T is for Time
A is for Affection
O is for Optimism
Questions to ponder:
How was I shown affection as a child?
Who was there for me and would answer my questions with full attention?
What did I know or was told about the future? How did this affect me?
I find this simple nemonic easy to remember and put my focus on while parenting my children. Somehow it simplifies parenting into what’s really important. Time. When my children made a bid for my attention, I (mostly), remembered to stop what I was doing and give them my full attention, really listen and catch their emotion about what they were telling me; when I came home from work, I made sure to take a deep breath, put whatever had happened during the day outside an imaginary pyramid I visualised around myself and get down on the floor and play with the kids. Love. Easy to do when everything is going well. If I was having to discipline the kids, taking time so I could remain calm and reminding them that even if I did not like their behaviour I still loved them. I find this is really important for teenagers as they are inclined to take some risks and try some silly things especially in the company of their friends. I find it easy to say – it doesn’t matter what you do, (give some examples from recent news), I’ll always love you. Optimism. I’m so pleased this is the last value (as I may not have thought of it for myself) but I was able to encourage the kids to use positive mantras for themselves when things went wrong. When they were at school and a 6.3 earthquake stuck our city, they were both able to keep calm and support others who were very scared. It has given them grit, when the going got tough with assignments or/and relationships and/or worries about the future.
Thank you Barbara