I am Not Raising a Child, I am Mentoring a Human

have a motto of sorts when it comes to child rearing. When engaged in a conversation about raising children I am quick to say that I am not raising a child but mentoring a human.  Yes, I gave birth to what one would consider a child, but I gave birth to another human being. A person all unto their own. At birth, this tiny human could not care for himself but his value was, and is not, less than mine.  As far as beings go, we are equal and as he ages he will come into his own. As a parent, my responsibility is to be his guide through life. To comfort him, to love him, to give him the tools he needs to become all that he can be and all that he wants to be.

It is also my responsibility to keep him safe and to help him navigate this crazy world. To be here when he needs help tending to his needs, learning, or figuring something out. To guide him to understand concepts such as empathy, morals, and values. More importantly, it is my responsibility to do these things while never hindering him, to always encourage exploration, and to empower and support his decisions as they are his own. He will one day make his mark in the world and my hope is that is will be a beautiful one. One in which he is considerate and kind to others, but emboldened to take chances and live a fulfilling life.

This brings me back to my mentoring rather than raising theory.  A mentor is defined as a wise , influential, or trusted counselor or teacher. This is what I am.  Slightly wise, influential, and depending on the moment, a counselor or teacher. This does not mean he will not have manners, respectful, or be told "no".  What is does mean is that he will learn he is his own person.  He is entitled to his feelings but others are entitled to theirs also. That it is mannerly and considerate to say "please" and "thank you" but it is not a magic word that gets you things. That he has ownership over his own life, his body, and his actions. That while he is in control of his own actions, there are consequences for them. 

I do have my hopes and dreams and socially constructed desires for him . In his short years I do see kindness and empathy in him.  I also see courage and mischief . Above all, he is his own person and that is wonderful to be a part of. 

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