Tuesday 11th December
My Vision as a Parent
My first blog was published as I left for Australia, in December 2012, to see my son, George, who was out there living his dream; playing cricket. I hope you enjoy it.
My Vision As A Parent.
“How Can We Equip Our Children to Succeed?” My first book is especially for parents and carers, doing all we can to raise our children to be all they can be in a complex world (whilst juggling all our other demands). It contains stories from my journey as a parent, positive and negative, of empowering, enabling and equipping my children to develop the attributes in the equipped2succeed framework. I therefore thought I should start this series of blogs with something about me as a parent.
It started in the delivery suite when Harriet (known as H from about day 3) was born on 4th July 1988. I lay there looking at her and wondering what she would be like when she was 5, 10, and 15 and so on. This led me to think about her appearing on Desert Island Discs when she was an adult. Desert Island Discs is a BBC Radio 4 programme where celebrities choose the 8 discs (tracks) they would take if marooned on a desert island. They invariably talk about the different phases of their life including their childhood and what their parents were like. I lay there imagining what Harriet would say about her childhood and her mother when she was on Desert Island Discs. This has stayed with me and has grown and developed over the years as Harriet, George and I have learnt together.
The vision that’s guided me is aiming for Harriet and George to be able to say:
- listens to me and mostly hears what I say
- helps me believe in myself
- always believes in me
- is open about everything
- has encouraged me to be open and talk about everything
- taught me the importance of always learning
- is positive and enthusiastic about what I’m doing
- encourages and enables me to pursue my dreams
- helps me take responsibility (well, insists I do!)
- is always there for me
- helps me develop my confidence
- tries to be relentlessly positive all the time and encourages me to be positive and think positively (the word ‘hate’ is always deleted if it crops up at home)
- coaches me to be assertive and get on well with people in all situations (even handling the difficult ones)
- encourages me to do what I am passionate about
- taught me that you get out what you put in
- supports me to develop in everything I do
- guides rather than controls me
- advocated for me when things were difficult at school ( but always asked first if I wanted her to and mostly followed my wishes)
- always welcomes my friends
- has given me a sense of family and my roots
- negotiated – when it would have been much easier to just tell me
- encourages me to aim high
- encourages me to try new things – step out of my comfort zone
- challenges and supports me to always improve
- talks with, not down, to me – even when I don’t understand she just carries on talking as if I do and I have got used to asking questions until I understand
- makes me talk about my feelings – I don’t like it sometimes (most of the time!) but have got used to it and it has given me the ability to articulate my feelings
- is fair
- helped me know “where the line is”, which meant I learned how to behave appropriately in different situations and learned to challenge appropriately
- apologises if she gets things wrong – and she does get things wrong!
- made sure I went to schools where I learnt with people from all sorts of backgrounds
- always gave me choices and is big on learning about choices and consequences . It meant that on the occasions when she said things were non-negotiable, we knew she meant it
- occasionally embarrasses me!
- Loves me unconditionally.
I could go on but I think I’ve covered the main things that I think are important and have guided my behaviour as a parent.
From those first moments in the hospital, I have been reflecting on how I’m doing and learning new stuff; always trying to enable H and George (born 16th September 1992) to be all they can be. I set out to enable H and George be responsible, confident, caring, emotionally intelligent people successfully determining their own future. I have seen my role as a parent to be there for my children, support them to thrive in any environment and enable them to find and nurture their talents and pursue their dreams.
“There are two things we should give our children:one is roots and the other is wings” Hodding Carter
What do you want your children to say about your parenting?