Lifestyle

ARE YOU GETTING TO THE HEART OF YOUR CHILD?

At the end of last year I was privileged to spend the weekend with some amazing Mum’s. We went on a small retreat in the hills and many valuable things came from it. In particular an older Mum whose children are now in their late 20’s got up and spoke to our small group. Immediately I admired this woman’s perspective on parenting because she was able to talk about it from the other end of the journey. She has been able to look back at her time of raising her kids and she had one piece of advice for us younger frazzled Mum’s. Such a short and powerful statement and it blew me away. She said, “Your children are not an interruption to your day, they are the most important part!” 

Your children are not an

interruption to your day,

they are the most

important part!

Many months later I still have this sentence rolling around my thoughts. We have just finished doing a major addition/renovation to our home. Never did we expect that it would be so stressful or time consuming. Our builder accommodated us so we were able to still live in the house while they worked but it wasn’t without a daily struggle of sorts. Looking back I can see our children suffered because their parents were not present for a lot of that year. Handballing from carer to carer, tag teaming with each other and being so tired at the end of each day that they never really got to see the best of us. While we were in the thick of it we couldn’t see how it was affecting our children, it’s only now looking back that I have been able to reflect and see. Being too busy for my children was not healthy and was a big reason for me quitting my job. Our generation of parents are so busy! We must stop, slow down and make time for our family. 

Being at home definitely has its challenges, as it does for those parents that get up and work the daily grind each day. Regardless of whether you have paid work or stay at home we need to remember that this is your child’s only childhood. What daily messages are you sending your child, do you make time to show them that they matter and they can trust you. Earning the trust of a child’s inner most secretive thoughts will not come to a distracted busy parent. Most days I have to remind myself to stop and make time for my boys, it’s inconvenient and boring most of the time but it matters a whole lot to them. Just be available. Play cars, planes, diggers, unicorns, Barbies, dress ups – whatever it is that they are interested in. Share their passion and show you care. If they can trust you with the small things, they’ll start trusting you with the bigger things. If they don’t open up to you, who will they choose?

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