14 June 2013

How trust and parenting go hand-in-hand (it's hard)

Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Trust is the moment before the parachute opens.
Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I came across two posts yesterday that made me think about the relationship between trust and parenting. And I already think about it a lot.

As much as it's about practicality and organizing and decluttering, Minimalist Parenting is about trust.

  • Trusting you will find your way. 
  • Trusting your kids will gradually reveal themselves. 
  • Trusting the world has something bigger to offer than what you can see at this very moment.

Ideally, trust is the result of confidence + optimism. But sometimes you just have to take it on faith, because who among us feels confident and optimistic all the time?

Jen Singer illustrated this in beautiful and comforting hindsight. In looking back over hard years that included her cancer and divorce, she sees that her kids' childhoods weren't ruined.

From Awesome, Yet At Times, Painful at MommaSaid.net:

...Despite two very difficult “life stressors,” as the psychology community euphemistically calls the crap-storms that are cancer and divorce, I no longer worry that my kids’ childhoods have been ruined. Rather, their adulthoods have been primed for a far healthier and effective way of dealing with the troubled times that come with life on earth.
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Sometimes, trust requires us to sit and even observe a painful situation so that life has a chance to teach something it couldn't any other way. Again, this is usually obvious only in hindsight; in the heat of the moment it hurts -- and can even feel cruel.

Kelly Wickham is a mother, educator, and no stranger to hardship. She's had enough experience with life's lessons to be able to observe and then face them with her own children.

From Manifesto: The Giant Ball Pit of Life at Mocha Momma:

...I took all four of [my kids] aside and said, "Look, I've been watching you for like 15 minutes and I have some advice I want to give you. You can use this for the rest of your life, but it's a lesson that, if you get it now, will serve you well. Are you ready?"
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(I couldn't extract one quote that sums up Kelly's post. The power is in the whole story, so click over if you've got a moment.)

My son finishes 7th grade today. It has been his best school year yet. A few years ago, he wouldn't set foot inside a school building.

My daughter finishes 4th grade today. She is plugged into herself in an exquisite way I wasn't at her age. Last summer, her best friend moved away and she wasn't sure she could manage going back to school without her.

Trust. Even when the road leads somewhere you can't see.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends. Thank you for being here with me.


The blogosphere is exploding with incredible storytelling about parenting. Here are some more recent favorites: one of the best "sorry I haven't posted in a while" posts ever, from Mir; an unexpected journey from Alice; and a reminder that trust doesn't always feel good, from Rebecca.

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Thanks for this post. It is hard sometimes but so necessary..

You're welcome, Isobel, thanks for reading, It IS hard sometimes.

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