2 Keys to My Parenting “Success”Aug 24, 2023
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What does “success” really look like in parenting? What is the end goal? What are we doing all this for? In this episode, I’m debriefing a huge step in my parenting journey and sharing two keys that have shaped my experience as a parent and my relationship with my kids.
Yesterday I dropped off my oldest son for his first year of college – and transitioned him one step further on his journey towards independence.
Then it hit me: THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN PREPARING FOR ALL ALONG. That point of graduating from high school and launching into adulthood is, in many ways, the finish line of parenting.
I’ve been slowly moving Lincoln towards independence, responsibility and emotional health since he was 4 years old.
That meant working on myself and calming my own emotional reactivity, so I didn’t dump all my crap on him.
It meant learning how to teach him emotional regulation through the practice of compassion, so he would learn what to do with all of his feelings too.
I had to have firm limits with him. Let him make mistakes. Not rescue him.
I’m still processing a lot of the thoughts and feelings around this big step, but I realized two key factors that made this transition easier for me and I wanted to share them with you right away.
2 Keys to Parenting Success
Years and years of work have led us to this moment. It’s why he’s going to be ok. And it’s why I know how to process all of this in real time – no stuffing, dumping, avoiding, projecting, or over-dramatizing any of it.
Parenting Key #1: Embracing and processing your emotion is so important
Learning to process emotion, especially negative ones, is probably the single most valuable gift I’ve given myself over the past 19 years of motherhood. Being able to feel all my feelings has allowed me to truly be present for the experience of parenting and raising my boys.
I was here for it. All of it. The good, the bad and the ugly. I’m so grateful for my willingness to get help when I needed it. To learn. To grow. To become.
This is really where self-coaching begins. It’s about noticing, allowing and soothing your emotion, and then finding new thoughts to help you move forward.
Parenting Key #2: Celebrating your parenting achievements is a good thing
The hard work of “gentle parenting” is worth it.
When you do the personal development work along with compassionate parenting, the result is a kid who feels very connected to you and has a lot of emotional health for themselves - Especially if you combine that connection with firm limits and restorative consequences.
Years ago, I chose 3 parenting goals:
- My kids’ emotional health and wellbeing
- My relationship with my kids
- My own mental and emotional wellbeing
As Lincoln steps out on his own, I can honestly say I’ve achieved what I set out to do as a mom.
And I’m letting myself be proud of it. I’m not skipping over it to the next thing or pushing myself for more or better. I’m just here in this moment, savoring and enjoying it.
When you reach the “finish line”, it’s okay to celebrate, to be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
What Will Parenting Success Look Like For You?
Ultimately, we want our kids not to need us. We will still be in a relationship, but as two adults who are able to manage their own emotions, move through obstacles and take care of themselves and their responsibilities.
I invite you to explore these 2 takeaways yourself, by reflecting on the following questions.
- Are you letting yourself feel the feelings as they come up? Do you allow yourself to feel fully sad or mad or scared? Do you trust yourself to feel it all and let the feeling pass through you?
- Are you letting yourself feel proud of your hard work as a parent? Do you quiet your inner critic, at least sometimes, and tell yourself good job?
I also want you to know that you have permission - Permission to feel your feelings and permission to be proud of yourself. When you do these things, you’ll show up more often as the mom you want to be.
As a parenting coach, my goal is always for you to improve your relationship with yourself, improve your relationship with your child and improve your child’s relationship with themself. And we do all that through the lens of self compassion, compassion, connection and healthy boundaries.
One of the main things I teach in my Emotionally Healthy classes is how to fully feel and process your feelings. Because, as parents, we have a lot of them. and we don’t want to dump them on our kids. You have to be able to process your negative emotion first before you teach your kids how.
Thank you for celebrating this milestone with me, and know that I’m celebrating with you as you launch your own kids into kindergarten, middle school, high school or whatever step is next.
- All about my “anxiety nest”
- Why “mom mode” is a way to escape our feelings
- How to feel your feelings and be ok with whatever comes up
- The small and simple ways I feel proud of myself as a mom
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