The 6 keys to parenting
Be mothers, be fathers; that 180 degree turn to your life, loaded with overflowing emotions from the minute that pregnancy is confirmed. Perhaps desired alone, or in the company of your partner.
And the journey begins. A journey full of illusions deposited in a baby that grows little by little inside you, inside her, slowly, over low heat and with a lot of love, as if it were the best stew.
And there and that’s how a new life begins. His and yours as mother and / or father. The turn begins and sometimes vertigo, uncertainty, doubts … and before them we can take two paths. The path of knowledge and tribe, or the path of waiting sheltered in those emotions that make it difficult for us to enjoy the process.
The main keys to parenting
Knowing what happens to us physically and emotionally during pregnancy or what happens to our partner is the first step in being able to face the different situations we face, but It is also essential to know what happens to us or can happen during childbirth and postpartum, think and decide how we want it to be and prepare for it and for the different events that may happen.
Every day it is more normalized for mothers and fathers to have that knowledge about pregnancy, to know and to live its different stages with some tranquility, but … What happens when the twist is finally complete and we have our baby in our arms?
If you asked me for a definition of parenting, in a few words and without technicalities, I would say that parenting is calm, respect, listening, caring, support and above all observation.
It’s calm to enjoy the moments shared with them, without haste, with enjoyment, without stress and without an adult mind. Calm down to listen to them, in their different ways of communicating.
Respect yourself as a mother or father who makes mistakes and rectifies, permission is given. I respect your son or daughter, as a person as valid as you from the first second they breathe outside of their mother’s protected environment. Respect for their rhythms, without rushing, without anticipating, giving times, spaces and safe environments for their development. I respect their emotionality and its expression, also understanding that their ways are what they know and know how to express.
Listen actively, focused and calmly. Promoting spaces for it. Discovering everything they have to tell us and answering everything they have to ask us, and if we don’t know the answer, letting them know that we will find out and / or looking for it together. It is listening to ourselves.
Listen to you, mom, give value to what your interior tells you, be generous with yourself, give yourself permission. Listen to yourself and do accordingly. Listen to you dad, in the same way, being generous with yourself and giving yourself permission. Listen to each other, their fathers, mothers.
Listen actively, respected and seeking consensus, listen that sometimes involves decision-making and many other times sharing emotions that overflow. They overflow with joy or overwhelm, tiredness or frustration, fear, or uncertainty. Listen that it takes time, patience and dedication.
Listening can have its B-side. We must also know who to listen to. Not everyone has a voice, to be able to intervene in this parenting dynamic.
Take care of yourself, take care of yourself and of course, take care of the being that accompanies your days and nights. Take care of yourself, because if you don’t take care of yourself, it will be much more difficult to take care of yourself.
Because it is necessary to meet our own needs in order to be attentive to the needs of our baby or our child. Take care of the other, our partner if it is the case; take care of the times together, take care of the details, take care of the moments together. Take care of our daughter / o, covering their basic needs, attending to their emotions to do so and to our own. Caring with love, respect and caresses. Physical caresses, but especially emotional ones.
The key word. How important is support! Internal support, from our own family nucleus, Mutual support. Of the one that is given almost without wanting to, without the need to ask.
Support when the need is pressing, when you can’t take it anymore. Being able to ask for it, to withdraw, disconnect and take care of yourself. External SUPPORT, extended family, friends, entities. Support that allows quality spaces alone or as a couple, support that allows you to share moments with them without judgments, criticisms or maternity or paternity exams, from love, from sharing and enjoying the moments. Respected support.
Weaving a support network can be a fundamental anchor in parenting. It can be our place, where to go when something falters; our tribe can emerge from there to accompany us in that upbringing.
Observe yourself to know how you are, what you need, how you are, how are you living this turn in your life. Know what you want from your role in parenting. Know if you are on that path that you designed or designed, before everything started, know why yes, why not. In order to gain momentum and move on, analyzing and evaluating. Observation is key.
Observe your child. Magic. Observation of our child can provide us with so much information about him / her and about ourselves as parents, that perhaps, within our upbringing, it is the key word and action. What can we get from observation?
- Enjoy its rhythms and the scope of its evolutionary milestones.
- Observe difficulties in their development.
- Discover their tastes.
- Discover what they do not tolerate or do not like (toys, textures …).
- Discover your emotions about what you like, those you dislike, what produces an unpleasant sensation.
- Being able to follow their emotions, because you have information through observation.
- Respect, give time, trust. Observation allows us to be calm to look, look at the detail and pause our impulses of protection to give space to trust him / her. Observation provides us with information that increases our confidence in them.
To know more…
If you are interested in learning to apply these parenting principles to know how to adapt to change, you may be interested in the “Learning to Grow Together Program”, an initiative of TAP Center. Our team of professionals has been working for years in the field of perinatal psychology and the processes of adaptation to parenting.
Author: Irene de la Granja, Special Education Teacher with a Master’s in Psychopedagogy and member of the TAP Center.