Parenting from The Heartspace
I’m sure most of you will agree that parenting is about wanting the best for your children. And at times, this means to annoy or upset them in the short-term to avoid greater undesirable events unfolding in the long-term. When we fail to give boundaries at all, they have nothing to orientate themselves on, when we fail to give freedom, they will break free forcefully one day and it might even involve some very burnt bridges.
To walk that line between friend and authority, confidante and the one making the rules and letting your children know (and feel) the consequences of their actions is not always an easy or straight forward one. There are more shades of grey in a little human life and a family dynamic than your computer screen has pixels.
And then there is the thing about sometimes one is being really good, the other one is going through a rough phase and you have to juggle it all without anyone coming short, not the “good” one (because you don’t want to teach your children, they only get attention when they’re being bad) and the “bad” one because you need to sort out the mess in his or her behaviour, attitude and your relationship with each other and the rest of the family most of all. Often it can seem that it’s never just all good. That’s called puberty. Or shyness. Or “I’m 18 now.” Or something else.
And then there are days when everything goes well. Really well. Like you think you’re in that strange American soap where everyone is on drugs and leading that picture book life. I’ve forgotten what it’s called. Something with -ville at the end. Can you really ever be high enough to watch something like that?
Anyway, today was such a day. My computer had finally updated, I had posted my blog for the day and then my little one came home and told me at length how nice her day in school had been. My son came home and promised to cook while I had to go to an appointment with my middle one. I got on the bus she took from school and we went the rest of the way together. We had a chat and after the appointment took some “girlie time” over a coffee to chat some more.
I don’t even know anymore how we made it to the subject of what a man should be like. She is half black, extremely beautiful and has a smile that can melt the ice off Mount Everest. She is 15 and wise beyond her years in many ways. So we were joking around at a café about what he should look like ideally before I got more serious and said, even though everyone has an idea or preference in looks, what is really important is what he’s like, and that there is a connection between you.
So Tarjani smiled. Actually it was more of an excited smirk, and she said, she wants a man who is open-minded and friendly and smiles a lot. The smiling part is very important to her. The smirk grew bigger. “I love it when someone smiles a lot. That is so important to me.”
I grinned back at her and told her, she is just as beautiful when she smiles and she grinned even more. “I know, but sometimes my cheeks hurt. I smile so much at school that I need a break at home. Doesn’t mean, I’m in a bad mood, but when I smile and talk most of the day, I just need some peace and quiet at home sometimes,” she explained.
“I love you,” I told her.
“I love you, too,” she replied, almost automatically, because we say that every day. Often. But we always mean it, too. It doesn’t become inflationary.
We decided to leave, got up and I smiled at her when she picked up the tray, so I wouldn’t have to put it on the dirty trolley. I smiled at her and she smiled back. Yes, from-the-heart-smiles are very important!
What Are Some of Your Most Beautiful Memories with Your Child(ren)?
Which memory do you remember that you think was one of the most perfect bonding moments between you and your child?
What are your child’s most outstanding gifts, talents and qualities?
How do you tell and show each other that you love each other?
What do you do to improve your relationship when it has a dip?
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