Monthly Archives: December 2012

valuesThis was the tenth and final session of The Parenting Course and we discussed passing on our beliefs and values. We all have real values and notional values – things we ascribe to but don’t actually practice. If we rate honesty highly but your children often hear us telling ‘white lies’ honesty is just a notional value and we will not be passing it on to our children. What values are we modelling to our children? We also considered praying for our children and it is never too early or too late to start. We all have deep longings for  our children and these can turn into fears so let us rather turn them into prayers.

Even though I have been leading The Parenting Course, I have learnt so much from it and realise how much more there is to learn. I hope these blogs about the course have given you a taster of what the course entails and if you wish to know more, look for a similar course close to you. It is so much better to connect with other parents than reading a book – or a blog!

If you want to know more about The Parenting Course, click on this link to read my initial post about the course. Here is a link to the Holy Trinity Brompton website which has a video about the course

helicopterLetting Go
In this week’s parenting course we were reminded that we gradually need to let our children go and we considered symptoms of unhealthy control. We can micro-manage our children’s live which is aptly described as ‘helicopter parenting’ where we hover over every aspect of their lives and don’t allow them to learn to think for themselves. I find it hard to let go and each day as my nine-year old son cycles off independently to school I remind him to concentrate, cycle slowly and look out for cars as they don’t always look out for bikes. It is hard but I am learning to let go and he is learning to be independent.

We can be over-competitive for our children, pushing and applying pressure to achieve what we think (or what we think the neighbours think) they should be achieving.We can over-schedule our children’s lives fearing that they will be left behind. We seem to be over aspirational for our children and concerned they will be under-simulated. Actually if they are given the time and the luxury to become bored they become very creative in their play – creativity that is hard to teach at endless music, gym, ballet and football lessons.

Lastly we need to allow children to take increasing responsiblity for themselves and not rescue them or they won’t have the opportunity to learn from mistakes and make better choices next time. My friends thought I was harsh not to leap back into the car to fetch Ella’s favourite teddy which she needed to cuddle at night. I felt that she was old enough to remember the teddy and we both knew it was safe at her friend’s house and would be collected the next day.  I felt for her pain and it hurt me but her older siblings each lent her a favourite toy, I cuddled her and listened to her sorrow and shared her sadness and she is learning from a safe experience like this to be more independent and responsible.

We need to teach our children to make choices now so one day they can make big decisions wisely.

If you want to know more about The Parenting Course, click on this link to read my initial post about the course. Here is a link to the Holy Trinity Brompton website which has a video about the course

Christmas card 2012 blogIt has been such a pleasure to ‘meet’ new bloggers and connect with other mums through my blog. I have enjoyed writing a mini theme about Christmas and I hope it has been helpful and inspiring. May you and your families have a blessed Christmas. Most years I write a Christmas letter to accompany my card whether it is emailed or posted but I thought this year my family would share ‘Two stars and a wish’ – two happy memories of the past year and one desire for next year.

Zeb: Our cycle ride as a family to Padstow and a mushroom foraging course with Tessa. My wish next year is to make sandcastles on a beach in Cornwall.

Tessa: We had a magical holiday with my parents in Dartmouth to celebrate their ruby anniversary especially with the Red Arrow planes flying overhead. I am very excited that Zeb and I have started running a parenting course as it is something that is close to our hearts. And my wish… looking forward to finding a new home as the one we had planned to buy fell through.

James (age 9): My birthday this year in Legoland and I loved going to watch ‘Skyfall’ with daddy. I am looking forward to going to Singapore if we go.

Sophie (age 6): My best things were making a decoupage box and making boats from junk on the beach. My wish is to see Zoe who lives in Africa.

Ella (age 4): I made a snow globe and a bug hotel because it is nice for the bugs and they can hide in it and hibernate in it. I am going to Cornwall in April and I am very happy about that.This post is part of a Christmas theme of how I as a mum approach this season. As with anything, pick and choose the ideas that appeal to you – I don’t do all of them every year! However I have included all the activities, crafts and traditions that I have done over the past few years. Feel free to share your ideas as comments.