Stepping up to parenting

Joanne Te Paiho, May 2012

Tena Koutou. Looking back over my last column, lead me to wonder if you may all be thinking, this whole parenting thing is impossible and what a load of rubbish, because who has got all their stuff sorted and what the heck does this wise adult look like...? I guess I wrote that column from a place of frustration around so many of our children being abused and dying at the hands of their caregivers or those adults around them, who are supposed to keep them safe.

I'm thinking, that in today's column, I might just slow it down a bit and look at how our parents out there, might begin a slow journey of looking at how they may care for themselves and their own needs, to allow space for them to look after their little people safely. This is key, as we can't care for others if we don't look after ourselves.

How might you all create a well-balanced lifestyle that allows you to meet your needs and feel well cared for? Here are a few ideas.

SLEEP - REST AND RELAXATION EVERY DAY.

WORK - WHETHER PAID OR UNPAID.

TIME - ALONE WITH FRIENDS, WITH WHANAU, WITH PARTNER, WITH CHILDREN.

BASIC SECURITY - A ROOF OVER OUR HEAD, FOOD, WATER, CLOTHING, PHYSICAL HEALTH, MONEY, PEACE, FREEDOM FROM FEAR/THREAT, A STABLE LIFE.

RELATIONSHIPS THAT ARE - RESPECTFUL, SUPPORTIVE, NON JUDGEMENTAL, UNDERSTANDING, VALUED, FUN, ACCEPTING.

HEALTHY PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS - SELF ACCDEPTANCE, SELF RESPECT, CONFIDENCE, FAITH IN ONESELF, SELF LOVE, CURIOSITY, PERSONAL GOALS, PERSONAL BOUNDARIES, BEING ABLE TO SAY NO, KNOWING WHO YOU ARE, A SENSE OF HUMOUR.

BE THE EXPERT IN YOUR OWN LIFE AND ALLOW OTHERS TO BE THE EXPERT IN THEIR'S.

LASTLY - KNOW WHEN TO SEEK SUPPORT AND WHERE TO GET THAT SUPPORT EG WHANAU, FRIENDS, PROFESSIONALS.

I guess a question I'd like to leave you all with today is, what sort of parent did you need when you were a child, and what sort of parent do you think your child/children need, and are you stepping up?

I hope this finds you all snuggled up and keeping warm...

Jo


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