Much of what I learned about being a parent I learned from my own childhood.
I learned that I liked to be treated with respect and that’s how I learned to be respectful.
I learned that I liked to be really listened to because then I slowed down and felt calmer and I learned to listen.
I learned that if I made a mistake, a gentle touch and a soft voice did more to help me learn from my mistake than harsh criticism and punishment were able to do.
I learned that I had a good feeling in my heart when I heard my parents discussing their different points of view with calm acceptance and rapport rather than with harsh words and judgment. I learned that it was safe to have differences and that differences were OK.
I learned that the people who made a difference in my life were those that saw my potential and helped me to see it when I couldn’t.
I learned that when I lost my temper or felt scared, punishment and harsh words didn’t help but compassion and understanding did.
I learned that everyone loses their bearings once in a while and what works for me seems to work for everyone, i.e. compassion and understanding.
I learned that it feels better to be kind than to be critical and mean spirited.
And, as a parent, I often forget the things I knew as a child. But now I know that I’m always only a thought away from that good feeling of calm and compassion that leads to rapport and respect for my children.