Growing Up Loved

I was lucky to be brought up loved. Not that everything I did was liked, but I knew that I was loved--and knowing this gave me the ability and freedom to be who I wanted to be. ---Bernie Siegel, M.D.

Photo Credit: Mercedes DeJesus

I was one of the lucky ones, I wasn't a perfect kid, but I knew that my parents were there for me when I messed up, to show me the way and help me learn from my mistakes.

I have seen what happens when a child grows up without loving, unselfish parents, and it breaks my heart. When there is no one there to give them the unconditional love and support they deserve, a key part of their development is left unfulfilled. They never get the chance to be led by example, to truly learn to believe in themselves, to know what it is like to have someone expect things from them. Many of the skills I take for granted; self confidence, goal setting, and planning were instilled in me when I was very young, in children without good parents, these things are missing.

And so is something I consider super important, the ability to trust your gut. 

It breaks my heart to see kids with great potential, who cannot see any potential in themselves. They don't even know to look for it, let alone to recognize it. I am amazed every day at the strength of my newest children, and in their ability to have survived growing up without anyone to advocate for them, without help in navigating the world. It humbles me. It makes me thankful for what I have been given.

Teaching a child to believe in themselves and show them they have the power to be anyone they want to be, takes patience. And forgiveness. And great strength of will to not punch those awful parents in the face. It makes me appreciate my parents even more than I already did.

Our family has made one small step in reaching out to help break the chain of less than perfect parenting.   But our efforts alone are not enough. We need more people to step up to help kids who haven't been given the privileges we were given: love, safety, discipline, forgiveness, and someone to expect you to become someone someday.

To help break the chain of bad parenting and change the future, we all need to lead by example and show children that there is another way. That they have the ability to change their lives and the lives of future generations, by learning to love themselves.

Have you ever considered mentoring? If you need any help with local mentoring opportunities, please let me know. I am happy to share. And I know a lot of kids would be happy to receive.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world  --
Mahatma Gandhi

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