Let’s be clear from the outset, I don’t profess to be an expert. In fact, I don’t even like the word ‘expert’. The reason for this is quite simple really, I don’t believe that there are people who are true experts. Sure some people know a lot about a little but honestly, who actually knows everything that there is to know about a topic as huge and personal as parenting, or any other organic topic for that matter? – No one surely! An overwhelming frustration wells up within me when I read a biography and see the description ‘parenting expert‘ shining like a bright beacon of hope. I literally feel as though I want to be ill.
How, please tell me, when it comes to parenting can anyone be an expert? I feel very strongly about there being no such creature worthy of being considered an all encompassing aficionado in the vast domain of parenting. Sure there are some really good people out there, well intentioned, insightful and dedicated to the cause but even they couldn’t begin to know what is best for your or my child as they don’t have to deal with what you and I deal with every day, now do they? They are not in the trenches with us when things go well or get ugly, so how can they possibly offer up the one-size-fits-all-raise-your-children-up-right solution?
That been said, I think we will agree that there are many extraordinary people around the world who are extremely adept when it comes to sharing their thoughts, ideas, theories and research on child development and parenting. Some of these great people are teachers, psychologists and neuroscientists. For the most part however, often times the most useful information comes from those who have no recognized academic accolades to parade. They are ordinary, every day people who have figured things out for themselves along the way and they offer up their ideas to those who appear to be needing them. I know many of those people and they come in all different ages, shapes and sizes. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, the lady at the park or the gentleman at the grocery store. (Often times we would quite like them to keep their worldly wisdom to themselves, but they offer it up anyway!) The irony is we get it when we aren’t looking for it and can’t find it when we are! We can never anticipate where the next pearl of wisdom needed on parenting journey might come from and that is why I am a big believer in not limiting our search to those who call themselves or are deemed by others, to be experts.
Personally, I now look to those who are lead by intuitive wisdom. Those grounded, open-minded individuals who don’t hold fast only one idea, one philosophy, one approach and above all else, they don’t claim to have the ultimate quick fix solution to all your parenting dilemmas.
In the past I too followed the ‘experts’ (in my house it was like a national sport) and it brought me nothing more than upset and a whole lot of parenting trouble. Without realizing it, I became educated out of my intuition. I began to believe that the answers lay outside of me and all of my energy went into the search rather than into raising my children and being the parent they needed me to be. My wake up call finally came when I heard the words of Dr Gordon Neufeld who said, “It is not what you know but who you are to your children that makes the difference.” That one sentence resonated so deeply within me that it changed the way I was. I gave up my search outside of myself and started looking to the inside. And that is where this blog will begin…
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