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messageCalling all Dads and Mums!
Posted by Zacdrumbaker February 07, 10:52AM

If you are in this discussion forum you must be taking your role as a parent pretty seriously, whether you give yourself credit for it or not. I recently had an experience where someone I met had exactly the info I needed to solve a particular parenting problem. EDF is a great resource for this too, but the net it casts is limited, so we can't expect it to solve all of our parenting doubts. I am convinced that better parenting is the best answer to all the biggest problems we face, the very problems our children will inherit. If this makes sense to you and you have 3 minutes to spare, please respond to either/both of these questions:

1. What are the thorniest parenting problems?
managing homework? policing tech use? creating healthy living habits? sharing regular quality time? providing spiritual guidance in a material world?

2. What would the ultimate Mum/Dad achieve? What would they be like?

Thanks for taking the time to read this! Zac

messageRe: Calling all Dads and Mums!
Posted by Jules-and-Boo February 08, 12:56PM

The hardest thing for me was realizing the responsibility of shaping someone's mental health and resilience.
How to respond to situations and how to look after yourself emotionally.

Bullying is particularly difficult for children to deal with and it's important not to just spend time with your children but to use your time together to help them build up ways of dealing with and managing all the challenges that come their way.

messageRe: Calling all Dads and Mums!
Posted by Zacdrumbaker February 08, 01:40PM

Dear Jules and Boo,

Thanks for taking time to respond. Good point regarding what we need to achieve through quality time with our little ones. And yes, I agree it must be the biggest responsibility we have, to lead them towards their own resilience to establish mental well-being. Bullying is such an ever present problem for kids and can have a big effect on self-image into adulthood imo. Emotional intelligence in parents is key and something that most of us have to learn as we travel the long road of parenting. I think personally, I could have benefitted from some guidance in this before mine went off to school. I hadn't really considered how I would respond if/when one of them came home feeling picked on in the playground, naturally it came up a couple of years ago and I was at a bit of loss. Also, I think it is easy for parents to disagree about how best to deal with bullying and then the LO gets mixed messages. We live and learn!

messageRe: Calling all Dads and Mums!
Posted by nina_maniana February 27, 11:31AM

Thorniest parenting problem - realising I am raising two humans who are completely separate from myself, their own individuals with their own ideas and preferences. They often don't respond the way I would in certain situations so means discipline is a constant matter of trial and error. (I was a pretty focussed, obedient child. I have two boys who are... erm... not. And applying the 'foolproof' methods my parents used with me has got me nowhere).

Ideal mum or dad would raise happy contented kids who turn into happy contented adults. End of. I have a feeling these parents come in all shapes and sizes.

messageRe: Calling all Dads and Mums!
Posted by Zacdrumbaker February 27, 12:17PM

yes, indeed! thanks for your very interesting answer.

I agree it is a continual source of surprise just how different our children are from ourselves and so how they respond to our parental actions. My three are vastly different and so require different styles of parenting in the end. There is no onesize fits all approach at home, just as there isn't in the classroom.

I suppose my follow up question to you would be what distinguishes a happy child from a contented child? in the sense that most kids are ostensibly happy when they are watching tv and eating crisps but there is a gap between that and really living well which would set them on the path to contentment. What happens in that gap?

thanks again for your response. Just so you know: I am a local father/drum tutor who was a senior school teacher for ten years but am now considering working more directly with families. At the moment i'm trying to get a sense of how people feel they could do better as parents. It clearly takes courage to consider and even more to answer, so thank you!

all the best, ZB

messageRe: Calling all Dads and Mums!
Posted by nina_maniana March 04, 03:48PM

"I suppose my follow up question to you would be what distinguishes a happy child from a contented child? in the sense that most kids are ostensibly happy when they are watching tv and eating crisps but there is a gap between that and really living well which would set them on the path to contentment. What happens in that gap?"

Good question and one I've not thought about before. Maybe I'd go for something like 'flourishing'? Broadly... having the opportunity to learn about the world and have lots of experiences so they can become the best version of themselves, whatever that may be. Finding a path in life, love and friendship that they want to be on and embracing it. Being supported enough to know that most failure isn't the end, but a learning experience. God I sound like a self help manual, but you get the jist!

messageRe: Calling all Dads and Mums!
Posted by Zacdrumbaker March 04, 05:29PM

Yes, I think I know what you're refering to. I would like to be able to define this flourishing thing. Perhaps it's simply the accumulative changes of personal growth which happens most quickly and therefore most visibly when we're young.

It's interesting (and difficult) to try and understand the mechanics of this process without quoting a string of cliches.


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