Responsible Parenting: Create Memories, Not Expectations

“The paradox is that more than anything in our lives we want our children to be happy. We fear judgement, we fear disappointment, we fear failure so much that we have become constantly worried and stressed as parents…”

“Without noticing, we transfer all these expectations that we have on our children.”

“It takes guts to be acceptive of who your child is, to be at peace, to let go.” 

This article is going to revolve around the TEDx Talk by Austeja Landsbergiene, and the words above are spoken during her talk. She spoke to my heart. She woke me up. Most importantly, she opened my eyes to see what I should stop doing to avoid being the parent I do not wish to be.

Sometimes we think we know what we want for our children, but it’s very difficult to know for sure how we are supposed to parent in order to give our children what they need.

It’s a complex question that all of us parents are still learning every day to find the perfect answer to, which I believe is impossible by the way. There is no perfect way to parent your children. But there’s a way that will ensure we raise secure and happy children.

As parents, we do many things because we are concerned and conscious of what others will think of us. But we have to ask ourselves the following questions:

“What kind of memories do I want to create for my child, at home, in school and everywhere?

Is our parenting founded on kindness and generosity?

Is our parenting founded on criticism and hostility?

What is our habit of mind?

What are we looking for?

Are we looking at the things that we can appreciate? Or are we looking for mistakes?”

When we tell our children to stay home and study hard instead of allowing them to go watch their favourite basketball match, whose expectations are we trying to meet? It is our expectation that our children do well in their studies, but it is the kids’ expectation to watch that basketball match.

Austeja Landsbergiene suggests that we parent out of kindness. And everything will follow suit.

Kindness makes our children feel loved.

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My First Favourite Video of 2018 – MUST WATCH!!!

I’ve been a parent for almost 8 years and I still dare not say I know what I’m doing. Coz the truth is I don’t! Parenting is a constant trial and error process until they leave home! God knows, we will still trial and error with our grandkids…

We parent different ways, but it’s becoming more and more common that we’re setting our kids up for tough competition in the “real world”. Most parents want their children to have the best opportunities presented to them, be selected by top universities and land a good-paying job. The problem is that it’s every parent’s dream, which in turn, makes the competition even tougher. Everyone is grooming their kids, I should too! That’s the mentality in the developed world these days. And who is taking the brunt of all this? You got that right. The kids. Our kids.

I came across this video last night and I immediately thought of you guys! I know you are always on your toes, wanting to do your best for your child. Julie Lythcott-Haims, an academic and author of How to Raise an Adult just rocked my world last night. I kept asking myself why I hadn’t seen this video sooner! Why hasn’t this talk received millions of views? She definitely deserves to be heard! So here I am, sharing my first best 15 minutes of 2018 with you. I hope you liked the video as much as I did.

So what were my favourite parts?

We expect our kids to perform at a level of perfection we were never asked to perform at ourselves.

This, up there, I can’t agree more. Spot on!

And in the check-listed childhood, we say we just want them to be happy,but when they come home from school,what we ask about all too often first is their homework and their grades.And they see in our faces that our approval, that our love,that their very worth,comes from A’s.

And she ended her talk with a powerful bang.

 But I’ve come to realize, after working with thousands of other people’s kids — and raising two kids of my own, my kids aren’t bonsai trees. They’re wildflowers of an unknown genus and species — and it’s my job to provide a nourishing environment, to strengthen them through chores and to love them so they can love others and receive love and the college, the major, the career, that’s up to them. My job is not to make them become what I would have them become, but to support them in becoming their glorious selves.

Parents, I can’t tell you how much I love this lady’s talk. It is such a good reminder for me as I raise my own 3 boys that they need other things in their lives such as love, play and responsibilities and not only academic results.

What was your favourite part of this talk? Share in the comment section and let’s talk!