Painting history with your own colors – In search of a parenting modality that belongs to us
By the Psychologist Eleonora Damiani
“The baby is held like this”, “he should fall asleep by himself”, “you don’t have to hold him so much that he gets used to it”, “don’t breastfeed him for too long”, “breastfeed him as much as you can with the breast that forms antibodies”. How many moms and dads heard these phrases when they became parents? And how many have believed or believe that there are rules that universally adapt to every child?
Becoming a parent has pros and cons like all experiences. Every human being, and therefore every child, is unique and inimitable, as are his character, his way of being, his inner experiences and experiences that over time will be assembled inside him like the pieces of a puzzle. The uniqueness of the human being provides that there can be no pre-established rules with which to behave towards him and therefore that the parents or those who have to take care of him can only rely on their abilities and their self-efficacy, understood as the awareness of being able. While not having a ready-made book on how your child “works” can be destabilizing, because it creates an impossibility of controlling events, on the other hand it can represent a resource if we allow our way of being parents to be born and develop, evolving as people.
There is no manual for parenting
The maturity of a parent does not lie in fulfilling an already formed protocol, but in giving himself the opportunity to experiment, putting his humanity at stake.
The voices of others, especially of parents as grandparents, risk echoing in the heads of new fathers and new mothers, if they are anchored to an idea of right and wrong. Allowing the rules of others to invade our mind without setting boundaries leads to the path of devaluation, while having the courage to choose whether to integrate those advice based on their usefulness in one’s personal history makes it increasingly autonomous and mature.
Just as no one will be able to be in your place in life, so no one will be in the room with you when your child cries, laughs or gets angry, except the partner you have chosen to have at your side. Strengthening real self-confidence predisposes to greater trust and openness towards the person next to you. Therefore, both as a single parent and as a couple, the first step towards your own well-being and that of the child is to give yourself the trust it deserves.
You learn with experience
Modeling the relationship with your child based on the characteristics of both means having the courage to enter the realm of confusion where there are no predefined rules and start painting a canvas through a technique that can only be learned with experience and listening with your own inner world and that of the child you are responsible for.
Each child that is born is not only a gift as such, but it is also a challenge with himself for the human being who brings him into the world, as only in the search for its own colors will the painting acquire originality.