That Special Place Within...

Joanne Te Paiho, March 2011

Tena Koutou. Parenting from that special place within...how do we develop this and become connected to this special place...? What may get in the way and overshadow our ability to be with our children in a loving, caring and respectful ways? Tiredness, financial stress, whanau breakdown, grief, depression, alcohol and drug dependency, any number of these issues can impact on the way we are with our young people and babies and the way in which we choose to parent. What does parenting actually mean, what does it look like in action? Is parenting about just being there in the same space with your children, does it involve some interaction on your part? Does it involve an emotional connection, from you to your child, what is this parent/ child relationship really all about? Let's explore this.

What did we learn and take on from our own parents about what it is to be a parent? Have you ever spoken to your children and then thought, gee that sounded just like my Mum or Dad. I bet that's a resounding yes from most of you. How was love shown to you by your parents...were your parents aware and tapped into your emotional well being, did they communicate with you, did they spend the time to really get to know you? These are all really valid questions, when reflecting on your own parenting style and how you are with your children. How well we are able to connect and be present and active in our parenting relationship with our children depends greatly on our own childhood and on how well we have learnt to connect to ourselves.

That special place I talked about earlier is a place of love and peace, a place inside yourself where your own past hurts have been healed, a place where only the softness and beautifulness of your spirit and wairua shines out. This is the beautiful part you will impart and reflect to your children, in your parenting role. If that part of yourself is hurting, sad and angry, this is what gets in the way of you being able to be with your children in a positive way and will in turn have an impact on your role as a parent. This hurt place may also be the reason you may drink or take drugs, just to ease the pain, which is only for a short moment.

In summary the parent/child relationship and what it looks like to be a parent, is about an adult being a part of a child's life, whom they know has their backing, no matter what. Whose number one priority is the little person in their life...it's about guiding with love, remaining present and connected to yourself with your children, instilling some good solid beliefs and family values, (even though as your child grows they may develop their own)...and most of all it's about SHOWING up. My thoughts are that our children come into our lives for a reason and as much as we teach them, they in turn, teach us.

In closing it's really important that when you begin to identify that your personal issues prevent you from being the parent you know you want to be and can be, that you begin to seek support. Parentline Manawatu is the place to come, where we have Counsellors on board to work alongside you and we also offer various parenting programmes.

Nga Mihi Koutou

Jo Te Paiho

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