to help raise another person’s child, in fact, I think it’s best if you’ve got other people who can help you shape and mold the beautiful creation that is your child into all they can be.

The good news about kids is that they’re resilient.  You don’t have to get it right every time, you’ll screw up occasionally, and that’s OK.  Your reaction to your mistake is a important teaching tool for your kids to learn how to work with failures in their lives.  If you’ve been an absentee parent for a long time with lots of patience and effort I believe you can rebuild the broken relationship you have with your kid(s).

So whether you can thank your biological Dad this Father’s Day or you’d rather thank someone else, take time to appreciate the men in your life who encouraged you and taught you valuable lessons.  Who are you thankful for?

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