My Child is Not My Own.

I have this motto, as a mother I feel like I need a motto, something to focus on as my main purpose for parenting the way I do.

My child is not my own.

Now that kind of seems like a contradiction in itself but it’s not.  They belong to themselves.  I think a lot of parents feel some sort of ownership over their children and once something becomes “yours” you feel like you can treat it any way you damn well please.

I’m getting so tired of hearing about people growing up in crappy situations.  I wish parents would just stop and look of the importance of the life before them.  This person is going to be an adult one day and it’s not funny to say that you’ll pay for their shrink.  It’s easy to shell out the dough, it’s not easy to deal with the issues that come along from a not so pleasant childhood.  In fact, it can’t always be healed.

I don’t get why the majority of people I know have been abused in some way.  I think all of us as parents have wanted to hit our kids out of anger.  I knew if I spanked my kids it would be out of anger, so I just don’t do it at all and that works for us.

I don’t want to make this a spanking issue but more of a WAKE UP PEOPLE!!  Lets start trying to raise our kids without big expectations on them that we’ve come up on our own, without our own baggage getting in the way, without screaming, without abuse, without constant pressure to be perfect!

Your child will not forget about it.  You know even having screaming matches with your spouse around your child before they are 5 actually stops them from building the proper brain connections that they need?  Yes, your anger can change their brains forever.  Actual brain tissue isn’t growing because you’re yelling!  Now add abuse into that and you’ve made it even worse.  It’s not something a trip to the shrink is going to help, you’re actually ruining their brains!  Stop it already!

K I’m SO not a perfect parent, I lose my temper on my kids sometimes.  But I keep going back to that idea, this person isn’t mine.  It’s my responsibility to cherish this little life enough to help it grow to it’s best potential.  That doesn’t mean forcing my own ideals upon them but to teach them how to find their unique selves so they can fully own who they are.  We don’t treat other peoples things like crap so why are we treating other humans like crap?

Lets get a grip stop the cycle already…I know I sure am.


  1. You sound like a wonderful mama! Right on! Your motto is so very true! Our children are not our own…
    They are loaned to us for such a short time, and it takes a world of people to help them grow and prosper over the years. Extended family, teachers,
    friends, and even strangers. We can only pray they are directed to the right people. Again, wonderful post!

  2. How did you get to be so wise? I like the way you think about this! This was an excellent “part 1.” I look forward to hearing part 2 (and 3 etc.) Could be a book title – just an idea! Looking forward to ee you (and all 3 of your boys) soon!

  3. more often than not, life is not so cut and dry and there may not be other alternatives for some spouses than to have to hash it out infront of their children. Remaining silent for decades just because you “don’t want to upset the kids” also leaves them with a false sense of reality. Too often, people keep quiet when things just aren’t right…conflict is inherent in this short little adventure we have on this earth. Fairy tales just don’t happen…there are often moments of bliss but they are merely enjoyable pinnacles in the midst of a LOT of hard work. I’m tired of everyone trying to put on the bright happy face or maintaining some false facade because they are concerned with how the real them might be percieved. I will concede that there are healthy ways to argue and discuss issues, but most of us are not innately equipped with those kind of skills and have to learn through errors and even failures.
    Perhaps, honesty even if it hurts, is a more productive aim when dealing with children, than just trying to mask the unpleasant.

  4. Nic, there is a big continuum between losing tempers in front of the kids and putting on a happy face. Somewhere in between is self-control and thoughtful, honest conversations. Those conversations don’t need to be happy in order to be healthy. If we imagine how we’d like our kids to solve conflicts as they get older, then we have our answer as to how we’d like to model that for them in our own conversations. There’s a great series of books on “Nonviolent Communication” by Marshall B. Rosenburg that I found enlightening about how we use words to build or wreck relationships. Yelling is simply revealing a lack of ideas of how to communicate in a more effective way.

  5. Conflict in and of itself is a-moral. Not bad, not good…it’s just what it is.

    Most people don’t have the tools exactly because their parents didn’t give it to them in the first place. I never said to mask reality but there are good ways and bad ways to hash things out. Just because you might not have the skills doesn’t mean your child isn’t going to suffer from your lack of skills.

    Like I said, it’s time to break the cycle.

  6. I admire you and the way you think. I hope that, if I ever have kids one day, I might be able to think and feel and act the same. My parents tried to do it, my mom partially failed for reasons I only grasped when I was in my twenties. My dad tried and suceeded, but died when I was 14. Anyway he put up a copy of the poem “On Children” (Kahlil Gibran) in our room, because that’s what he believed in. I don’t know if you know that poem, so here’s a link. It’s so You! 🙂

  7. Yes, none of us parents are perfect and we’d all like to do better on some days i’m sure. I agree that our children are not our own. They are our responsibility given to us by God and that is not to be taken lightly. I also agree that we should nurture each child’s uniqueness. I think the place they should feel more comfortable is at home because if they can’t be themselves in their own family that is very sad. Thank you for your insight Leah.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge