A mother of three ages, 24, 20 and 13, all daughters, I find myself, a wife of thirty years, psychotherapist, oftentimes growing cynical, not so much with the children of our culture and society, but also in having lost patience with the parents, or should I say, adults, who suppose themselves experts at everything and therefore question nothing of themselves, life or their children.
This is not The Mommy Psychologist.
We would all do well to heed her byline regarding our own lives and concerning most matters in life– “ … the child psychologist who thought she had all the answers to parenting until she became one herself. “
She, along with her posts inspire me–to reflect, question, delve deeper into my soul and living, the answers I thought I had, the ones for which I grope and those that elude me.
Regarding to topic she tackles in her recent blog post, American Children Are Spoiled Brats, what could also be entitled, the narcissism of our children, American children, The Mommy Psychologist urged me to recall what a psychotherapist supervisor once said to me. “Whatever a child does, their behavior, you must remember when analyzing and seeking to understand it, that the child lives not on her or his on, but under the roof of her or his parents.”
With that as his belief and guiding force he supported me and five others in our efforts towards becoming practicing psychologist and psychotherapists in while performing psychotherapy and counseling under his supervision at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California.
This axiom and my experience with the students and parents with whom I and other psychotherapists in training performed psychotherapy has kept me in good stead not only in my years of practicing psychotherapy as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and also as a mother raising three daughters and trying to help them navigate their various stages of development towards adulthood intersecting those paths of development on which their peers and fellow students travel.
Much of what I have and still observe accomplishes what another supervisor noted.
Not until seven years after earning your license do you approach acquiring the skills to perform the science and art of psychotherapy.
For those of us who are also parents, much of our training lies in keen observation within the laboratory of our home.
The laboratory of our home inevitably includes those children who inhabit the schools our children attend, and the parents who place them there.
As it is within all homes where children comprise the family, life is a continual experiment of living, loving, growing, stretching, contracting, shrinking, adapting, changing, modifying–forever remaking yourself–and doing so with our children as witnesses while we observe them mature.
I think this is one of the most difficult aspects of parenting, revealing your warts, or shall I say, accepting, and if we are lucky, gaining comfort in displaying our weaknesses and faults,
fissures and cracks as an imperfect human being, while encouraging and supporting our children to offer up their personal best as they strive to be the best person they can.
Become the change you hope and pray for in your children.
This is the motto to which I have held tight, and attempting to accomplish every day as a parent and mother–and perhaps why I feel so tired when laying down each night.
What are your goals as a parent, mother, father?
And what presents your greatest challenge in seeking to offer your best in nurturing and supporting your children?
Tags: adapt, and The Laboratory of Home ..., Berkeley, Berkeley High School, California, children, evolve, experiment, father, Fissure, laboratory, Marriage and Family Therapist, mother, Of Fissures and Cracks, parenting, parents, prayer, SeeSchloss, The Mommy Psychologist, wife