Nicole Davies

Hello! My name is Nicole and I am a Marine spouse and mother of three daughters, ages 16, 10, and 7. I have been a stay-at-home mom most of their lives while also pursuing my Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. In the past I have worked as a social worker for child welfare in the state of Pennsylvania. I have also taught preschool for ages 2.5 - 4. During my master’s program I interned as a therapist at an inpatient psychiatric hospital working with adults, teens, and kids. My ultimate goal is to become an independently licensed therapist. Our family has lived in Onslow County for 10 of the last 15 years, which has given my children a stability that is rare among military families. While NC has been my home for several years now, I am still a Yankee at heart! I will always choose a Philly cheesesteak over a pulled-pork sandwich. In addition to taking care of my family and my educational pursuits, I enjoy traveling to destinations near and far; a novel in which I can get lost; and chatting with friends over a good cup of coffee.

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A Parenting Metaphor

Parenting can be a lot like gardening.

If someone were to ask me what it takes to be a parent, I would use a metaphor.  I have found that parenting has an awful lot in common with gardening. Gardeners tend to their plants; parents tend to their children – in many of the same ways.

A good gardener will spend a lot of time with their plants. By spending a lot of time with their plants, gardeners can keep weeds, pests and other obstacles that can impact a plant’s ability to flourish under control, and often avoid a big problem by taking care of a little one. Gardeners know what is good for a plant and what isn’t. A healthy plant grows from healthy soil, and a gardener’s priority is making sure that foundation is nourishing.

I think that if a person can understand some basics about gardening, then he can understand some basics about parenting. Spend time with your child, consider what he needs for nourishment, be vigilant about weeds, and notice what might be impacting his ability to flourish. Just like a good gardener, a good parent is aware of and pays attention to their child in small, consistent ways. He is not waiting until weeds encroach or an infestation has spread. He checks and corrects the situation, maybe more than once, if he has to.  And just like a good gardener, a good parent may be less likely to give up when a bit more effort is required.

Both parenting and gardening require commitment- often a lot bigger one than one might have thought. Both ask for a willingness to spend time in the dirt and on your knees to protect and nurture the growth of little sprouts.

What is your metaphor for parenting?

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One Comment on “A Parenting Metaphor”

  • The Accidental Gardener | RealiTeen August 28th, 2012 5:31 pm

    [...] of my colleagues wrote an article recently referring to gardening as a metaphor for parenting. I found it to be one of the best [...]

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