When a child feels that they belong, that they are accepted and supported, they are more courageous.
The responsibility to parent our children so that they grow up feeling that they belong, that they are accepted and that they matter can feel very overwhelming and scary. Do you agree?
Each of these concerns is valid and yet the parenting wheel continues to spin, each day with new expectations and new challenges to address.
No wonder people say it takes a village to raise a child!
I saw a great meme about this the other day, which asked, ‘OK, I agree. Is there a number I can call?’
This struck me because it highlighted that whilst some of us are incredibly lucky to have that village, many of us are plodding along alone.
Many of the working parents I know struggle to keep up.
We struggle to balance our work, the children’s schooling responsibilities, and our family’s well-being and every day we go to bed feeling exhausted because we are doing too much and yet guilty because we feel that we should be doing more.
I often stop to remember the days before the children were born and how I thought it would be as opposed to how it really is. Woah…what a difference right? Still a wonderful experience but in many ways so much harder than what I imagined!
At least part of the difficulty could be alleviated if parents received better support.
The thing is, support comes to us in different ways.
For me, it came through stories.
As my children grew and their ways of communicating with me became more challenging to deal with, I realised that all of the stories that I had told them as young children were coming in useful.
The characters we had encountered and the adventures we had been on together in the stories that we loved, gave us a path through the difficulties.
As my twins became teenagers, I thought they needed the stories less.
But I was wrong.
They needed exactly the same reminders they did as children – they needed to know that they are accepted, that they matter and that they belong.
As they go out into the world (virtually for now but still!) to learn and experience new things, they are still afraid sometimes.
They still need to talk about difficult feelings and situations like sadness and hope, responsibility and justice.
And so I remind them of the stories we shared when they were younger.
A rich stillness falls in the room. We all travel back to a place of comfort and safety – a place where we can all belong.
And after this rich and nourishing moment of connection, the twins always feel ready to face whatever new challenge the day has brought.
I could explain the science of why storytelling works so well to you but it requires more time and space than I have here…
Which is why I am inviting you to a free masterclass to share how stories can help you parent too.
Join the Facebook group here.
Stories support us in dealing with parenting challenges because:
– You get to be you and me – we all learn association and empathy, making us kinder towards one another.
– We get to play with different possibilities, we are not stuck in one frame of mind.
– We all get to feel that we belong, that we matter.
How does that sound?
Children who belong, know how to love and are courageous.
This leads to an open and easy family communication system, which equals less stress and more fun when you are with your children.
So, let’s do this!!!