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Guide Overview

Section 3 Committing to Growth: Improving Your Parenting for the Future

Discover ways to acknowledge and repair past parenting mistakes through a thoughtful letter to your child, fostering self-forgiveness and growth.
May 8, 2023
Summary Notes

In this transformative section, you'll embark on a journey of self-forgiveness and healing by writing a heartfelt letter to your child. This process will help you acknowledge past parenting decisions, express your commitment to doing better, and ultimately strengthen your relationship with your child.

  • Begin the letter by expressing adoration for your child
  • Reflect on specific instances where you wish you had acted differently
  • Commit to working on areas of improvement in the future
  • Offer suggestion lines for your child to fill in with their thoughts
  • Practice self-forgiveness and seek additional support if needed

 All right, section three. I'm knowing better. I'm doing better. This section is gonna be a lot less questions, so, huh. You're not gonna be dealing with like the onslaught of the therapist who you lied digging into your past. Um, instead, I'm gonna give you some directions. I'm going to have you write a letter to your child.

Now, if your child's three years old, you're not gonna read it to them, probably. You can just give them the straight up, very simple apology around whatever it is you wish you had done differently, and you're gonna make a commitment to them around what you are committed to trying to do better. Hear me clearly.

I didn't say perfectly or without fail. I said better. That's all. Any of us, if your child has already stated to you, they have some problem in their relationship, or you can feel that pushback or you can feel that they've distanced over the years or they're an adult for sure. I want you to write a really thoughtful letter and I'm gonna give you the structure of the letter for you to write it out, and then we're gonna talk about Halloween.

You give it to 'em. The whole first part of the letter is simply the things I adore about you. I'm thinking about one of my daughters. I'm thinking, I adore the way you stand up for yourself when something doesn't feel right. I adore the way that you wear your Elsa dress every single day and sing that song like it belongs to you.

I adore the way that you pretend to be a kitty cat. And you meow and you lick. Even if sometimes I don't love the licking, we want them to come into this message recognizing that the bond you hold to them is intact. That some of the guilt and remorse you have around things you did is not the core of how you feel in your relationship.

The core of how you feel about your child's adoration, not idealization. Just gonna put a little plug there. You aren't saying you never do anything wrong, kids, you're perfect. You're saying I adore you. Not the same. The next section you're gonna take from your notes of the reflection from section two.

And you're gonna basically say, if I had a do-over, here's what I would do differently. During the pandemic, I had just given birth to twins. Uh, I had birthed them in January, 2020. One of my twins had a hole in our heart, and so we were freaked out because they told us the number one thing we needed to do was avoid respiratory illnesses.

Well, three months later, the world's most intense respiratory illness came onto the scene. So we were stressed and also we had two babies at the same time. It was kind of a lot, and we didn't have the normal social support that we would've had in a season where everyone could interact and come over and drop off things.

So it was a hard time, and my son was four and a half, and I look back at that time and I treated him like he was eight. Like I wanted him to not need as much as he needed from us because I was tired and exhausted and overspent and scared. And I had a little sit down with him at some point where we went through it and it was probably a year after the pandemic where I was like, I really wish I'd been more patient with you.

I wish I had understood that you were doing the best you could. I wish I had better prepared you for what it would be like to have two babies in the house at the same time. I mean, I, I had a list and. It gave both of us just a sense of relief that we were honoring that we'd gone through a bit of a bump.

I had gotten very like snappy with him. There was a lot of like, no, not now. Wait, are you kidding? Like what? What are you thinking? Like that type of vibes, which is not my normal parenting vibe. I could tell. You all know that, and it was hard on him, and it was hard on me. It wasn't fun. I wasn't like having a great time.

But there was a deep need for repair. So that's what we're doing here. I wish I had, and in that conversation when I did the repair, he was probably like stabbing at the time. Six and a half. Six, maybe six. Honestly. Anyway, I, I made it silly too, like, I wish I'd tickled you more. I wish I had swam with you more.

Um, I wish I had spent more time listening to all the silly things you were coming up with in your four-year-old brain. He needed to hear. The heart I had for him hadn't changed. The situation had changed and my ability to be expressive of my heart had changed, but my heart had never changed. For some of you, there might only be like three or four little bullets you really wanna address.

Maybe they're kind of bigger ones and they feel kind of general. And for others of you, there might be a long list. Go for it. There is beauty in the specificity, you know, if it's like, I really wish that I hadn't given away your, what are those tiny little balls called? I can't think of what they're called.

Oh, come on, brain Polly Pockets. I wish I hadn't given your Polly pockets away before you were ready to be done with them. You were really upset and I know that bothered you. You know whenever anything on here that's like if I had a redo, here's what I would. Then at the end of the letter, I want you to just write some of your commitments.

I'm gonna work on doing this in the future. I'm gonna work on doing that. I'm gonna work on trying this, mostly focus on the things that your child has told you or given you the feedback on that you think are worth working on. And then I want you to leave a couple of blanks at the end of the letter.

Like little, fill them in. I mean, again, if you're not hundreds years old and you're typing this, you can just, you know, put some lines in. But if you're drawing it, put in a couple of lines and say, Suggestion lines. Anything else you want me to work on that I didn't get on this letter and put that at the bottom.

When you give this to your child, know that they may not be in the same reflection space that you are. You might be just like ready to heal, ready to change. And they're like, oh, like it's cool, mom. I don't know. Like whatever. Fine. Don't push it. Say, you know what? I'll keep this letter for you when you're ready for it.

Come and get it from me. They might come get it when they're 27. They might get it when they're 16. They might not remember it, and you have to remind them later on, like, Hey, I have this letter. Do you want it? But the most important thing is that you've done it, is that you can say, this is something that I knew I could do that might help.

And I did it. I did everything I could to try and repair this. This is not a bonus section, but it's a last little tip for you. Forgive yourself. It does not serve your child for you to go on the rest of your life fixating on what you didn't do right or well, or in the way you wish you had. You did the best you could.

Grieving is often a part of forgiveness. Finding some time to just cry it out, like get it outta your body. And if it's really complex, like for instance, maybe you had a serious drug addiction when your child was young. I hope you will go find a caring therapist or coach to help support you in that process.

If you don't know where to start, you can Those are all my people, and I'm very particular about who I allow on my team because I don't want anybody not getting the best possible nurturing care. So head there and sign up for some coaching or some therapy and get some support.

But in the meantime, We're all learning. We're all on this journey, and I'm so glad you're here. And thank you for trusting me with your heart, and I hope that it has felt healing to walk through this process and move from one direction to the other, knowing you've done all that.