Empowered Parenting – A Manifesto

So here I am at last to tell you all about my new plans, to lift the suspense!

What led to this path? My emotional journey through life became especially significant when I became a parent. Before I hadn’t always been the happiest person but I muddled along; sometimes coping, sometimes not.

All of a sudden with two small people dependent on me they gave me a reason for wanting and needing to be a more content person. I am passionate about being the best parent for them; it was my reason for going though therapy, starting this blog, and now focusing my writing in this direction.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about ‘positive parenting’, and used the term freely without any particular thought to defining it. I suppose I made certain assumptions. I need to better describe, explain and evaluate, to be able to pinpoint the value and purpose of what I mean.

‘Positive parenting’ is a popular term but I need clarity about what is significant about my view, and how I want to share this with others. Positive psychology in a nutshell is the science of wellbeing.

Not about fixing something that is broken, (although I know there are a fair few of us out there who have experienced being broken). Not just getting through. But enabling people to live in a way that improves their experience of life in a meaningful way. Even the potential to prevent that experience of being broken.

Parenting must be the most perfect original application for this. Babies are born a blank canvas with which to work, something that we shape and develop as parent. But they definitely do have the power to break us with their demands, especially if we are already vulnerable for whatever reason.

Parenting is the act of raising children, of mentoring them, coaching them, teaching them. Sure, it is partly about knowledge but it is also about emotional status. To be positive means to be constructive, to be present, to be confident and to be sure. To be greater than zero.

It is hard to be positive if we always see the worst in something. It is hard to have kind words for our children if we always berate ourselves. It is hard to focus on our children if we are distracted with other things. It is hard to have faith and confidence in our parenting choices if we are unsure of our own lives.

Everywhere I look I see a massively neglected elephant in the room. Positive parenting cannot simply be about the outcome for the child. The other part is the tool with which to do the job – the parent. In fact I think this has to come first.

When we need tools to do a job properly, we look after them, why should it be any different for us? We cannot be only focused on our children without regard for ourselves. We are part of the equation. We need to do more than just get through these years, for them and for us.

This is not about a set of parenting actions, but the place in which we reside as parents. I have come to think of this not as positive, but empowered parenting – feeling authorised and able to fulfil our roles as parents, having power in ourselves to be the best parent.

The Filling Glass always has been about finding an emotional balance (as a parent) but it will be evolving. I will be sharing more ways in which we can fill our parenting glasses together and fill our children’s glasses, and to build a community around this.

I know that not everyone has been to that dark place. That not everyone has been down. But I also know that parenting is a minefield of information and decisions, a drain on our energy. With these factors in place, I think there is something for all parents here, and maybe others as well.

I am starting two different post series that will run through the year. The first will be about different ‘parenting tools’, things that can empower us to be the person we want to be for our children, and have that positive relationship with them. Things that help to make us confident, present, constructive and sure in our parenting.

The second series, called ‘What it feels like…’, based on this post, will help us look more internally to examine how we deal with issues that arise, or how we need to deal with issues with our children. I will also be producing a workbook on how to ‘create’ our own parenting style that works for us.

Finally, in a completely new avenue for me, having been pretty much just about writing for catharsis up until now, I have created a hashtag, #empa, that I want to be used for discussions around this idea, but I will be writing a more in-depth post on it very soon.

This is what I have been so excited about doing with my writing, it has given me such a sense of purpose driving me forwards. I won’t always be posting twice a week, so that I have time to focus on these projects, but I hope that won’t put you off joining me on this journey.

It is going to be interesting to see what happens as these things get off the ground and underway. If anyone reading this feels they have anything to contribute, I would love to hear from you, and I would of course love it if you could spread the word far and wide.

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27 Comments Add yours

  1. Mummy Tries says:

    Love this so much, but you knew I would! Don’t have time to leave a proper comment, but will be back xx

    1. Thank you so much Renee for your support. Glad you love it xx

  2. Alice I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this! You have definitely found your purpose and I can feel the energy coming off the page as I read this. And what an amazing idea – I can’t wait to read more about empowered parenting and will definitely be part of your new community. Looking forward to more xx

    1. Thank you so much Michelle! Without your influence and your workbook, I don’t think this would be coming out in this way, you have been an amazing source of support and inspiration. So glad that you will be part of it with me xx

      1. Happy to be part of your journey Alice and thanks so much for linking up at #sharethejoy with this joyful post! x

  3. This is fantastic Alice – it looks like, from what you have written, that you have really struck on something here. All the best with it all xx

    1. And just popping back from #WhatIAmWriting x

    2. Thank you Victoria, it’s a bit of a leap of faith on my part but it seems to be getting a good reception. Thanks for reading xx

  4. This is great ideas here Alice and projects to focus on. How exciting. I love diving into a new idea and seeing the places it takes you. Good luck. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    1. Thanks Jenny. It is exciting and at the same time scary – like diving in, but I reckon it is going to be an incredible adventure. Thanks for reading. X

  5. Melisa says:

    I particularly liked this: “…enabling people to live in a way that improves their experience of life in a meaningful way.” I also love the featured photo. 🙂

    I believe your blog is not only for parents, but single people can also gain a lot of insight from it. I love that it’s written with love–and I could feel it. Please keep it up, Alice.

    1. Thank you Melisa. I realise that what I write could be about everyone and I’m not meaning to exclude people who are not parents, my purpose has simply evolved from having children myself and realising that I need to be a happier person. It’s so important to me that my children and any other children whose parents I can influence grow up in a secure understanding of themselves and their happiness. Thanks for sticking with me when it doesn’t apparently seem relevant to you, I appreciate that. Xx

      1. Melisa says:

        I appreciate what you’re doing because for me it’s so significant. I’ve seen so many examples around me that made me think that many people just get married and put children into this world without much thought. They don’t know how to treat children; they just pass on to their children what they experienced from the way their own parents treated them. At least, despite your own experience, you have this desire to set a better example.

        I am saying these things as a “child.” ♡ I am curious about what parents would tell children if they ask, “Why did you bring us into this world?” 🙂

        1. That is a very poignant question, and one I think any person who is thinking about doing so should ask of themselves, but I don’t think it happens very often. Xx

  6. littlehouselea says:

    Such an energetic post and what a brilliant idea! I love it. Can’t wait to read more.

    1. Thank you, glad you liked it! X

  7. maddy@writingbubble says:

    I thought I commented on this when you wrote it (which funnily enough, is what you thought about my post, tee hee)! It sounds fabulous – what a great purpose! You sound so passionate about your idea and it seems wonderfully positive, or rather, empowered. You’re so right that we can’t forget ourselves in trying to be the best parents we can be. Thanks for linking to #WhatImWriting

    1. Tee hee! All those distractions! (Well at my house any way and I’m sure at yours too). I’m glad it sounds empowered, on occasion the conviction can waver and I feel a bit lost in such a big undertaking. Xx

  8. This is great. I think you’ve hit on a really important – and often neglected – area to focus your energies. I’m looking forward to reading more very soon!

    1. Thank you, it is so relevant to me, so I was hoping that others would see it as important. X

  9. Beautiful energy in your post. Great read! xx

  10. Christine says:

    This sounds so exciting and I look forward to reading more of your blog posts! Well done you for defining your purpose and your passion and using it for helping others! xx

    1. Thanks Christine! I found life very hard without a defined purpose, and now it’s much more positive. Xx

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