It certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all job – this parenting gig is a long journey. We take on the biggest load of responsibility saying ‘yes’ to bringing children into the world.
Once our little person arrives, there is no running away from the responsibility. So, how do we learn to be a parent? Is it something we get from a book, watching a movie or even a doco? How do we know we’ve got it right and do we ever feel comfortable with this? Or is it about the journey of trust, intuition, perseverance, learning and resilience? How do we know? Maybe we won’t?
Media can make it pressured and challenging in our attempt to get it right. Pressure is felt everywhere. Encouragingly there is a bigger message and a calling for our children to have good rounded life skills and values, to be able to take on life responsibilities. Educators, parents and even children are increasingly concerned about the effects of violence, growing social problems and the lack of values. It’s a wide concern and research shows social and emotional learning is fundamental to children’s academic learning, moral development and motivation to cooperate and achieve. This is music to parents’ ears – we stop and take notice and wonder how this can be achieved?
Nurturing confidence and questioning children.
- Fully connect 100 per cent with our children. Listen, ask questions, enquire about their feelings/day, what they could do differently. Life and learning is about testing their world – it is huge right now.
- Support strengths and encourage stretching and popping outside their comfort zones. Be there to catch them if they have a fall. Lift them, learn what needs to be learnt, then encourage another attempt, either a similar way or differently.
- If we have more than one child, spend time as a group, however make regular time for each of them individually. A past survey of children shows at the top of the wish list is “spending time with mum and/or dad”. We all know, time is special, and connected time is even more special.
- Make activities fun and make them learning exercises. Play board games, be physical in the fresh air, go bushwalking and learn about trees and plants. See the sea and build sandcastles. Laugh, run, allow ourselves to ‘BE’ with our children. Let all other things go. Really give ourselves permission to show up and be present, in the moment. The other things will soon be back in our life.
- As role-models we make a significant difference in the lives of children, our job as parents is life changing. The time with our children is short for they grow incredibly fast! Development is a beautiful thing. Learning is a constant in the pursuit of long-term success, progress, and achievement. It also is a continuum for purposeful futures; our future, society’s future, and most importantly our children’s future.
“A mind which is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – unknown