a close up of a structure of a structure

Parenting: It’s about who you are, not what you know

26 January 2024

Parenting is about who you are and how you see yourself, not what you know. Parenting from the heart as opposed to the head.

We can listen to as many profound talks as we like, get hold of the best tools and techniques, but unless we move out of our heads and into our hearts, we will be missing the point. The point is relationship. Relationships that are healthy, flexible and growing come from the heart.

A friend once told me that her ex-boyfriend got to know her by making a spreadsheet about her likes and dislikes. She grew and changed beyond the spreadsheet  (as healthy people tend to do) and he didn’t know how to relate to her because well, she didn’t fit the boxes anymore.

We parent through relationship, not through knowledge. If we were meant to parent through knowledge alone, children would be born with manuals that we would then study, learn and voila! Everything is awesome. (If only!)

Of course, there is knowledge available to us that can help a great deal in our parenting. Basic knowledge about child development, healthy attachments and how children react to stress and trauma can help us gain an understanding of what is going on for our child. Also, knowledge about current events/issues that may affect your child is important in helping you to be aware to protect them and help them navigate said events/issues. Examples, dealing with social media, dealing with community trauma, dealing with bullying and handling exam stress.

I encourage you to learn so that you can gain a better understanding of your child’s reactions and behaviour. And then, make the knowledge your own by adding yourself to it, your own meaning, your own context. Keep updating your knowledge about your child; new stages of development, new challenges for them, how they are adapting and evolving.

When you do learn new things about parenting, practice on your child. Practice a new tool and see how it works, reflect on how it went, be curious about it and learn more. There are so many people on social media who give great advice, “scripts” and tools to use.

I can recommend these ones I have been following on Instagram

For toddlers @biglittlefeelings

For children @dr.siggie

For teens @coachingwithwill

They all provide great content, but remember to follow your heart and you do you! And if you like any of the offerings, use it and make it yours.

man praying

Photo by Jack Sharp on Unsplash

When parenting from the heart, take care of your heart first. Practice self-compassion, be kind and gracious to yourself. You might need to be the parent you never had to yourself. Are you doing things that bring a smile to your face on a regular basis? How are you planning to fill your heart in 2024? Your children deserve a parent with a full heart, and you deserve it too.


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