Everything I know about parenting I learned on "Caillou"

Okay...so I didn't learn EVERYTHING I know about parenting from watching "Caillou", but you might be surprised how much I did learn from Caillou and Rosie's mom.

This morning, while having coffee with a dear friend, we were discussing recovery and change. Neither one of us had ideal parenting roles modeled for us, and we are both painfully aware that because of this, we struggle with parenting our own children. I can't speak for my friend, but I know that a realization has occurred in my own life--I was BOUND to become the same kind of parent that my mother had been, for one simple reason:

I knew nothing else.

And while I was BOUND to become the same kind of parent, this knowledge also set me free from BEING that kind of parent. Once I realized that I was ill-equipped to be any kind of parent except what I had seen in my childhood, I also realized that I could find a different, healthier model and follow it. For me, that kind of parenting was most often represented through the families on the shows my small children watched, shows like "Caillou".

It would be a lie to say that my mother never nurtured me, but my memories are stronger of criticism and judgement. I copied this with my children for far too long. But my children actually played a large role in my awareness that I needed to change. I am so grateful that my children, in naivete, found it within themselves to call me on my harsh spirit and critical heart.

I'm not a perfect mom. No one is. But I know today that I can be a better mother than what I experienced growing up. And I strive each day to be more loving, more supportive, more encouraging with my children than I was five years ago, five months, even FIVE MINUTES ago! And that is what recovery is...a process toward being better and healthier.

What moment encouraged you to become more/better/healthier in your relationships? Please share!


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