January 17, 2020
What makes a super parent? What is a super parent?
I have had the privilege in my 20 years of practice to meet many super parents. I have seen parents at their lowest points. I have seen couples come in excited to start a family only to find that their spouse is cheating and now find themselves as a single parent. I have seen parents dealing with a cancer diagnosis in their child or themselves. I have witnessed a child being abandoned by a parent and left with only one parent to raise them unexpectedly. I have seen parents lose their jobs and find themselves with no health insurance. I have seen parents faced with extremely difficult diagnoses over these years. Some are physical health issues, others are mental health issues and many are facing social issues. I have been their ear when maybe they had no where to turn. Many of the parents I see in the office are living far away from their families and are essentially facing this parenting thing alone. I have watched and observed and I have learned many lessons.

  1. There is no stronger advocate for a child than a parent that truly loves them.
  2. Faith and hope is sometimes all you have to hang on to, so hold on tightly and never let go of it.
  3. Having a child gives your life new meaning and you will make it through anything knowing that he/she depends on you.
  4. Your child thinks you are amazing and loves you unconditionally. They do not see the extra pounds or the messy hair. They just see you and that’s enough for them.
  5. Sometimes when someone walks out of your life, they did you a favor. It may be hard to see in the beginning but I’ve seen this in many families and the one left behind always come out stronger and happier in the end.
  6. There are good people in the world. It doesn’t matter what someone looks like on the outside. On the inside we all want the same things, especially when it comes to our children. We want them to be happy and healthy.
  7. What can seem like an impossible obstacle to tackle can be taken down one brick at at time. Just ask a mom whose child has completed a cancer treatment.
  8. Internal guilt serves no one and I spend a lot of my time reminding parents of this. So many times accidents happen and parents blame themselves over and over and replay scenes in their minds of how it could have been different. This is so destructive. It serves no one. Accidents happen and all we can do is look ahead and face the results however difficult they may be.
  9. A diagnosis does not define you. In fact it may be what you need to make a life change or change your perspective.
  10. Sometimes you will feel like you don’t have the strength to make it through. Trust me, you do.
  11. Never give up on your child. No matter how hard some days may be, wake up and do it all over again.

We can all be super parents. It can happen as quickly as a change of mindset. Only you have the ability to change your perspective. Try your hardest to acknowledge feelings of self doubt and worry but never let them control you. Focus on the amazing unique child that you have and love them unconditionally. Success and achievement is not for the select few. It is for those that are open to believing they can happen.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Elizabeth Vainder, M.D.

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