Sunday, 20 November 2011
Be A Present Parent!
I had an IM conversation with one of my close sister friends today and we got on to the topic of parenting.
What I love about some of the women I hold dear in my life is the positive energy they bring. We started talking about how hard it can be owning the responsibility of nurturing our children, helping and guiding them. We subsequently shared that we found it challenging and even pondered that perhaps we are not good enough parents but thankfully we ended by highlighting to each other that in actual fact we are great parents. The conversation itself was evidence of us being mindful of taking responsibility, being conscious of how we are relating to our children and was encouragement to one another to appreciate our parenting!
I am not going to deny, parenting is the hardest job I have taken on. I want nothing more than for my son to look back on his childhood with delight. To smile when he mentions his mother and to feel that no matter what, I did my best. At times I feel I am failing him as I am too tired and do not make enough time. However I know that as long as I am doing my best I am not a failure. I just need to remain aware and make sure I do better.
What I have learnt is that Present Parenting can be the difference between your child knowing that you love them and your child feeling that you love them! I don't just mean feeling your physical presence either.
I live 1000s of miles away from my Mother but she is ever present in my life daily. More present than people that live in the same place as me. Nevertheless, when you are physically in the same vicinity as your child, giving off of your time 100% is vital! Listening to them actively. Ignoring a text message or phone call. Taping your favourite tv programme as opposed to insisting on watching it during the time you are spending with your child. Not accepting visitors while you are reading your child's bed story for example.
I am still guilty of going to my room to get a moment to think as opposed to hanging out and conversing with KC. Not that this is wrong per se. It is just that I can go in my room when he goes to bed. Pushing back that 'me' time for an hour can make an entire difference to how he feels when he goes to bed. Like this evening, he went to bed giggling and laughing, then I started laughing. I still have no idea about what exactly. We read, we chatted and he was laughing up a storm, but had I not taken that time we would not have shared that moment.
As those of you that have been following my blog know, he is my inspiration for many of the things I have done in the 5 years I have been blessed to become a Mother. It is due to him that all this 'blogging' started. I am so much of an advocate of Present Parenting it is no joke and something I take very seriously.
Raising a child (and that goes for both Mother and Father) should not be taken lightly, as one decision can make a difference to their entire childhood. Be aware. How do you speak to your children? Is the tone you use appropriate and befitting to the topic of the conversation and the child's age? Think about how you punish, or discipline, how you impose your prejudices and beliefs. How you encourage and discourage. Above all how you demonstrate your love! Be conscious.
Another thing we talked about is letting our children be children and not expecting them to grow up over night. Understanding that they are finding themselves. Understanding that if they pee in the bed it is an accident. If they spill their food their motor skills are still developing. If they knock their head saying 'you see' (as you told them to stop running 5 minutes ago) is not conducive to their needs.
What I have learnt to be the most important thing you can do as a parent is talk to your child. Teach them the importance of communication as soon as you know you are having them. Talk to the belly... They understand way more than we give them credit for. No they do not always have the vocabulary or maturity to express it, but kids know stuff! By talking, reasoning and effectively communicating we are teaching our kids a life lesson that they can carry forward to give them confidence forever!
The last thing I will say on this and I have mentioned before is asking for help. I asked the same sister-friend and her hubby to help me, and KC had a wonderful time while I rested. Be a Present Parent. Present in the knowledge that you need time to recharge your batteries so you can give them the best of you too!
To all you loving, caring, giving, Parents I commend you. Choosing to be a parent is the easy part but Parenting with love, consciousness, awareness and doing so actively is a blessing.
Love & Happiness.