Some may call them beliefs, guideposts, tenets, or mantras; we call them Empowerments. Each reminds us of the sacred responsibility to reflect our greatest ideals amidst the shit-storm of our experience as parents. Empowerments are vital touchstones that inspire authentic alignment between what we believe and what we do. Do we practice them every single day? No way. And that’s the point — they’re the kick in the ass that keeps our heads clear and our hearts in the game.
Some Empowerments may resonate, others may repel but we hope they inspire you to define and endeavor to live by your own. We will expand on the meaning of each in our podcast episodes as well as our Dear Upbringing videos!
We may be grownups, but we aren’t done growing. We want our journey as parents to be about progress, not perfection, so we begin each day fresh with the acknowledgement that we have just as much growing up to do as our children.
The way we move through the world affects our kids’ development more than anything we can explicitly teach them. When we choose to model positive behaviors instead of over-controlling our kids, we embody the adults we hope they’ll be.
When we judge, shame or punish an emotion we rob our child of the tools to manage it. All emotions are created equal, and when we see each as a path to understanding ourselves and one another better, everyone’s self reg and emotional intelligence grows.
Our connection with our kids is the most powerful tool we have. We strive to honor this relationship by never withholding our love and approval to control or punish. When we separate our kid’s behavior from their worthiness we give them a safe space to grow.
Kids experience the world along their own timetables, not based on our expectations. Trusting in this unique development requires us to step back, observe and celebrate what our kids can do rather than focus on or attempt to control what they can’t.
Many challenges in parenting are colored by our own subconscious stressors, baggage + expectations. Cultivating self-awareness reveals our power to ease our discomfort and consciously support our kids through their more challenging behaviors.
It’s natural for us to search for meaning by labeling the world in extremes: right/wrong, good/bad, easy/hard. Our growth as parents requires the opposite- a commitment to engage, question and struggle bravely within all of life’s complexities.
While we ultimately call the shots in our family, we strive to make space for our kids to experience agency in their own lives. From conflict resolution to cleaning to caregiving, cooperation builds their independence and strengthens our relationship.
Though we’re programmed to avoid discomfort, the hard stuff happens to be our greatest opportunity to thrive. Leaning into the struggles of daily life sets us free and allows us to build brains, skills and connection within our families.
Practicing respectful parenting requires a belief in our children as equals. In our role as protector, provider and guide it’s our job to balance our substantial power with a sensitive respect for our kids’ minds, bodies and experiences as their own.
Our sense of self can be intricately connected to our important job as parents. When we are able to separate this role from our self-worth and ego, we give ourselves permission to lighten up, laugh at ourselves, give grace and ultimately grow as parents.
Profound and long-lasting growth in our kids requires us to forgo quick fixes and the need for immediate results. Staying true to our values while patiently trusting in the process nurtures their sacred journey of growing up authentically.