I just watched this TED talk by Brene Brown and thought it was wonderful. I love the part where she talks about parenting. She says that the point is not to take these perfect babies and keep them perfect. Rather the point is to communicate to them that they are imperfect, they are wired for struggle and they are worthy of love and belonging.
This seems particularly relevant to those of us who parent children who have had trauma, separation or other experiences that told our kids on a very deep level that they are not, in fact, worthy of love and belonging. When Brene used the phrase “wired for struggle, ” I thought it was a perfect definition of my fierce little warrior son, who survived so much and is still often fighting with every inch of his being. I wish there was some way I could communicate to him that he is safe now and he can trust now. But healing is a long and mysterious process.
The best I can do at this point is tell him over and over not that he is adorable and brilliant (true but not helpful), but rather that he is strong and that I’m proud of how hard he tries. And that he is worthy of love and belonging. Maybe in trying to impart this belief to my son, some of it will rub off on me.