One of the toughest jobs any one person can have in life is being a parent. Parenting doesn’t come with a handbook, and parenting styles are different in almost every household today. Beginning with the first stages, teaching our children right from wrong comes in early adolescence… usually before they start pre-school. Whether it’s playing with siblings or introducing them to other children in familiar surroundings, as parents we use what we know in order to promote positive stimulation and growth. We instill rules of life at different times in theirs, depending on the age. But one thing is for sure; parenting begins at birth and remains all through our lives, until the end; Once a parent… always a parent.

When I became a parent for the first time, I was young and scared, but it came with much joy. I believe we learn through our own trials and errors of how we want to parent our children, then… as we become parents for our second and third time, (possibly more), we gain experience with more insight as to what we would like to see happen for our children as they grow, giving them the tools and knowledge of life. We’ve been through chaotic schedules, dinners, crazy friendships (good and bad), not to mention the dating scenes our children wander through as they enter young adulthood. I thought I had been through it all myself, yet when I look back now… I think it was easier than parenting an adult child. So now what? It takes a whole new set of skills as an adult, and it doesn’t get any easier. Just because they reached their 20’s, our job as parents continues on for the remainder of our lives. We love, cherish, and hope, in order to bring them to a place of success, whether it’s in employment or personal relationships, it is what we want to see for them. This is ‘Unconditional’ love.

My door is always open for my children, no matter the age. But what happens when they fall flat on their face; something goes very wrong in their life and they can’t seem to get back up? As parents we step back in to our parenting rolls. We can give all the advice until we are blue in the face, but we must show love and compassion. When they hurt… we hurt as well. Do they make mistakes? Yes, some more than others. We must teach our children that there are repercussions to decision making. If you make a bad decision, most likely the effect of that decision will bare hard feelings, and the outcome won’t be a positive one. The pain can last a long time, which means we must work harder to overcome what happened; as long as one realizes it will get better in time. This is true… “Time heals all wounds.”

Recently, it seemed as if every one of my daughters has had to overcome some type of setback or tragedy in their lives, but life goes on. I will be their rock, though it’s difficult to watch them when they are in pain. It’s all a part of being that parent. I will also say that when kids make bad decisions, it feels as if it reflects upon ourselves… though we may feel that way, it is not necessarily true. We begin questioning our parenting skills; is there something I could have done differently in their life? We must try hard not to put that kind of pressure on ourselves. Life is full of lessons, and hopefully we all learn from them. Some have tougher lives than others, for whatever reasons, but the fact remains… once we’ve become parents, the job doesn’t expire, and we will always be parents. Be the best that you can be… Love them and continue to teach them from your own life experiences. Be supportive, even if it hurts… discuss things, and most importantly… be truthful with them and hold them close, for time will heal and there is still a bright future for them; for this too…shall pass.

Make your week count.