Tina, “Stay yourself. You are not just a Mom, a Dad, or a Parent. You were someone before the kids came along and you will need to be someone after they move out. It’s not all about them; make time for what you love. Be happy with yourself. You are no good to anyone unless you are happy.” Tip #19
Tina’s final tip, “stay yourself” and “be happy” are messages that continue on my journey! In my case, I had to first find myself, and then fix myself.
With many mentors and consultants, a solid seven years in counselling, and an estimated 10,000 hours of personal development it has been a trek. Fixing me has been an epic journey, and worth every minute!
This advice is key in ensuring a solid parenting platform. I had to work to undo my personal damage, to break the cycles of dysfunction. I had to learn and re-learn everything to give Michael the best possible start on life.
I had a sharp awareness, my time as Michael’s “CEO” would be short. I worked fast and started on repairing myself, while simultaneously learning effective parenting tools and techniques.
I thought, if I was told I was an idiot my entire life, and felt like an idiot my entire life, the opposite could work. It 100% did work! I told Michael he was smart, a great decision maker, a clear thinking, and a strong leader. I told him he was a ‘good boy,’ he was trustworthy, and he made great friends. All of those things are true today.
At the age of 2 and 3, he was learning words like “duck” and “integrity.” I introduced ideal traits before he had time to display any traits at all! What I started to do, I now know, was give him a ‘framework.’
I knew some day, I would present him to the world. Telling him who he was, really was my greatest technique, my most successful tool; although ironically, this method came from an extremely dark place.
I will say, now in my 40’s, with a steady commitment to personal development and years of therapy, the negative messages have softened, and lessened. As Tina advises, I watch my own self talk. I have found myself, and I am now happy.
One thing I know for sure, what you tell your kid they will believe. As it is said, your messages become their inner voice.
Now, this does not mean Michael didn’t ever lie, or make bad decisions. Although he is both close to, and far from perfect, he will not have to spend his next 20 years learning who he is and how to best get along in the world.
I’m confident both Tina’s little girl, and my little boy, have been given a solid head start in navigating this wide and wonderful world!
Thanks to this trio for their involvement. Together these women represent love, empowerment, and an honest effort!