Article: ‘Growing Minds Together’ in Mums & Dads Magazine (Winter 2018-2019 edition)
Following on from my last blog, I have had quite a few people contacting me about their children and seeking help with parenting issues whilst others have worries about the struggles their children are facing.
I am thankfully blessed with 4 of my own kids aged 7, 10, 12 and 14 years of age. When studying Psychology at A level and university, my interest in child/developmental psychology was conspicuous and I learnt and read so much around the topic. This certainly helped me prepare ‘somewhat’ for parenting. However reality brings challenges and learning just as valuable as the words written in books and journals. So for me learning has come from both theory and practice of my own and others’ experiences.
Each of my 4 kids has his/her own personalities, strengths, weaknesses and a unique temperamental personality type. Looking beyond the challenges this brings to parenting, we have to realise that this difference is actually beautiful. And so, inevitably, I, as do most parents, realise that our parenting style tends to change depending on which child we are dealing with.
There isn’t such a thing as “the right way” or the “best way”, but rather there is the “the best I could do for that child and the right way for me and them”.
We each have our own challenges and we as parents can do a lot to support each other without being judgemental in any way. We need to understand that what is ‘right’ for one parent or even one child isn’t necessarily right for others.
Although a lot of parents may have different views on a number of issues within parenting, an increasing common worry and challenge parents are facing is mental health problems.
I strongly believe that helping children from a very young age to build emotional resilience and equipping them with tools can hugely reduce the chances of them living through mental health problems later in life. The government needs to take this matter seriously and introduce strategies in schools as well as communities in order to build healthy, strong children who will grow to be the strong and healthy adults of the future. This is an investment in our future teachers, doctors, fire fighters, politicians, parents and so on.
Although we attend many courses and training programmes before starting any job, how many of us go through such preparation for what is in my eyes the biggest job that impact today and the future generations?
The busy lives most people live has resulted in a real struggle of balance between work and family life. Furthermore, with increasing commitments young people have nowadays from schooling and exams to extra curricular activities, has all led to parents spending a much less time with their kids. People are so physically and mentally preoccupied that even the little time they spend with their kids, much of this is not even quality time.
So many parents fall victim to addiction to social media such that they use their ‘free time’ checking their phones rather than play or chat to their kids.
What we need is genuine reflection on what we are doing to our children?!
Building emotionally stable kids is so vital, and I will not say that this is easy and yes genetics does play a role, but we do have power to do so much!
Please take some time to read through the 10 tips I have shared in the ‘Mums & Dads’ magazine and share your thoughts.
We are in this journey together and together we will be strong.