We set personal goals and work goals. We watch lifestyle shows on the television or scan social media to get ideas about how we want to make changes to our home and garden. We make holiday plans.
How often do we take stock of what is happening within our family? What is going well? What could we do better?
What are our family’s values and how do we communicate and role model our values to and for our children? With parenting we often fall into autopilot mode. We fall into familiar ways of interacting and behaving.
Humans are social and emotional beings. The foundation for our health and wellbeing is connection and belonging.
Family can provide the most important and satisfying relationships that we will ever experience, or the most damaging. The difference between establishing and maintaining constructive or destructive relational patterns is intention and reflection.
Intention is staying focused on what we want to achieve. Reflection is thinking about what went well and what we could do better next time. This can be such hard work but it can be achieved with small and consistent change. The effort requires kindness – with yourself and others. Kind enough to allow for mistakes and to learn from them. It also requires bravery – being brave enough to try again and keep going. Kindness and bravery go hand in hand.
I recently came across the concept of ‘Ubuntu’ which is a Southern African word meaning “I am because we are”.
That rings true for our children and for ourselves. In a TEDX talk by Dozie Okeleke (https://youtube/vBUy7XmbB7M) he quotes an African saying “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.
And so it goes when we are interacting with our children. For example, if we are nagging or yelling at our child, and the child becomes belligerent, we may get frustrated with the child’s behaviour. Reflecting on this situation – what do we want to achieve and what is the most effective way to manage it that honours the people involved and the family as a whole? What have your child and you learnt from the experience?
We are all a work in progress.
Article Written + Submitted by
Narelle Smith | Family Practitioner