Parental Decision Making:
Are you overwhelmed by the task of thinking and talking through various decisions, especially in light of all the other responsibilities we have at the moment? (caring for loved ones, work, finances, uncertainty of the future etc
“Do I send my child back to school? Or keep my child home schooled?”
“Are they eating healthily enough?”
“How much is too much technology whilst they are at home 24/7?”
“Are my children and me getting enough exercise?”
“Do I let my children see their friends in a group?”
“Have I got the right routine for my child?”
“Is my co-parenting situation working?”
“Am I handling their behaviour in the right way?”
Do you compare yourself to others, think you are not doing things right?
This exists because we all want to do the perfectly right thing for each of our children and when faced with others who do things differently we feel fear, then insecurity, and then we judge. More now than ever, we are judging ourselves through our WhatsApp groups, Instagram posts, Facebook communities and without contact from others to wrap their arms around you and tell you are doing ok, we want to help you find the inner confidence to know that you are making the right choice, even if this is different to others.
If you start feeling the guilt or concern you are doing it wrong in a certain area:
- STOP for a minute
- BREATHE – and THINK about the results/what you are trying to achieve.
Is someone else’s opinion shouting louder than yours, have you given yourself time to see it from every angle, have you stopped and thought how it might seem through the eyes of your child.
Whatever your decision about exercise; sending them back to school; how you work out childcare arrangements etc. if it works for you and your family, then it may well be the right decision.
Would it be right the decision in every home? Of course not.
Are there other choices that are equally if not more effective? Of course. But the trick is to find a place where you are happy it differs from what others do, or is a adaption of someone else’s idea.
Or Maybe other parents are/were right, but honestly that is just as important . Sometimes other people are right and you just can’t see it. This happens to me, you, and everyone else under the sun. If you making a decision, and it doesn’t work, then it’s time to try something new.
It doesn’t mean you’re “wrong” or a bad parent or whatever else you say while feeling defensive. It just means that particular choice is not wise and you could improve upon it.
Connecting with people that are non judgmental, supportive and there to give you ideas, but also to learn from you, is what ACL Essex Community and Family Learning does best in the courses/workshops we offer.
To book on these or any of the workshops/courses we have on offer then click the link: https://aclessex.com/community family learning online/ please feel free to share with any resident of Essex
Helping your children make decisions
This is a life skill, one we are still learning but here are 10 tips to help them, and you!
- Let them make mistakes our natural instinct is to shield our kids from all potential pitfalls. But carefully letting your children learn natural consequences lessons from their own mistakes and then talking to them about it after the fact will give them great insight
- Expose them to the ‘real world ’ T here is no better teacher than a helpful dose of reality. It is important to talk/connect with and allow them the opportunity to discuss/talk to you/cry on your shoulder
- Teach your child to know themselves Children who can distinguish their own strengths and weaknesses are able to make better decisions based on their abilities
- Learn your child’s interests Maybe they are into football. Maybe music, art, cooking, etc. Whatever it may be, find out or HELP your child find out his interests. Then provide real life examples of others that share their same likes and who are successful. This gives them external role models , helps them identify keys to success and those traits lend very well to decision making
- Talk to your child Open communication is vital to parenting but is quite often hard to achieve. The second a child senses a lecture, you’ve lost their ear. If you can find common areas where you bond and have real discussion from your child, you will gain invaluable insight into how they thinks. This, in turn, gives you the ability to know what decision they are going to make before the y even make it. This helps you pre empt dangerous and unsafe decisions, and if you talk about it, helps them to problem solve
- Get involved having your child get involved with things, whether it be at home, with friends etc will teach them life skills that will grow their wisdom . It also exposes them to positive peer pressure and increases the likelihood that the decisions they make will be the correct ones. If a child has a lot to lose by acting foolish, they are much less likely to do so
- Money, money, money One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is to teach them how to handle money properly. If you can teach your child to handle money in a responsible manner, most likely that will follow through into the other parts o f their life it is never too early to start whether it is saving pocket money, or birthday money, or making decisions about a birthday present for a friend
- Pile on the PRAISE Too often, parents tend to focus on the things our children might need work on. We want to fix their struggles. Yet, we might forget to praise when they get it right, as they so often do . Example: “Dad, did you see me hit that 20 footer from the corner?” “Yes, good job, but you had a couple of turnovers. You need to be more careful with the ball.” Sound familiar? By praising our children when they do great things, it helps reinforce the desire to make decisions to have similar outcomes
- The friends we keep If we are only as strong as our weakest link, then teaching your children how to choose friendships is a vitally important task. As important as we like to think we are to our kids, their world revolves around their own social interactions and circles of friends. It is THEM they are listening to, and not us in many circumstances. One sure fire way to know what direction your child is headed in is to get to know their friends. You don’t have to like them all, but try and see what good your child sees in them. They may well be a good judge of character
- Lead by example The best lessons in life are caught, not taught, by a child’s parents .” Do as I say, not as I do” is NOT a good conversation starter with a child. If need be, use your own faults as an example of how not to be and promise to do better Humbling yourself in front of your child and admitting your weakness will actually make the m feel closer to you. Where you do have strengths in decision making skills, teach those to them
What can you do this weekend/coming week:
- Put your oxygen mask on take some time out for you as parent
- to discuss with someone objective a decision you’re not sure about?
- to find some time to sleep/read a book/have a hot cup of tea/Skype someone you haven’t connected with for a while
- Spend an hour to do something silly there is a lot to be said for “laughter therapy”
- Whatever age your children, laughter really can be the best medicine, and put you in a more positive mindset for whatever decision is next!
If you have any ideas to share or want to keep up to date with the latest workshops/courses/or support then visit our Facebook group:
To book on these or any of the workshops/courses we have on offer then click the link: https://aclessex.com/community-family-learning-online/.
Please feel free to share with any resident of Essex.