What is normal? This is such a commonly asked question these days, now that we as a society have become more understanding to differences and new concepts. It’s quite a shame that it has taken us this long to be more willing to observe and comprehend things outside of our little cosy bubble and even then we haven’t all reached that acceptance finish line yet. As parents we need to be more aware of the examples we set for our children because after all what would be the benefit of reproducing a clone of ourselves. Let us enter the New Year with this concept in mind when it comes to our children.
Be a better you
Approach parenthood with a mature commitment as you would for other important aspects of your life such as your career or marriage. Work on sincerely perfecting your character for yourself and not just for your child. Ultimately the magic is less about your child and all in who you are as an individual. We are not perfect and there’s no shame in admitting that mummy and daddy make mistakes too, in fact this key realisation will awaken your child’s inquisitive nature when dealing with others. We often tend to dress up or dress down certain situations for our children however, seeing things for just what they are will help them to develop into conscious mature adults.
Practice what you preach
It’s difficult and quite hypocritical to teach your child key moral values which you don’t put into action in your day-to-day life. As parents we assume that children absorb and understand information better through clear direct verbal instructions, but isn’t that really our preferred delivery method? The early years of a child’s life are often referred to by educators as ‘the parrot stage’, where they basically become a full blast turbo engine imitation machine. It’s almost like having a dedicated subscriber to your very own personal YouTube channel, including notifications and the full works incase they miss anything. The only difference would be that you don’t have the option to choose which content you will present to them and most times you don’t even notice they are even listening.
We live in such a structured society that it’s almost as though we try to make ourselves fit into a small square box waiting to be ticked. Our children are exposed to the pressures of fitting in and conforming to society’s expectations wherever they go. Just because your child may not match some person’s idea of ‘normality’ doesn’t mean for a second that there is anything wrong with them. ‘Normal’ nowadays just means a person who is receiving excessive amounts of external input and probably needs to switch their brain signal off and reboot their internal drive. The reality of the matter is that simply different people have different levels of competence and ability and that’s ok.
Acts of kindness are what creates memories in a child’s mind for many years to come. Whenever you are in the company of your child your habit of mind should always navigate you to the direction of kindness and generosity. Always seek things in your child you can appreciate, rather than constantly being conscious of mistakes. Kindness is what makes our children feel loved, not the number of after school activities we take them to, the amount of time we spend on their homework or the birthday presents we splash out on. Befriend your child by making them feel secure and reassured that you will always be there for them and in return they will make you their first point of contact whenever they need advice or help. Being a friend doesn’t mean allowing your child to run rings around you nor does it mean you must give in to their every command. Just picture your child as a less experienced mini adult who is roaming around blossoming and growing into an individual. Become your child’s mentor through a gentle nurturing approach, just like the way you would prefer to learn and understand new things yourself.