A Manifesto for Parenting One Another, Episode 91

What would happen to our parenting (and all our relating to others) if we gave up our commitment to perfection and instead treated ourselves, and the people around us, as always ‘works in progress’? A conversation about care, apology, taking a stand, and walking the path of practice with Lizzie Winn and Justin Wise of Thirdspace.

Here’s Episode 91 of Turning Towards Life, a weekly live 30 minute conversation hosted by Thirdspace in which Justin Wise and Lizzie Winn dive deep into big questions of human living. Find us on FaceBook to watch live and join in the lively conversation on this episode. We’re also on YouTube, and as a podcast on Apple, Google and Spotify

It’s probably true that none of us can expect perfect parenting, and none of us can be perfect parents. The reason is simple – we are all of us incomplete, and none of us perfectly able to see fully, and respond to fully, the depth and breadth of the uniqueness of small people who come into our care.

And it’s exactly in giving up our ideas of perfection – our expectation that we know exactly what to do, and that we should be able to be in control of everything – that we have the biggest chance of parenting with the care, humility and creativity that raising children requires of us: when we can take a stand for commitments we care about, and at the same time be honest about our mistakes and incompleteness; when we can act in stewardship without imagining ourselves to be demi-gods with super-human powers; when we can be vulnerable enough to feel without ‘acting out’ of our feelings; when we can model apology and acts of repair when we find ourselves taking an unhelpful path.

These qualities that can help us parent more skilfully and forgivingly are the same qualities that can support us in all our human relating, which is why we have called this episode ‘A Manifesto for Parenting One Another‘.

Our source this week is from Brené Brown:

Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and lovable. You will learn this from my words and actions—the lessons on love are in how I treat you and how I treat myself.

I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness. You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections.

We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen, and honoring vulnerability. We will share our stories of struggle and strength. There will always be room in our home for both.

We will teach you compassion by practicing compassion with ourselves first; then with each other. We will set and respect boundaries; we will honor hard work, hope, and perseverance. Rest and play will be family values, as well as family practices.

You will learn accountability and respect by watching me make mistakes and make amends, and by watching how I ask for what I need and talk about how I feel.

I want you to know joy, so together we will practice gratitude. I want you to feel joy, so together we will learn how to be vulnerable.

When uncertainty and scarcity visit, you will be able to draw from the spirit that is a part of our everyday life.

Together we will cry and face fear and grief. I will want to take away your pain, but instead I will sit with you and teach you how to feel it.

We will laugh and sing and dance and create. We will always have permission to be ourselves with each other.

No matter what, you will always belong here.

As you begin your Wholehearted journey, the greatest gift that I can give to you is to live and love with my whole heart and to dare greatly.

I will not teach or love or show you anything perfectly, but I will let you see me, and I will always hold sacred the gift of seeing you. Truly, deeply, seeing you.

Brené Brown

Photo by Takalani Radali on Unsplash