A parent has several definitions in Webster’s and one is that a parent “cares and brings up another.” Parenting is a job that comes with a plethora of opinions, side-eyes of bystanders and books published to enhance, learn, applaud or correct parenting styles. The manner that we parent may determine the future of the one being parented or it may not. We are all born with the ability to make a decision. That decision has consequences. Our job, as parent, is to support that consequence without handicapping the lesson.

Our parented learn every single second that they walk in their environment. The ability to learn is determined by the feelings that are released while in their environment. As parent, we are called to nurture them in the environment and assist them on their life’s journey. It is a tightrope and one slip of the foot, they can fall and learn right away what not to do.

At the times when we see their foot slip we want to parent. We want to help and guide and protect. And if the slip is dangerous we stop them; however, when the situation is one that the parented created by refusing to heed the warnings, we should just listen and wait. We must resist the urge to reach out and help because then we will prevent the lesson from being imprinted on their consequence.

Parenting can be a thankless job. It comes with a lot of little victories along the pathway of the lives of the parented. Whether they thank you or not should not be expected. Desired but not expected. With each lesson, the parented increase their own comfort level and in time they will be able to recognize themselves in you and say thank you.

This can be a time of introspection as a parent and allow us to close our eyes and remember when we were the parented. And here is where, if we have not yet done so, we thank the one who parented us. We see those we parent and those who parented us and smile.

• Yolande Barial is a Tracy resident and mother. Her column appears monthly in the Tracy Press. Comments can be sent to tpletters@tracypress.com.

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