When Michelangelo was asked how he created such beautiful sculptures his answer was very simple. He said that he already could see the sculpture within the marble block. His task was to remove whatever was not useful and reveal the sculpture within.
Parenting is a similar process. Except for a small percentage of the population, we all have the skills to be a great parent.
Some people had a positive childhood – positive experiences and positive parenting role models. For them parenting is about emulating, and improving upon, those positive parenting mentors.
For others, who had more negative childhood experiences, the task is to take those lessons and use them to become the parent their parenting mentors could have been.
Either way, the task is to remove whatever does not belong in the description of positive parenting and uncover the parent that lies within.
You do not need to sacrifice your own life and health for your child. You need to be an example of balance in life. Some people hide behind the role of Parent to protect their insecurity about what tomorrow might hold. Their children become a captive audience to adore them.
Parenting is not about being a Martyr or a Saint. Parenting is about being a mentor, a leader and an example for your children to follow.
Discard all the things that parenting should not be and make room to see what remains. It is within you, so look, recognize and uncover the parent you wish your child to become.
The essence of parenting does not come from a title or a role – it is in your State of Being.