Parent: Losing A Parent Changed My Parenting

Losing someone you love is never easy and losing a parent is even harder. The irony of it all–when you were younger you’d try to lose them in the mall or the movies with friends. There is so much that parents get wrong when we were teenagers, but when their gone man do things change.

My dad died 6 years ago. Never could I have imagined how much I’d need him than I do now. I, like all daughters to their fathers, was the apple of his eye, his twin and his first daughter. We got along well for the most part, some areas were touchy like going to the movies with a guy or having a boyfriend in general. He understood me and my obsession with fashion and having new clothes everyday. He didn’t like that I was growing up, but he let me. No hovering or snooping just waiting and love, one of the hardest things to do when your child is growing up. My daddy didn’t have his father in his life to show him how to be a father so he went off of what he knew.

I never thought that losing a parent had the ability to make you a better parent. I just thought the shit was going to hurt forever. Turns out, it’s helping me.

Here is how losing my parent helped me become a better parent

  • I don’t put pressure on my girls to be what I want them to be.
  • I don’t take any moment for granted. When they need me, I’m there–to talk, laugh, hold or listen.
  • I listen more. I don’t talk too much just enough for my girls to know that their thoughts, feelings and opinions matter.
  • It’s not so much the punishment, but more so the lesson. IF we focus on the punishment, the punishment then we may miss out on the opportunity to help them understand the lesson that they could get from the act.
  • You can expect more from them as teenagers, young adults not kids.
  • Don’t make demands.
  • Be in the moment. The future will come and 9 times out of 10 it’s going to be very different from what you have planned for them.
  • Let them speak.
  • Make sure they know that you are always there regardless as to what happens.
  • It’s okay to be vulnerable.

There are a lot of things that I got from my father in the 28 years I’d been raised by him. I didn’t always understand or appreciate the lessons that he gave or didn’t, but I got them. As I get older I’m sure the take everything he gave me with me.

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