Not long ago, I was lecturing to a group of clinical counselling students on child development and parenting, when a student asked me, point blank,
” If you had to sum it all up in one word, what would it be?”
You mean, you want me to summarise 75 years of research and clinical practice into one word?!
You got it!
So with out hesitation, I took a deep breath and confidently said,
When it comes to raising happy kids who thrive, the key is the relationship.
The relationship you build with your child, and the relationship that they get to build with you.
And here’s why.
Because, quite simply, the relationship you have with your kids today shapes who they become tomorrow.
You see, from birth your kid came into this world with no sense of who they are, others or the world around them.
Sort of like a stranger who is washed up on to the shores of a foreign country. In addition to not knowing where he is, he has no sense of WHO he is, or what to expect from the strangers among him. All he has is his natural inclination to connect– and with that he relies on the locals to orient him.
And so it’s the daily interactions that you have with your kids that help them to understand who they are (what makes them different from everybody else), what they can expect of others (are others accepting or rejecting?) and about the world around them, and their place within it (is the world a safe place and is there meaning and purpose in this life?)
So when you’re impatient and you snap at your kids constantly, it’s not just the unpleasantness of the interaction that matters but, even more importantly, the opportunity to connect and have a thoughtful interaction with your kid is lost.
Which means that instead of guiding this lone travel through this thing called life, your child is left wondering who they are, who they can count on and what their place is.
So the seemingly mundane, sometimes vexing, interactions that you may have with your kids on any given day (sometimes multiple times a day!) is really just another opportunity to form the bedrock of your kids sense of self.
To show them not just by example, but through experience, that they are valued (even if they’re behaviour isn’t), that you accept them for who they are (even if they push your buttons sometimes) and that their choices make a difference in this world.
But I get it, life is busy, your kids are demanding, and sometimes (maybe even more often than not), you’re just not in the mood.
And that’s okay.
You’re only human, after all.
But if this is your norm.
If you are constantly feeling overwhelmed, disconnected and out of control…
…just imagine what life would look like, for you and your kids, if you could regain your sense of calm, balance and satisfaction in life.
Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?
Or maybe it’s hard to imagine.
Or seems out of reach.
Either way, I’ve helped dozens of mothers reconnect with themselves and regain their sense of calm, clarity and confidence.
So if you’d like to build a loving lasting relationship with your kid/s, but you’re not sure where to start, or what direction to take, I invite you to reach out and schedule a conversation with me so we can see if working together could be a good fit.