From the very beginning, I knew how I wanted to raise my daughter (And hopefully in the future other children)
It meant the world to me to be able to provide the best childhood I could, and not just on a material basis, but a soul basis. I was blessed with a small being that has blown what I thought I knew out of the water, and has totally Molded my world view for the better. It always starts with the kids, but what exactly does that mean? My parents always taught me that it starts at home, but if home isn't safe then it starts no where and ends in hurt beings perpetuating hurt. I knew growing up that what my parents did "worked" and I grew up into a decent person, but I also knew that just because I survived doesn't necessarily mean it was what was right. There was so much more going on in my head then anyone ever realized, even now.
I spent my teens in a very tumultuous hormone and lack of education induced self hurt binge. I lashed out in every way, drinking to much, sleeping with people that didn't actually care for me, and doing many drugs. Out of that I became the person I am, but lets smooth the path a little bit for our children shall we?
And thus started my path. To discover what needed to be done. So, for the last several years I've been learning how to integrate these experiences, and my family, into a healthy outlook so that all could co-exist peacefully. This was by no means easy, but growing a strong tree from the smallest seed never is.
I wish I had known these things as a teenager, and Hadn't had to learn this the hard way. But I'm also grateful that from my experiences, I can educate others in a down-to-earth I've-been-there way.
First, and foremost, I didn't want to lock my children into a state of being where I wanted them to be, which had happened to me. This was challenging because It required a lot of de-programming in me, and Ill be honest I catch my self more than I'd like reverting to old patterns. But I feel as though as long as I am catching myself that it's improving. So, from there I had to figure out how to do that. Observing parents and children interacting, and observing myself and my daughter really pulled into focus what was important.
CONNECTION : Your child, born of you (or adopted) Is looking for one thing. To be connected/attached to a protective figure. It's your job to keep them safe! Right?
COMMUNICATION: This is huge. To often I see parents that can barely label their own needs or emotions, then ASSUME they understand their child. Sometimes (Albeit rarely) they will understand their child. But sometimes (Most of the time) The child is trying to connect to someone already "broken" and because children live on a monkey see monkey do sorta path initially, this can be harmful. This isn't to say you must be perfect before kids, god knows I wasn't, but you need to be willing to learn, to dive deep into yourself to become a lighter being for your small being. Teaching them broken ways of communication isn't getting anyone anywhere.
KEEPING THEM SAFE: My own parents have used this against me time and again "But we just want to keep you safe!" Removing everything from your childs life that could effect them negatively isnt making anyone safe. It's teaching them that someone else must make decisions for them and that they obviously aren't smart enough to be safe, It's training victimhood into them. Now I'm not saying let them play with kitchen knives , what I'm saying is it's much more beneficial to teach them how and why a knife can be dangerous, and how to use it safely, then screaming "NO, DON'T TOUCH THAT NOT ALLOWED" They will learn nothing from that, and will just go behind your back in later years and play with the knife anyway. This principle applies to EVERYTHING. From making relationships, to life, to sex. It's not about removing the harm, It's about reducing it into a manageable way so that the least amount of harm is inflicted.
CLOSING THE CLOSET DOOR (OR PREJUDICE) This one is super loaded for me, because so much self-hate is inflicted because of this. Please, please please be aware of what you say around your children guys. I'm not saying you can't ever have an opinion, but voicing that opinion in a negative light can seriously harm your children. I grew up being told that being anything but straight wasn't okay, and that you could only ever live monogamously . I know identify as Pansexual and polyamorous. Obviously what they taught wasn't the truth, at least for me. First, educate yourselves on the world around you, and the many many ways people can live. Meet some people, have some honest conversations, and look at where your life is before you tell your children how they should live theirs. Your job as a parent is to keep that closet door wide open, to allow your kids to experiment (safely and while your aware) so that they don't feel the need to rush into anything or make any solid decisions. Decisions and views can change, and you need to be able to support that as well. So what if you believe it to be "Just a phase"? Then let them have that phase, and don't degrade the experience. The universe is vast, and there are many ways to live. Let your children feel out that vastness, and be by their side through that. If they have a hard time, be there to discuss it with them, not tell them how you were right all along.