Parent Cafe - What I Wish I knew When I was Younger (An Op-Ed)
Is there anything you wish you knew when you were younger that you want to tell the younger generation?
This was the main question posed at one of our Parent Cafe: What I Wish I Knew. I believe that everyone can relate to this question, regardless of age. I'm not a parent or caregiver yet I joined an event where almost everyone is in a different stage of life/are parents. It wasn't difficult for me to fall into a conversation with any of the participants. Even when the question," What are some things you've learned as a parent and how did you learn them?" was asked, I was still able to have input coming from the opinion of a "child". My group composed of three moms, a 21 year old, and me, a 24 year old, and we spoke mainly about the issue of communication. It was easy to agree that communication is difficult to learn, regardless of if you're a parent or the child. One mom talked about how her mom wasn't great at communication, so growing up, she never learned how a parent should properly communicate. She had to learn while raising her children how to connect and communicate. I personally spoke about how me and my dad had to learn how to change the way we spoke with each other. We're very close now, but we used to have difficulties communicating because we think differently. We taught each other to understand how the other thinks in order to communicate properly.
It's not easy being a parent/caregiver, which one participant pointed out. I haven't experienced it yet, but I recognize that it isn't always a breeze to raise children. This Parent Cafe taught me a lot. As one participant put it, "We're all still learning. We're all still trying to be better. And we are all growing."