Parenting is like a game of Labyrinth

June 26, 2014

Ivy McKennan ParkRaising our own child sometimes makes my mind go a blur. The weighing responsibility of being a parent, and a good remarkable parent at that, is a difficult yet rewarding and ever-changing task that we constantly learn from.

As parents, we are responsible for SO much. Teaching and loving our children is an enormous task, and one that I am still learning how to effectively fulfill. I see myself changing each day, emotionally, physically, mentally, to be the kind of parent that will guide Ivy into the kind of child I want her to be, or at least HOPE, that she will be. It’s like that game Labyrinth, the wooden box with the two knobs on the side, turning them just right to balance the marble from start to finish without falling into any holes. Parenting reminds me of this. Guiding your child in the right direction, messing up occasionally (or probably a lot…), getting back on course, maneuvering through different challenges, day in and day out, having fun. Labyrinth. Parenting. Difficult. Fun. Entertaining… definitely entertaining.

I’ve always had an idea of what kind of parent I wanted to be. Taking tidbits from our own parents and transforming them into what we want to be like as parents, has helped me grow and establish a mindset of the kind of parent I want to be. But now, more often, my mind leads to what kind of child is my daughter going to be. Am I being the kind of parent that will guide Ivy into the kind of child I imagine her to be? The older she is getting, the more she is understanding that I am her Mom and John is her Dad, her PARENTS. We are PARENTS. Whew. Still digesting that sometimes. We are providing her with the foundation to her behavior, her knowledge, her morals, her character, her everything. I’m really starting to feel like a parent lately because she is starting to look at us for approval when she wants to do something or she looks at us and smiles and giggles to show off what she is doing. She’s looking at us for feedback. She’s reaching for us. Her parents. 

Sure, we can parent and instill these ideas and traits into our children, but ultimately, those lessons somewhat lead your child to become a product of their environment in their own unique way. I’ve witnessed this first hand as a teacher. Parent-teacher conferences give me a glimpse (almost too big of a glimpse sometimes) into the students’ life at home and how they are raised. It gives me an idea of what the student is going through at home and understanding that helps me become a better teacher, and now I’m using that to become a better parent. Am I providing Ivy with an environment to excel in? Am I surrounding her with love and learning? Understanding what I can do and what I shouldn’t do (helicopter parents, I see you…), to be the best parent I can be and give Ivy an environment to bud into a spectacular little girl. 

All of these jumbled thoughts compel me to be a parent that leads my daughter to become a loving, productive, moral, and independent little girl, child, teenager (EEK), and adult. I need to keep giving her and providing her with opportunities to grow her mind and body into a strong, fearless, responsible, and kind little girl.  I’m sure I’ll fail and the marble will fall in the hole, 5 times, or 50, but we both will start over, and overcome the next challenge, and the next, and the next. Because that’s what we do. We parent. And this game of Labyrinth, is just beginning, and I still have a lot to learn…

Ivy nose

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