My Journey Home

My Life. Beautiful, Ugly, Unfiltered.

a license to parent


The saying goes that it “takes a whole village to raise a child”, but some people are taking this to a whole new level.

What can be said for a parent that allows their toddler to escape the house, wearing nothing but his underpants to roam the neighborhood streets? Or the one who thinks it’s the school’s responsibility to teach their child discipline and structure?

It seems that so many parents have forgotten what it is to be parents.  They want others to take charge and do the job for them, because- while the idea of being a mommy or a daddy is fun, being a parent is in fact a job.  It takes time, so much energy, and more patience than you currently or have ever had.

There are so many aspects to being a parent, but right now I am just talking about being there for your child.  Being attentive and alert is priority number one.  If you are so caught up in your own self and your needs, how in the world can you possibly know what is going on with your child or what they need from you?  Whether they are 6 months or 16, they have needs and those needs can only be met by you.  Not a neighbor, not a church leader, and most definitely not by their friends.  The only way I know what my child needs on a daily basis is because I pay attention to her when she communicates with me.  If I don’t respond to her subtle communications, she gets much more intense and begins to act out.  If she feels this strongly at 19 months– imagine how an older child must feel when their needs are neglected because parents think that they are “big enough” to handle things themselves or that they “just can’t deal with it anymore”.  I’m sorry parents– but this is not a month to month lease.  This is a life long contract!

The sad fact remains that you don’t have to have a license to be a parent.  The fact also remains that those of us that would be licensed, will probably continue to do what we have always done– pick up the slack.

When we find a toddler roaming the neighborhood streets, we’ll invite him to play in the yard with our child where they will share a snack and drink, we’ll toss him the ball and let him kick it and giggle and shout, and never really think twice about it.  Until someone tells us to.

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One response to “a license to parent

  1. Holly April 22, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Tayla, I just got around to reading this and I have to say, the last two paragraphs especially struck me as so refreshingly perceptive!!! I have been dealing with some “health” stuff that has brought me to a place of decisions. I can so relate to what you said, as happening to me. Others may not “get” what you are saying, but it was nice hearing someone say exactly what Ive been thinking and wanting to express myself. Thanks, felt nice to see what Ive been dealing with understood , so to speak! :))

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