While requesting permission to use The Parenting Course postcard design on my blog, I struck up an email conversation with the editors of the Relationship Central website at Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB). They asked me to write a short testimony about my experience of the parenting course. I was flattered to be asked and enjoyed the challenge of writing a piece although I struggled to know what to exclude as I learnt so much. My solution was to focus on two aspects of how the course had improved my relationship with my daughter. The editors were delighted with my article and it is now published on their website. Click on the link below to read it and I have also included the full article below. Apologies – it is longer than a normal blog post!
Apples and Love Letters
I have discovered that my daughter loves gifts! A rose at her table place, a wild apple that I picked on my walk home or a note in her lunch box makes her feel loved. I had found giving gifts for no reason was difficult because it felt materialistic and had resisted it until I thought back to all the pebbles, the dandelions and the paper presents she has given me. We all have different love languages and during The Parenting Course we studied ‘The Five Love Languages’: affirming words, affectionate touch, time, small gifts and actions. ‘Gifts’ for Isabel is her primary love language, they don’t have to be extravagant just thoughtful. I am learning to meet this need and also to recognise this is how she expresses love.
The Parenting Course is a practical 10 week course based on biblical principles that will help you parent effectively and is written by Nicky and Sila Lee from Holy Trinity Brompton. It follows Christian principles but it does not alienate those with other beliefs. Richard and I are delighted to finally be running the Parenting Children Course. I am currently a stay-at-home mum and met Richard at Holy Trinity Brompton. In 2000 we moved to Oxfordshire where the horizon is visible. Nicholas was born in 2003 followed by Isabel and the last (we are sure about that) was Harriet. Our children are now aged 9, 6 and 4.
Even though I was leading The Parenting Course, I have learnt so much about my relationship with Isabel. Isabel will always be dreamy, distracted, creative and contrary. I have now realised that my daughter’s intrinsic character won’t change so I must not allow day-to-day struggles to destroy our relationship. I need to keep the channels of communication open and build our friendship which is worth more than a daily quarrel about welly boots. Rob Parsons said that your six-year old will test you and the conflict will be worse when she is sixteen but on the rollercoaster ride keep hold of the relationship because one day you will have a beautiful friendship with your grown-up daughter. I have learnt that I can shape Isabel and direct her strong character but I can’t push her into an ill-fitting mould.
Isabel is the child who likes to pick wildflowers and admire autumn leaves with me. She has a delightful sense of humour, can laugh at herself and is never in a hurry, bored or impatient. We will always have a dynamic relationship and are now connecting better and that is exciting because I love her so much. No doubt in a few years time I will be buying iTune gifts for my daughter.