Just recently I was prompted with a question of what I think is the most vital component of parenting. I mulled it around in my head for quite some time before I gave my best attempt to explain. In a linear way, a solid and concrete answer would have been “the love from a child parents.” And ideal answer describing a utopian world that certainly doesn’t always exist. Granted there are many lessons to learn from love, I couldn’t quite say that I found it to be the most vital component.
For the purposes of this site, another important component is a father figure. Again a utopian answer, many of us are the great fathers we are today precisely as a reaction to the terrible ones we had for ourselves. No I believe a strong father figure is incredibly important for a child to have, it does not necessarily the find them or limit their abilities to grow up and be a great parent them self.
Delving more into the abstract, support from ones parents and offering that support to your child can be paramount to their success. However many of us can relate to overcoming adversity without any support at all. Granted I always try my best to support my child in their ideas, goals, and aspirations, I have a feeling that her independence would guide her and drive her to success regardless.
Defining one’s a vital component prove to be a harder task than I thought it would be. Shortly this idea became a bit of an obsession as I felt like I owe that to myself to I’ll be able to answer in a way I found sufficient. Then it hit me, there is one driving force that not only helps to fuel me and allow me to restart each morning I knew, but also a force that I have worked hard to instill into my child. That force is the almighty PMA, or a Positive Mental Attitude. Parenting with PMA, if you will.
Now, I didn’t always have a positive attitude. Almost like meditation, it is something that I have had to work for despite any adversities I have had to face. I have felt hopelessness, despair, anger and resentment many times over in my life, and know that maintaining a positive attitude is no easy task. However when it comes to my opinion of what the most vital component is in parenting, I have to suggest that it is the almighty positive mental attitude, that PMA.
PMA, if this concept seems strange to you, was first introduced to me by the groundbreaking and pivotal hard-core punk band “Bad Brains.” An anthem that turned the angry punk scene right on it’s head, the singer proudly chanted about how he had a positive mental attitude. The abstract concept had been around forever, yet now was turned to something quite concrete. The PMA. In layman’s terms PMA could be defined as just having faith. This doesn’t require anything more than you would like to give. As someone who isn’t too religious in the traditional sense, it boils down to faith in myself and faith that there is always another day. Things always work out, and when things don’t turn out the way we would like them to, we learn from our mistakes and grow into a stronger and better person.
PMA is a vital component in parenting because it allows you to always start again. You don’t have to hold onto resentment, or grudges because you are training your mind to consider the most positive outcomes instead of how minds like to work and focus on the negative and worrying. If our minds can learn to worry and consider the worst, then certainly we should be able to reprogram our own brains to always consider the positive. We can train ourselves, and allow the training to trickle down to everyone around us just by even starting right now. All the worries, the stresses, the frustrations and the little daily struggles, forget about them and focus on the now. You are here, you are breathing, you are loved, and everything will be OK.
In almost every situation in parenting, PMA comes in handy. There is no better trait that I can think of to pass down to your child that will serve them their entire life long. From things like how you interact with your partner, to how you interact with your child, then on to how your child interact with the world around them and how they handle things when you are long gone, having PMA is surely a recipe for finding happiness in this lifetime, and on the planet we live.
Truth be told, I think parenting is a combination of many vital factors and there is no one recipe for success. I have learned though that maintaining a positive attitude, and faith that things will go well instead of negatively has not only changed the world as I see it, but also spreads to the world of my partner, and my children. The recipe for a positive mind is simple, believe that good things are going to happen. Consider the best outcome of all situations and believe it to come true. Take a step back from all the distractions in your world and maintain believe that the present moment will always head towards the most righteous outcome. Don’t sweat the small stuff and remember to keep the PMA.
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