Aha! Parenting Blog

Practical solutions for real parenting problems

Are you good enough just the way you are?

How would your life change if you genuinely accepted yourself, just the way you are?" -- Dr. Tara Brach.

Today we're exploring the 9th commitment from 10 Commitments that Will Make You a More Inspired Parent -- and a Happier Person -- in 2010:

Commit to radical self-acceptance and compassion.

If you're like most parents, it can be a challenge to stay calm when your kid acts up.  We often find ourselves flooded with anxiety: if he keeps doing this, he'll NEVER learn to ____________ (fill in the blank). He'll never be responsible enough to hold a job, control his temper, be a grown up! 

Most of us know that our anxiety gets in the way of helping our kid learn and grow. And that it comes from an unforgiving place inside us, a place of fear, of not being a good enough parent or a good-enough person ourselves. We know that kids need love, and the worse they act, the more they need love.

But loving unconditionally is hard for most of us.  Choosing love and kindness when we want to scream can take Herculean strength.

There is a secret that makes it easier to be the kind of parent we want to be, though.  And it has nothing to do with our kid.  The secret is to love and accept ourselves completely. When we can bless even those unforgivable parts of ourselves with understanding, we're more able to love our child.

Want to feel more love in your heart?  Give it to yourself! To love is a verb, an action we take. Yes, love can just happen – but we only make more (and feel more) by giving it away. And we can only give our children as much love as our own hearts can hold. 

Go ahead – stretch your heart.  Every time you feel bad, for any reason, offer yourself love. Especially if you messed up royally.  Meet that imperfection with compassion.  You’ll be amazed how your parenting transforms.

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