Parenting Is A Journey

May 13, 2022

By Lydia Hatcher, Resident in Counseling 

Parents! It is almost impossible to describe all the thing’s parents are responsible for. As I tried to figure out what I could write about on this topic, a million thoughts flooded my mind. What do I write about? What is interesting about parents? Why would they be the topic of a blog? Well, I looked in the mirror and laughed. I AM a parent. I knew I wanted to be a parent from the time I was in high school. I knew I wanted to have four children, and I knew if I did have children, I knew being their mom would be the most important job I could ever have.

What I did not know was what THAT job would entail.

What I also did not consider was what the impact of my own experiences with my parents would be on my children. As I sit here reflecting on my own parental models, I can identify many things my parents did while raising myself and my siblings that I committed to never doing if I ever became a mom. I recognize so many things that I wish my parents had done differently during our childhood. I see the remnants of the best and the worst of my parents in all four of us. I also see how each of my siblings and myself have deliberately committed to parenting differently in some areas and the same in other areas. I wonder if that decision is based on some negative impact or some positive family tradition.

Can I get a manual on ALL things parenting, please? 

The older I become in my parenting journey and the more experiences I have with my now adult children, the more I recognize that parenting is not only the most important job I have, but also the most challenging job I will ever have.

Parents do not get a manual on how to be a successful parent.

It is definitely a journey of trial and error. Parents are not perfect. They do not always get it right. They sometimes really mess children up. That’s where therapy comes in, thank goodness.

When your child is struggling 

In my professional roles, I work directly with parents, children, and families that are dealing with some very difficult and challenging physical and emotional experiences. What I see more and more often in my work is how difficult it is for parents when children are struggling. No matter what a child is struggling with, parents often times do not know what to do to make things better. Children often do not know how to tell the parents how to help them. One of the most important things parents can do when a child is struggling is to seek out help. They acknowledge they need support, and they allow total strangers, many times who are also parents, to care for their children.

In therapy, sometimes the parents are part of the problem that the child is struggling with. Sometimes the parents are unaware they are the problem. Fortunately, parents who seek out interventions when their children need them are parents who want to help their children. Whether it is taking the child to a doctor, getting the child a tutor, or taking the child to a therapist, a parent’s job is to make sure the child is provided with every opportunity to be healthy, happy, and whole. Oh, how I love my JOB!

Wow! What great insight from our very WISE clinician, Lydia Hatcher. Stay tuned for more parenting insight this month!

Until next time, Be Wise!