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Once a parent, always a parent

By Abbey Krause, Mediator

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Today (June 1st) is Global Day of Parents. It’s a day where we recognise and appreciate parents all over the world and celebrate who they are and everything that they do.

As a mediator working with families, most of the time when I meet parents it’s because things aren’t going so well for them and family life has become a struggle. Being a parent isn’t easy. While there are resources  and support for parents there isn’t a one stop manual that tells you how to do it. It’s complicated, it’s exhausting, it’s frustrating and becoming a parent will probably change who you are too. You will be tested, you will be challenged and you will never again take spare time and space for granted!

However, I am also surrounded by so much optimism about being a parent and have often been told that being a parent is one of the best experiences life can bring. I am not a parent so I asked those that I know to share …… what is the best thing about being a parent?

Some said that they get a sense of fulfilment, watching and supporting their child’s growth and development. Once you’re a parent you are always a parent. Others said that they really appreciate the company of their children and have great fun telling stories, making a mess, getting creative, laughing and playing. Another parent shared his thoughts around his own growth and development and how much he learnt about himself when he became a parent. Others were surprised by the overwhelming love that they experienced when their children were born and an intense sense of protection that they felt towards them.

Many parents I spoke to have a huge amount of pride for their children and expressed how impressed they are with the young adults they have become. Even during the teenage years, which can be challenging for both parents and young people, I found parents still show admiration and respect for their young people and can see the positives in their relationship.

While being a parent is a privilege it can also be a challenge. I think we sometimes forget that parents are people too. They all have their own story to tell that has shaped who they are. They have hopes, and dreams and also worries and needs too. Sometimes they don’t always get in right with their children and young people, but in my experience parents are all doing the best they can and what they do is truly inspirational.

Most of us will have had a parent figure in our lives at some point but not everyone has had the privilege of being a parent themselves. So on this Global Day of Parents let’s celebrate the things you parents do well! Let’s share the best things about being a parent and let’s say thank you to parents all over the world – you’re doing great!

Abbey Krause, Mediator

Abbey is a mediator, conflict resolution practitioner and trainer working in Scotland since 2009 with experience working with families, professionals and communities. She believes in the strength and imagination of everyone to shape their own story and have a different conversation. Abbey loves mountains, remote islands and food. She is a parent to twins which has been the best and hardest thing she has done with her life so far!

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