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I'm Kirk Wheeler. It's February 11th, 2021. I'm so glad you're here.

As soon as I decided to leave this lyrical meme in the show, I had second thoughts. What would you think about me? What was the value of leaving it in? Why am I so fast to second guess myself?

The opinions of others can weigh heavily on us, even when we're not aware of it. And when you're raising a human, everyone has an opinion on the right way to do things. Most times though, there's more than one right way, and this is one of the seeds in our garden of failure that really needs to be weeded out.

"If someone isn't what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own." –Paulo Coelho

As humans responsible for other humans, we crave information. And it makes sense, as I keep saying, at the end of every show, there is no playbook. But there is an abundance of information. And people not only willing, but seemingly called by some powerful outside force to tell you what the right thing to do is for your child. Everyone wants to tell you how to be a parent. Everyone wants to tell you what they learned, kind of what I'm doing here, I guess. ;)

But in the end, do you know who gets to make the call? Do you know who has to live with the outcome? You do.

And one thing that's really helped me, when people are sharing their opinions and I'm still unsure about the best path forward, if I have all the right information, if I'm making the best decision... I just try to remind myself that people have been raising humans for a long time.

And when this comes up, people put up a really quick argument - Well, they didn't have the internet, or they didn't have to deal with school over Zoom in a global pandemic, but this same argument has been put up for centuries. They didn't have to deal with TV or the automobile, or the printing press. Maybe they didn't have to deal with gunpowder, or the wheel, or insert whatever new technology we as a species have come up with.

Still, we've not only survived, we have thrived. I just try to remind myself that I'm in the middle of this continuum, building on all of this come before, and adding in whatever small way to the stories that will be told about our times in some distant future.

So what's the takeaway here. ( VO voice - This is the section of the podcast where we provide an actionable takeaway.)

Remember to trust your own instincts. You know what's best for your child, you know the right way to advocate for their needs. You're the right person to do the right thing for the humans you are raising.

Listening to the voices of others is the best way to seek out the information you need. Listen to podcasts, read books, watch YouTube, watch tick-tock, but when it comes time to make the decision, remember that it may seem like everyone has a clear idea of how other people should live their lives.

But the best path forward is to listen to your own inner voice. It's wiser than you think.

I hope you find this helpful. Be sure to take care of yourself today. Hydrate.

And remember, there is no perpetual parenting playbook. We're all learning as we go. And with curiosity as our map and a willingness to trust that voice deep inside us, we can be ready for anything.

So good luck. You've got this. I'm rooting for you.

With gratitude,