Many of us have heard it said before: our children are our future; it takes a village to bring up a child; strong willed children become adults who can change the world. These moments of thought all reflect the huge responsibility parents have in raising their children in a world of expectations. And yet, there are so many conflicting theories of what style of parenting is best for our children. Parenting: a major role to undertake and we need to be intentional in being the parent, day by day. That is why I have a passion to share my knowledge and experience as a mother and grandmother, as one who made it my job to equip myself and my husband with the best and proven methods of parenting. This, with my professional education, has been fruitful in many people’s lives, working with parents of children of all ages.
The number one strategy, I believe, is to care for yourself. It doesn’t matter what fancy and new strategy you want to try out, implementing it will be a battle if you are tired and rundown, leading you to become emotional and overwhelmed. We are not at our best when we are tired. When possible, keep to regular 8 hour sleep patterns as this will ensure quality of sleep. I can hear you saying how difficult this is to achieve and I understand. Your sleep revolves around the children’s sleeping patterns, but you can aim for this as much as possible.
I encourage parents to avoid becoming too busy. Busyness can mean a lack of time and energy to deliberately invest into the lives of your children. Planning is a key element here – to avoid overloading yourself and your family with unnecessary activity and tight scheduling.
There needs to be a balance maintained in the lives of parents and the participation in family relationships. I often hear that stay at home parents lack, and pine after, adult company. Child-free time is refreshing and can be taken as a couple or as individual time-out. Some disagree with this suggestion, stating their children come first. Consider that in taking time to rest, slow down or to seek adult pursuits is not a selfish endeavour, but an investment into yourself so you can best invest into the lives of the children.