Social Worker Cape Town

 

When we become parents we think it is quite straightforward how our parenting works – we just do it. We take a little bit from what we liked about how we were parented and leave out what we didn’t like.

The difficulty comes in when we have to consider that (in many families) there are two parents who are bringing their own parenting beliefs to the table and this may cause chaos. In my family it has resulted in us really discussing and deciding on how we are parenting and what choices we are making when it comes to actively raising our girls.

To better explain this I need to clarify the various parenting styles:

1)    The Authoritarian Parent

The Authoritarian Parent believes that children should be seen and not heard and when it comes to rules, it is “the parents’ way or the high way”.

The Authoritarian Parent is not open to discussion and obedience and punishment are extremely important. – The Authoritarian Parent makes the rules and the children have to stick by them.

Now if you are The Authoritarian Parent some of your Pro’s might be:

  • My children tend to listen
  • I am in control

However, there are some major Con’s for your children:

  • There is a higher risk of self-esteem issues based on the fact that your child believes “my opinions and feelings do not matter” (that makes me sad)
  • They may be more aggressive in order to cope with life
  • They may become good liars or avoid close conversations with you because they are afraid of punishment.

I spoke about your child’s need for recognition over here

3)   The Permissive Parent

The Permissive Parent often makes rules, it is not always good at reinforcing them. The Permissive Parent believes that the children will learn and develop the best without interference from them and therefore there is little consequence. The permissive parent often uses the term “kids will be kids” and are often their children’s friend instead of their parent.

If you are The Permissive Parent, some of your Pro’s might be:

  • You allow our children just to be
  • It is often easier not to have to parent

BUT, the Con’s – again to your child’s detriment

  • Children with more behavioural / Social problems as they are unable to adhere to rules
  • They have a higher risk of health problems because there are often no rules pertaining to healthy choices.

3)   The Uninvolved Parent

The Uninvolved Parent has no idea what is going on in their child’s life. They seldom spend any time with their child and never asks them about their homework or friends.

The Uninvolved Parent has no rules in the home and the children are left to raise themselves.

It is not usually not the fault of the uninvolved parents that they lack interest in their child’s life – it is usually due to lack of insight in what their child needs.

If you are an Uninvolved parent you may feel that these are some Pro’s

  • You don’t need to do much
  • (I can only think of 1)

However, these may be some of the results of being The Uninvolved Parent:

  • Self-Esteem issues as a result of never feeling loved or accepted
  • Unable to follow rules or accept guidance
  • Attention seeking behaviour based their need for a sense of belonging.

I spoke about your child’s need for security over here

 

This is what I strive to be:

4)   The Authoritative Parent

The Authoritative Parent actively parents their child. They are focussed and determined to raise well-adjusted adults.

The Authoritative parent believes in boundaries and consequences, but constantly takes the feelings and opinions of their child into consideration.

The Authoritative Parent is tuned-in to the needs and experiences of their child so as to prevent behaviour problems from even starting.

The Pro’s of being The Authoritative Parent

  • Your child is happy
  • Tuned-in Parents raise well-adjusted adults
  • Validated feelings result in successful adults
  • Boundaries make children feel safe

The Con’s of being The Authoritative Parent

  • I honestly can’t think of one.

Being The Authoritative Parent is not always the easiest option. It takes consistent hard work. But the continuous hard work is the long-term investment that you make for your children and your family.

 

Our purpose as parents is not to raise children, it is to raise adults – well-adjusted, content, successful adults who will parent and raise the future adults of the world.

 

 

 

I do assessments with children to gain insight into their world – because let’s face it, the reality of children is not always the reality of their parents.

As parents, we feel that we (well most of the time) spend a lot of time with our children. We drive them around, we cook for them, we help them with homework – honestly, the list goes on. BUT do our children believe that we actually play with them?

Your child evaluates time spent together not by measuring the tasks you HAVE to for or with her. Your child evaluates their time spent with you by how much time THEY SPENT WITH YOU!

Time spent when you are not distracted, or trying to teach them something. Time spend just being together and playing together.

One of the questions I ask during the assessments I do is – “What do you and mom (or dad, or whoever) play together?” The reactions are often quite similar – “What? My mom doesn’t play!” followed by a good giggle! And that’s quite sad! This really hits me somewhere, so much so that I created a FREE Email Course tackling the very same problem. You can sign up here.

Getting you to sign up to the course wasn’t the purpose of my writing this. Quality time and playing have been something on my heart for a long time, as I really do not believe, that as parents we do it enough. A friend and I were talking about this on the beach over the holidays. I could really see that both my girls and hers’ love tanks were quite full – uninterrupted parent play time on the beach! That is what sparked the conversation. Then she forwarded me this video that has gone viral on Facebook…

It’s a real heart-wrencher, and the sad sad sad reality is that the children in this video are not the minority, but in fact, they are far from it. Please watch the video and take it in, think about it, what would your child say if I asked him or her – what do you and mommy play together? If you like drop me a mail with your answer – I’d love to hear it.

 

I have been struggling with something lately that I wanted to share with you. My youngest daughter pushes me, she really knows how to get under my skin, maybe it is because we are exactly the same? eeeeeek scary thought! Anyway, the last few weeks I have been working really hard and she has been particularly demanding and what we like to call “out of sync”. It’s really difficult for me to cope with this, especially when I feel under pressure and then my amazing husband (remind me to tell him that!) said one simple thing to me that changed everything…

 

Maybe we need to listen to what she is telling us

 

Boom! Just like that, I felt like an absolute hypocrite. This is what I teach people every day, this is what I tell my clients, writing about this is what is keeping my mind pre-occupied…. We need to listen to our children.

Children do not WANT to be naughty, what they want is the complete opposite and being naughty is the result of their need to be heard not being met.

So, just in that moment, I closed my laptop and centered myself. I am back to being present in my relationships, because if I am not, the overall balance of my family is out and then life is hard! Really hard!

Seeing my baby really struggling because I was not present was really tough for me, as I am sure it is for you too, . So I had to come up with a solution and hence why I created a FREE Email Course for you to do with me. You can sign up below

5 Days to a Closer Parent - Child Relationship

Starting 10 September 2018

Please wait...

You are in!

 

I look forward to doing this challenge with you, we all need it. Don’t forget to share with your friends too.

Chat soon Leigh xx

Ps – Just a side note while I was proof-reading this email – It makes my heart warm how intuned to the kids my husband has become since we have been activity working on being present and really parenting our children – YAY for us!

I had an Ah-ha! Moment today. I was offering support a school girl who has recently had a baby. When asked what she was struggling with most, she said “the guilt”. The guilt of leaving her small baby with a nanny while she goes to school, the guilt that her parents have to buy things for the baby, the guilt that she has to ask her mom everything when it comes to raising a baby. And right there in the middle of the conversation,

 

I had my Ah-Ha Moment!

 

I know this might seem weird, because I talk about this to groups of moms all the time, (you can check out my upcoming talks of here) but it just became so much more real, speaking to such a young girl about guilt feelings that are induced by becoming a mom. It’s like a switch that trips as we hold our child for the first time.

 

When I first starting thinking about Mommy Guilt, my thought processes changed dramatically. Initially, I searched for ways to eliminate it altogether. But then in just another moment, I realised the Mommy Guilt is a positive thing. And here is why…

 

The reason being is that the fact that you feel Mommy Guilt is because you care about your children.

If you didn’t care then you wouldn’t experience guilt, would you?

Right! So I guess, Mommy Guilt is somewhat unavoidable! If you didn’t care about the well-being of yourself and your children, then you wouldn’t be reading this either.

What I can do, is give you a few coping skills. Mommy Guilt stems from our fear of failure, so let’s look at failure in general, and how to deal with that. I am not going to sit here and give you a miracle recipe to get rid of Mommy Guilt. Sorry, that is impossible for me to do.

 

  1. Accept how you feel, and be brutally honest

Most times when we fail (at anything) it is painful and difficult to deal with. The reality is that it is not going to go away. It doesn’t help to distract ourselves, try and forget about it or blame everyone else around us, because those emotions will surface at some point and then disaster while strike. Rather sit down and face it, I promise it will still hurt, but the hurt will lessen quicker than when you brew on it.

 

  1. Let it out and find support from your world

Sometimes a good vent is all a person needs to realise the disappointment they are experiencing. There are major benefits of venting, it helps you get it off your chest, perhaps you might see the situation from a different perspective or, like in most cases, you realise you are not the only one who struggles with a certain thing. Sometimes, just finding out we are normal, is enough.

 

  1. Take stock, learn and adapt

Take stock of where you are and what happened. How did it make you feel? How did you react? What would I have done differently? How would I be feeling with a different outcome? Then put a plan together as to how you are going to deal with this same issue in the future.

 

  1. Put your plan into action right away

Even if your new action plan might not be perfect, put it into action right away! Because brewing over it until you feel it is perfect, is only a form of procrastination. Delaying this will just start the cycle from the beginning

 

  1. Release your need for approval from others

Now, this one is big! And this is what we all struggle with the most. Susan Tardanico, leadership writer at Forbes said  “Often our fear of failure is rooted in our fear of being judged and losing others’ respect and esteem.” If you give too much power to others’ opinions, it could douse your passion and confidence, undermining your ability to ultimately succeed.

 

So… I honestly feel that we do not need  to try and eliminate Mommy Guilt completely. After all…

Mommy Guilt makes us real, it makes us authentic.

 

I really wanted to start 2018 off with a bang, and I guess on some level, I have. BUT it seems as though it is taking a little longer to kick off than I anticipated. Luckily, though, one thing, that motherhood has taught me is that…

 

Nothing ever goes as I expected

and even better than that…

 

AND THAT’S OK!!!

 

In a post on my facebook page I shared that my words for 2018 are Presence and Structure. I have been actively working on these for the first two months of 2018 and although I dont always get it right, I am definately moving in the right direction. 

 

So I guess it seems strange that I called this post 2018 Starts in March, yet in the same sentence I say I have been practising my mantras for 2018 for two months already.

 

Let me explain a little…

 

While trying to become more focused and present in my life, I found that it has been a real struggle and something I need to work on daily, until I read this article and something clicked in my head. During the month of March, I am going to focus on stopping these Unhealthy Mom Habits and I believe, that my manta words for 2018 will fall into place

 

I would really love to hear what your focus words are for 2018… Please pop over to FACEBOOK and let me know

10 Unhealthy Mom Habits That Must Stop Now

 

 

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