Without being aware of and understanding the three things I eluded to in the title of this article and without practicing them nothing you do will influence your level of success as a parent more than getting these right.
So what are the three ‘C’s:
1. Commitment–Right from the time you know that a little heart is now beating, and you are partly responsible for that, your life and the lives of numerous people around you will have changed forever. This is the time when you need to make a decision about how committed you will be to the child you have helped to create. You are either in or out. Remember that your child did not choose to be conceived but does deserve the very best you have to give him/her. If you cannot, for any reason, dedicate yourself to being a parent then say so and get out of the way. But before you do please understand that you are walking away from one of the most amazing experiences and opportunities that will ever come your way. All the money and all the partying in the world can’t give you what being a parent can and that is to be a primary force in determining the direction and quality of another human beings life.
This is one of the big reasons young folks today are not ready to be parents. They just don’t know enough and they are not experienced enough. Many are not mature enough. Toss in a sense of entitlement and you have a train wreck in the making. For us to expect anything different is unrealistic. So the question is: Are you really ready to do this?
2. Capable–are you capable? Do you know enough to really understand what it means to be a parent? Are you capable of sharing yourself to the level that will be required? What are the lessons you need to teach your baby as he/she grows up? How can you teach them what you don’t know about living life and surviving in it? Are you ready to listen and learn from those who have been there before you? Most importantly have you got your own work done meaning have you dealt successfully with all the stuff that is/was going on in your own life? Have you dealt with that mistake you made back then or that alcohol or drug problem you have or had or that anger problem or the disappointment at finding out something painful about your own life journey? Have you done what you needed to do to put these issues away and say I’m good with that now? Are you capable of doing what you need to do to be an effective parent?
3. Change–are you willing to change how you not only see life as it unfolds in front of you but are you willing to change some of the dreams that were once important to you? Are you willing to change how you spend your time, with whom doing what? Are you willing to change your lifestyle and do so without being resentful?
No relationship can last for long without a deep seated feeling of trust. Being able to say yes to each of the three ‘Cs’ is a great way to start that process from the very beginning. If you can’t say ‘yes’ to all three then you might consider thinking with other anatomical parts of your body so that you wont have to face these questions until you are truly ready.
As parents we need to adapt ourselves to a new way of living our lives and we cannot expect that our children will have to adapt their needs to suit our needs. I don’t mean to be critical especially of all those parents who are doing a great job of raising their children and are working hard to do all the right things. But we need more parents to join the action. More need to do more. As it is we are not reducing the trends that have become inherent in our society.
These three ‘C’s’ are the true building blocks of any relationship. If enjoying a trusting relationship with your child is a goal then here is where it starts but two out of three wont get the job done. We need to be involved in all three at the same time. There are many great resources available to help folks be good parents. I have included many of them in other articles I have written. You could check them out by going through those articles which are located in the archives attached to my wordpress site. There is a great article in the June/July copy of Esquire magazine on Fatherhood that is well worth the time spent to read it.(Has Mark Wahlberg on the cover)
Anyway, that’s how I see it–Jim
Comments are always welcome-just send them to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on mentoring fatherless sons, parenting suggestions, being good parents go to my wordpress account and check out articles in the archives: jimlifechoice.wordpress.com
Check out my web site at jamescloughley.com for more about my book called:
‘A Man’s Work Is Never Done: A Novel About Mentoring Our Sons’
Please send this along to your friends as well–thanks