As you may have read in my first post of the year, I’m kicking off 2015 with a clutch of ‘thoughts’ instead of resolutions. The one I want to really stick to is to take on board a more focussed, consistent and understanding approach in my parenting. Too often for my own liking, I’m short with my kids, impatient with their dithering, and quick to scold.
I know, I know, we all are. I know, I know, none of us is perfect – perfection isn’t what I’m aiming for (unattainable and unrealistic). But I don’t think there’s much wrong with knowing – in a be-honest-with-yourself way – where one’s shortcomings are, and trying to straighten them out. That’s not a parenting thing, it’s just a human being thing.
Conscious, connected parenting is something I’ve dipped a toe into for a little while – but it’s not something I always manage to achieve. It’s not something I even sometimes manage to achieve. However, it feels good as something to aim for.
This doesn’t have to mean letting your kids be utter pests and not telling them off. It’s about being more present, patient and understanding, while trying to encourage them to make choices for themselves. You know that book ‘How to Talk so Kids Will Listen, and Listen so Kids Will Talk‘?, I think this is along those lines.
On a real and practical level – rather than a touchy-feely, hippy-dippy level – it all makes sense, and actually isn’t rocket science. But I’ll admit that I personally can sometimes be too preoccupied with treading water/life admin/work to be as present as I’d like.
That’s why I love the Positive Parenting Connection blog, written my Ariadne Brill and a host of other contributors, who share backgrounds in child psychology and development, education and parent coaching. It’s very American, but manages not to be too OTT. It’s also the only parenting blog I look at, which is why it’s the star of this ‘Let’s All Look At Some Blogs’ post.
The posts they pen always hit the spot for me. Ariadne et al aren’t preachy (take ‘20 Calm Down Tips for Parents‘, fielded entirely from the blog’s readers). Ariadne also sent out a post just last week of the ‘Most Helpful Parenting Articles of 2014‘ for her. So she’s human and needs advice too. (I personally love the post ‘25 Questions for Kids that Boost Self Esteem‘ and have the list printed out and stuck on the wall).
I subscribe to PPC the way some of you do to Little Lewes, so their posts come into my inbox when published. These are such a good reminder to slow down and be with my kids, because the mails come at any random moment – and those moments aren’t within my control.
Just glancing at the opening paragraph – or even just the subject line – when they do is enough to remind me to ‘connect’ (if I read the whole thing on my phone while with my kids, well, that wouldn’t be very connected would it! I usually do read the full posts later that evening).
Anyway, have a little look, you might like it too. And remember, it’s NOT about feeling guilty, so put that away immediately. I think I’ll keep coming back to this one again and again this year.
So happy 2015 to you. I hope it holds all good things for you and your family – and the same for my own.
I end this post and start the Little Lewes year by borrowing Ariadne’s sign-off: ‘Peace and be well’.
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