Before I begin this blogging journey of mutual sharing and growth, I thought I’d tell you a bit aboutmyself. I am an optimist, a confident, 54-year-old woman, who was raised as an American, and spent two of my impressionable childhood years living abroad in Brussels. Some of my passions are family, good friends, yummy locally grown organic food, growth through observation, connecting with the universe and all of its infinite wonder, parenting, being awake and conscious, and voting with my dollars.
This clearly is a very brief description, but in my coming posts, I trust you will learn more about me, my thoughts, and how I weave family and parenting into most of what I observe and write about. I firmly believe that many of our world’s ills can be and will be solved in our homes by the way we impact, teach, and love our children.
When our daughter was very little and didn't like the rules we had put in place, I told her that those rules were non-negotiable. I told her they came from a handbook that we had received when she was born, a book visible to parents only. The book contained all the most important rules every parent must follow to raise a happy and healthy child or young adult. This invisible manual was my version of "because I said so." When our daughter reached a certain age, she quit believing my story. I promised that not only was it true but also, one day, the invisible book would be visible to her, too. Being a woman of my word, I wrote the book for her as a Christmas present—my love story to her.
Through this blog, I hope to inspire others to write their own book about parenting to their own children or the children in their lives. The book can be a love story, a manual, or whatever form feels right. I believe if every parent had the luxury of mapping out their aspirations for their adult children, our world and its inhabitants could and would be a more loving, caring place. The aspirations I’m talking about have less to do with profession, income, place of residence, or the family size your adult child chooses and more to do with how they would like to affect the world and others around them, how they will fill their time, what potentially positive legacies they might leave for those who follow.
Here's my question to you: What will be the intangible legacy that you leave for your child/children? Set aside all the material items and, instead, begin to question the societal expectations. Try to focus on what you can timelessly impart in their hearts and souls. Writing is a practice of consciousness. I encourage you to write your own Invisible Parenting Handbook. Enjoy your journey.
Photo by Joe Frankenberg
Shawn Hosford is a parenting mentor and healthy families advocate based in Washington state whose other interests include lively conversations, organic and sustainable food, continuous learning, being outside and living life to its fullest. Learn more at The Invisible Parenting Handbook website and Facebook page. The handbook is available to buy here.