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How to be a good parent

How to be

Last week I asked some super parents in the Healthy Parent Healthy Child community, what it meant to them to be a good parent. This is what some shared……

“Forgetting the laundry, putting down the vacuum, leaving the dishes and sometimes having your house look like you have been robbed just so you can make an awesome cubby in the lounge.”

“Creating space, love + boundaries so she feels safe to explore, experiment, learn her likes + dislikes, be free + joyous”

“Unconditional love”

“I’ve finally learnt ‘self care’ makes a good parent because it all flows onto my girls – more movement encourages them, eating for nourishment encourages them, using energisers for calm encourages them to also, & ‘two beats longer’ means they have my full attention when needed – leading by example makes an awesome parent”

“To me, I think being a good parent means being available for your children. Even on the hard days, like I had today (a little bundle who didn’t want to sleep or eat), so it’s just needing to stop, breathe and regroup. Be available, and make sure they know they are loved and feel safe and secure in your care, and play lots of games until they tire out! “

And aren’t they all perfect responses.

Interestingly, no one is a ‘bad’ parent. Most of us are doing the very best we can for our current situation, education and experience of life thus far.  The biggest mistake we can make however, is to leave it at that.

The most important thing you can do to be a good parent, is to choose to intentionally learn everyday. Without a shadow of a doubt it WILL expand life beyond what you believed possible. Enlarged learning then expands the future outlook for your children.

My personal ‘professional’ learning has always been within physical health (exercise, nutrition, sports psyc, hydration, sleep, stress), but for as long as I can remember, I have also chosen to invest in learning in many other areas of wellbeing, and I know the affect an imbalance in the emotional, mental and spiritual have on physical health. I also know that my marriage would not be what it is today without us both choosing to invest in self-development to understand others, break through fears and overcome personal weaknesses. I know that without intentional learning, I would have personally continued a life of anxiety and fear.

Today I am blessed to be able to assist others in becoming better in all of these areas. I am also lucky to learn so much from each of these people based on the experiences and beliefs they share.

So back to parenting……..whilst I don’t believe most people start out in parenthood to hurt themselves, their partners or their children, if we stop investing in our learning it will most likely happen.

I coach many women in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, and sadly most will have some type of physical ailment – thyroid challenge, auto-immune disease, food addition, emotional eating, digestive complaints, depressions, anxiety and so on. We know through research that gut health is essential in all of these challenges. Of course with these ladies, we work together to establish the best regime moving forward, to at least halt these affects, if not improve them. These are not rare cases and without education and action, these ailments will repeat to the next generation.

I also coach many women who are miserable because of their negative relationships, and whilst it is a 2 way street, our self-acceptance plays a very big part in the end game.

My fear is that sometimes in our earlier years, we are so busy giving our kids everything unimportant to be seen as a good parent, that we don’t leave time to provide nutritious meals AND snacks. That we BELIEVE what the marketing reads. That we BELIEVE that if we and our children are not overweight that it’s a green light to eat sugary and additive filled foods.

The honest truth is that all these conditions, plus many more emotional ones linked to gut health and chemical overload, are brewing like a hidden volcano underneath.

It may show up as the fussy kid NOW. As the irritable and impatient child NOW. As the nagging child NOW. OR in a few years time it may show up as constipation or other gastro intestinal issues. As a learning challenge.  As a little bit more flab and then the associated self esteem challenges.  As low energy.  OR in their late 20’s or 30’s it may show up as an autoimmune disease, digestive issues, food addiction, or emotional instability such as anxiety and depression. And as the years roll on, those addictive foods and behaviours become harder to give up, easier to justify and is then repeat into another generation, just a little bit faster.

It is also my fear that we spend our days competing and comparing rather than simply connecting. That there is not enough time to look after our stress and emotional health, and we instead live in a state of adrenal fatigue, internal negativity or emotional denial that will absolutely show up as something we don’t want at some stage soon within ourselves or our relationships.

This is the honest truth of what is happening all around you, if not to you personally. One step toward new intentional learning every day is all it takes to be an incredible parent. It will result in greater self-awareness of your choices and behaviours, and deliver a better one every time.

It really is that simple and the time for change is now.

Take care and be well,

Erin xx

Invest in you, because you’re too important not to.