The Committed Parent
An Open Love Letter to Parents

Dear Parents,

Somewhat to my own surprise, I recently discovered the area
where I intend to devote the remaining years of my life. As often
happens with such realizations, it turns out to be something that
I have been deeply immersed in for nearly 30 years in a variety
of different guises: advocating for children and offering
information, care and loving support to the often lonely,
overwhelming work of being a parent.
Advocating for children in this manner turns out to be a rather
tricky enterprise. From observing parents up close, and from
being one myself, I recognize that in our sanest moments we
parents want nothing but the very best for our children. And yet,
the number of times when I have been confused, frightened,
withdrawn, filled with despair, angry and even a little crazed
have been many - just ask my daughter!
But mostly what we want is to be able to nurture, provide for,
safeguard and love our children beyond all measure and all
reason. Yet the fact is that the work of parenting, both by its
nature and its duration, virtually guarantees that there will be
moments when we are not sane nor centered. My intention here
is to help each of us better understand such moments, and also
to make it abundantly clear, in no uncertain terms, that in each
and every moment in our lives as parents, there isn’t a single
one of us who hasn’t been doing the very best they could in the
moment, given existing circumstances.
In part, it is the circumstances – our internal and external lived
reality – that we’ll be exploring together here. We’ll be looking at
the things that live wild and unresolved within us, as well as in
the world all around us – all the things that can tilt us off-axis
and manage to make us more than a little crazy – crazy enough
that sometimes we actually may feel as though we should be
“committed.”
In the explorations that arise out of the material that I will be
sharing here, and that I fully imagine many of you will be sharing
with me, I expect to learn a great deal. I haven’t been a parent to
all children, only to one child, a relatively easy one by most
measures. I know that children come in all shapes, sizes and
challenges. Some of them I expect will present challenges that I
won’t have even a clue about how to respon. In those instances,
what I can do is listen in order to do my best to truly understand
just how difficult this “most important job in the world” really can
be.
And I can also inquire. Collectively, all of us are smarter than
any one of us, and so it is the collective wisdom that I anticipate
drawing upon frequently here in this forum. It is the collective
wisdom, shared freely, that will provide each of us with much
that we might need on this journey.

Sincerely yours,


Mark Brady


P.S. To begin our explorations together, feel free to start
here.
Employing social neuroscience to help parents raise kids we can live with and are crazy about ~
Committed Parent Blog posting here.