Judging by the books and blogs on parenting there is a lot of information out there on how to do it. We can get quite caught up in the tasks, getting it right according to the latest research or popular blog.
We can look for fixes, solutions and bright shiny saviours that we can trust in, hoping it will take away any feelings of uncertainty we have have. When I meet a pregnant couple I have one question in mind and its my litmus tester:
How do you cope with uncertainty?
Have you wondered what Infant Massage was all about?
A free evening event for men expecting their first child
Meet up at a relaxing venue and a chat about the changes ahead
Event arranged by appointment for 3 or more men
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.
Whether we like it or not, when we became parents, we became leaders. Children cant help but take their lead from the older people around them. Neuroscientists have proven this at a cellular level detecting microscopic mirror neurons in a child's brain that soak up the messages we give them and use it to build their nerve pathways for the future. And society demonstrates it at a macro level; we cannot help but be affected by the culture in which we live. For parents this can be a sobering thought!
As parent we cannot not influence. Frustrating sometimes isn't it! The good news is that when we make mistakes, we can show our disappointment and demonstrate that we are sorry for our actions. Being sorry for mistakes is an essential lifeskill our children need to see modelled. And the sunny-side of parenting is that forgiveness and acceptance is something you can practice too. Children do it well!
As parents we are not only leaders; we are learners too. And some of the best life lessons are taught to us by our own children.
Here is an ancient text (source unknown) that has helped me to become a better parent.
Watch you thoughts, they become your words
For tips on children's behaviour, download a free toolkit titled
Behaviour 10 Top Tips
Theres a stack of books and programs on managing children's behaviour. They may all be good, each in their own way, but which technique to use? Count to 3, time-out, rewards? Arrgh! Its easy to feel overwhelmed.
Here is one big fat juicy strategy that cuts to the chase. Its my all-time favourite.
1. Model what you want to see.
Managing strong emotions, empathy, sharing, gentle touch, manners, humour, playfulness, and perseverance – these are some of the life skills we want to see our kids develop. They don’t happen in a vacuum. All children need to see these life skills modelled – they can’t grow something they haven’t seen, and wont see the value of the skill if they don’t experience the benefits. To make it an everyday behaviour, it needs to be everyday for the parents too. Social skills are learnt through the day-to-day experiences of family members rubbing up against one another in the home.
Naturally a high-energy kid might find it hard to use their voice or hands gently; or a child with vivid imagination may lose themself in play and forget to take turns with a toy. Each child is born with a unique temperament and talents that make some skills more challenging to develop than others – that’s diversity. It makes sense that each child will naturally express their skills with varying success, but all children need an example to follow.
“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others,
it is the only means.” ~ Albert Einstein
For other tips on behaviour, download a free eBook titled
Behaviour 10 Top Tips
We designed the Expecting Masterclass to give pregnant couples a crash course in what to expect when they get home with their baby. Another important part of the Masterclass is the opportunity to reflect on early child development and the critical parent-infant relationship. A key mechanism of building this relationship and fostering optimum brain development is sensitive responsivness - described in this video as 'serve & return'. This is just one of the messages we explore in the 1 day Masterclass.
The morning after our first child was born over 16 years ago, I remember my first experience of fierce fatherly love. A powerful experience of needing to protect and provide for my baby and family.
The poor doctor who was also wanting to care for my child was unaware of my newly found protective instincts. She walked into the hospital room and collected our baby for some tests.