I know that I’m sometimes very deliberate in my parenting and I am aware that I might go on a bit sometimes to make my point, but let’s face it, no-one teaches you how to parent do they? You don’t get a guide book on ‘Good Parenting for Kids’ or how to acquire the necessary parenting skills with your first born! We all hear lots about bad parenting and I don’t want to fall into any of those traps. I probably drive my children mad! Positive parenting I like to call it, and those moments when they naturally demonstrate a lesson I know I’ve purposely taught them, make it all worthwhile!
A couple of weeks ago, whilst camping with my children, our great British Summer weather struck and our tent was destroyed. Not just buckled a bit, or frayed; completely and irrevocably broken.
We were in a museum avoiding the rain when I got a call from the camp-site to tell me. It was one of those moments where time starts speeding round in your head and at the same time standing still, or so it seems. Part of me wanted to panic, cry and ask someone else what to do. Part of me wanted to laugh. Yet another part wanted to stamp my foot, cross my arms and shout “It’s so unfaaaaair!” To begin with I did none of these – thankfully!
I have trained myself to look for learnings everywhere in life and so once I’d got into the car and started driving, my brain switched into ‘Ok, what can we get from this mess then?’ and I put on what my Dad always called my ‘determined head.’
Sure enough, the tent was destroyed, but the camp-site owners gave us shelter that night in their ‘Campers Lounge’ (a lot like a big shed!) and we collected another tent the next day. The immediate problem of where to sleep was solved. In a way, that became irrelevant. What was important to me, was that the boys see that I wasn’t defeated and that we could find a solution. We stayed positive and we still had fun. We turned a disaster into an adventure.
Yesterday, my eldest was stringing some green beans, with my ‘safe’ bean stringer. He pushed instead of pulled and deftly sliced off the side of his thumbnail! ouch! Without much fuss, he then continued, only to slice the top off of his other thumb!
I tended to his wound – it was pretty deep – and told him to go and sit down and that I’d finish the beans. He said “No. “I won’t be defeated by this mum!” and having sussed out that the problem was his technique – he was pushing the stubborn beans onto the blade rather than pulling them through – and in doing so stringing his thumbs too! – he finished them off.
“Great attitude” was all I said, but it was one of those positive parenting moments for me and I was grinning inside. I always try to encourage the children to look for other ways to do things and above all, to never give in, and this little episode was great proof that my message is hitting it’s target somewhere!