My grandfather had story for every situation & obstacle in life. He constantly used his past experiences to help me (try to) avoid mistakes and guide me. My grandmother never shared many personal stories. Most of her parenting was through the muse of prayer and bible study. My grandfather on the other hand rarely used religious teachings to get his point across to me. For the most part he was a pretty proud Christian, but was also at his best when he used his own familiarities to relate to me. Essentially my grandparents were “parenting to their own individual strengths.”
My grandmother acknowledged every little moment and milestone while my grandfather stayed quiet. My grandfather shook, “No,” just as many times as my grandmother smiled, “Yes.” My grandmother constantly preached book sense and my grandfather was more about common sense. They never crossed lanes or mixed messages and I’m pretty sure none of this was planned out – but more of them just parenting and being the people they were.
I bring this up because we are in an era where we’re constantly spoon feed articles, sermons, and videos of how to be a better parent this way, how to teach children that way, and how to raise your children this other way. Nothing is wrong with that because being parent is easily the most challenging and sometimes dumbfounding job ever! There is nothing wrong with implementing new ideas and methods. But there is a way to slightly simplify things. There is something to be said by relying on your own personal strengths to raise your kids. There are times when you can just let the “regular you” lead the way instead of implementing traits that don’t come natural.
I know for a fact that I’m more my grandfather than my grandmother. As my children have entered the challenges of their teen years; I’ve used my own personal stories, my grandfather’s personal stories, and the stories of others I’ve mentally collected over the years to prove certain points. I feel I’m at my best when I’m challenging them and not pacifying them. They also see a man every day that works hard, that has built a business, that’s not afraid to creatively express himself, and loves their mother dearly. I understand my sarcasm is irritating, my patience isn’t the greatest, and I’m sometimes vague when I shouldn’t and I go on tangents when there is no need. But as I’ve learned our strengths and our weaknesses carry equal value because if you take away some of the weaknesses – you may lose some of the strengths.
So don’t be a slave to every new wave parenting advice that comes across your news feed. Sometimes being the best version of you- is good enough.