Caring for our kids may not be what we think it is…

A recent article that really inspired in me in the metro called “Self care is not all bubble baths and candles” Got me thinking about parenting what if caring for our kids is not be what we think it is…

We so want to do the right thing to make them happy, so we say yes to foods we know are not healthy, let them watch more TV than we should and trust their education to people we do not know.

But is this really caring for our kids and does it really make us happy? The thing is we all accept that raising kids is really hard work. For many parents we are juggling working full-time with raising kids, being a good spouse, having a half presentable home and then trying to have some us time too. I guess I was thinking about the experience of being a working mum and what it is like caring for our kids.

What is caring for our kids?

Caring for our kids

Often we do not have as much time with our kids as we want. So when we do have quality time together when they ask for ice creams (spot the ice cream in this picture), crisps and stuff we know is not good for them it is easy to say yes. We think it is away to show love rather than challenging them and saying no.

It is the same with TV sometimes when I sit with my daughter and say “what shall we do” she asks can we just watch TV.  We are lucky that we are in a household that very rarely watches TV so it does feels like a treat when it does happen. A way we can switch off in each others company and have a hug.

Is this caring for our kids?

But is this really caring for my daughter. Is this caring for our kids? If I have limited time with my daughter ( We wake up, have breakfast, get ready and then school run, then I have her from 6pm 4 days a week, I always do bedtime and stories and then I also have her 1 afternoon a week and two full weekend days). Should I just be chilling with my kid, doing puzzles or snuggling in front of the telly or should I be at least making the effort to really care for her?

Lots of the right stuff is being done in our home. Our time together is littered with proper or descriptive praise. Gone are the days of “You’re Amazing, Well Done”  my daughter gets just as much happiness from me telling her “I can see you really put effort into that” and it makes her keep improving and trying more things.

Mindful behaviour is modelled frequently – I don’t loose my sh*t when I am ready to but control myself to say – “I have to leave the room and do some breathing so that I do not get mad”  or “I had a busy day so I’m just going to meditate for 5 minutes so I can have a fun evening with you”

Mindful child

Her frustrations with life are filled with growth mindset support.  If she can not do something then I chime in “YET”. She is falling in love with the process and not the end result, she knows that working to something is a fun thing to do and if you fail you celebrate the mistakes, learn from them and then keep trying… and when that feels impossible we at least have a go!

We work with our feelings we learn to label them and if need be have a bloody good cry, scream, cushion punch and then we let us go and move on.

What else needs to be done?

This is all woven into our daily existence. But what about the big stuff, what about the creative play, the thinking outside the box, the teaching the stuff that matters, appreciating nature, saying no, giving our kids heathy stuff as a treat and teaching them to love their bodies and understanding why we are saying no to the bad stuff (even if just 50% of the time). What if we do Yoga with them every day, what if we teach them to meditate ( even top businesses are introducing it as part of office standard practice) what if we are missing the point of what caring really is.

Thinking About The Future

Technology is rapidly advancing and our school systems are not preparing our kids for how the world will look in 5, 10 or 15 years time maybe we need to take more responsibility.  When I hear about growing suicide rates in teens, depression, social media escapism, body dysmorphia, obesity, anorexia, food related auto-immune disorders and the many other issues that are potentially ahead of our kids.

It makes me think we should all be seriously wondering if maybe the real way for us parents to care for them is to teach our kids to value being healthy, in both body and mind, as the priority.  So then they can handle all that is coming their way … even if it means a huge shift in the traditional way we care for our kids and saying no a little more often.

Food for though indeed!

Read the article that got me thinking “Self care is not all bubble baths and candles” here 

Learn some “Easy Positive Ideas for Parents” here

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