Learning Happens on the Circle

a kid skateboarding

I

’ve been spending a bit of time at the local skate park lately. My 1-year-old daughter just loves watching people skating, riding bikes and scooters, so it’s become a bit of a hobby to go for a walk and stop to watch. There are people of all ages – from about 4 years old to adults – all at varying levels of ability trying new tricks, perfecting skills, learning from friends and other park-goers. What stood out to me was how it was normal to try new things, to fall down over and over and to get back up and have another go. No one looked on and laughed at the failed attempts. In fact, persistence and working at it over and over was par for the course. It would be impossible to learn those challenging tricks without falling many times.

It struck me that this should be how it feels to be a parent – that it’s normal, at every step of the way to try new things, to get it wrong and to fail. That it should feel normal to not know how to parent a newborn, a toddler, a teenager and to know that we are learning along the way and we will need to give ourselves time to practice and work at it. Instead, parenting often feels very different – we feel like we should know what we’re doing, that it should come naturally or easily. I know I’ve definitely put pressure on myself to know what to do and haven’t given myself room to struggle and learn.

So, my goal is to bring some of this spirit to my own parenting – instead of expecting myself to “skate through” easily and being frustrated and critical at myself when I fall, I want to value my commitment, my persistence and recognize that with every fall, I am learning and my daughter is learning. Because a relationship where you need to get it right every time doesn’t feel like connection, it just feels like pressure.

I invite you to share with me your comments, reflections, Circle stories and experiences with Circle of Security Parenting. Your submissions may be used in future blog posts, with all identifying information excluded, unless you specifically request to be identified. Contact me at brooke[at]circleofsecurityinternational[dot]com.