EDITOR’S NOTE: Today you get to meet Ntathu, my dear friend from London, England. Ntathu and I met over nine years ago when our now teenaged daughters attended the same school. She is the loving mother of three teenaged girls (including twins) and inspires other young people & adults across the UK and soon… around the world through the art of Yoga. Please enjoy Ntathu’s article from her heart to yours about ‘Parenting SOS – 5 Lessons To Transform Parent-Child Relationships’
Parenting SOS – 5 Life Lessons To Transform Parent-Child Relationships
By Ntathu Allen
We all want the best for our children.
In fact every parent I know struggles with the whole “parenting idea” yet strive to be the best parent they can. Being a mum with three creative teenaged daughters I know how challenging and difficult parenting can get.
As a busy working mum, you want to be there for your children, to support them through their early years at school and see them grow into happy capable young adults. Yet given the frantic pace of modern day living, you are constantly bombarded with advice how to be a “better parent”. It is impossible to make sense and apply all the latest research and ideas you come across.
If you are not careful it is easy to feel a failure and blame yourself for all your child’s and society’s woes.
Don’t go there!
Just be encouraged to see the beauty in life and know that you are doing the best you can. Enjoy the gift of these 5 insights. When you consciously apply them communication with your children will become easy.
Encourage your child to be grateful for all they have. You may not be able to deck them out in the latest street fashion or pay for extra music lessons, and that’s ok. This is a time to lead by example.
Let your child see you being grateful and thankful for what you have. I remember when my girls where younger we kept a Happy Moments Journal. At night time I would write the words “my happy moment is….” and list a few things which made me happy and I felt grateful for during that day. Now every time we flick through the pages of our journal, it always fills me with such joy and reminds me how much we have to be grateful for. For a while, writing in the “Happy Moments” book became a little ritual and my girls would write their Happy Moments in as well.
You will find it’s the smallest things, which you and I take for granted that our children find most endearing.
Strange but true. I remember years ago reading the poem by Kahlil Gibran “On Children” – and the lines "your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and through they are with you yet they belong not to you” – (you can find the full poem here http://www.katsandogz.com/onchildren.html)
A little secret…at first I didn’t understand it. Of course my girls were mine. I gave birth to them, who else could they belong to? Yet as I grew in understanding and saw how beautiful and unique my daughters were, I began to understand what it means to realise your children are different from you. They may look like you. You may lie to yourself that your desires for them are in their best interest because you care. However ultimately you realise your child isn’t you and have their own path to follow.
Closely related to realise, accepting your child for who they are is a big one for some parents; especially if you have dreams and expectations for your child to follow in your footsteps and continue family traditions. This can be as simple as expecting your son to be a doctor, a builder, a doctor or car mechanic as that is what your father did and that’s all you know about.
As a parent you need to find a way to accept that your child may have different views and ways of being. They may copy-cat or totally reject what you have shown them and that can be very challenging. And how you respond to that challenge impacts your relationship with your child. It is finding that delicate balance between being there and allowing them to grow and experience life on their own terms.
When we learn to be more grateful for our lives and who our child is makes it easier for us to help the child realise their potential; and it gets easier to accept your child as she really is.
Time out is necessary for you and for your children. The pace of life is so fast and hectic that stress and tension seems to be the natural order of the day.
Children need time and space to allow their bodies to rest and repair and you need time to nurture and restore your body so you have the energy to keep up with and be there for your children.
Ideally time out means time away from external stimuli and electronic games, TV, social media and YouTube. As your child gets older, especially if teen agers it can be difficult to monitor their use of face book and other 21st century hand held devices. So again lead by example, let your child see you take time out for yourself and appreciate the difference unplugging adds to your health and wellness.
Are you a mum who always rushes in, cooks and generally multi tasks through family time?
Make the conscious effort to sit down, read a book, go to the gym or take up yoga. It is about being the change you wish to see.
You all know how hectic family life is; that's why it's vital to develop a close and secure relationship with your children. It's best to spend time with them and ideally on an activity which your child enjoys. During this time you give them your child your undivided attention. Even if it’s only 10 minutes to sit and listen to them chat about the latest book or DVD or computer game they are thinking of buying. Nowadays, my girls and I might go girly window shopping, cook together or even have duvet mornings and watch Disney movies till lunch time in our pyjamas! Whatever you do- make it fun!
Parenting is never easy, so I hope that these five parenting life lessons will help you develop a closer loving relationship with yourself and your children.
Remember this- perfection is overrated and there is always room for improvement. No more beating yourself up. Just take life step by step and refer back to these 5 lessons whenever you need a little pick me up. They have sure been a big help for me too!
Have you got a favourite parenting life lesson?
We’d love you to share a nugget that works for you- please write your comment in the box below and remember to share the love.
And if you are a blogger, if you like this post, it would be great to have you support me in week 6 of this WeBlogBetter Contest goo.gl/fb/72v5s by linking back to it from your own blog. With love and gratitude.
Blogger, author and yoga teacher, Ntathu Allen supports and encourages busy mums and hard working dads to rest, rebalance and realign so you have more energy to enjoy being with their family and feel positive and productive at work. She teaches you simple yoga stretches and teachings which you can easily weave into your busy day. She can be contacted on http:www.TheNextGoal.Com and http://www.yogainspires.co.uk
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