Dear Parents

Talking to some parents, I feel their pain and anxiety, I have also been in the same situation. They are worried about how to bring their children up. Some wish there was some instruction for being a parent. I am sorry, there has been no time in history when your new born baby has been placed in your arms and the midwife says “oh and here is the manual!”

We, as parents, bring our children into the world and just as they are learning to become an adult, we are learning to become good parents. We can only do our best. Luckily, we have never seen adults still in nappies, potty training. Children have this natural instinct to want to emulate adults. It is our job to give them the everyday life skills so they can thrive in this world. Even though, society pushes the fact that children have to go to school and get qualifications, in fact, it is NOT THE LAW. You do need to provide them with a stable, loving, supportive environment, provide for their physical needs and to equip them with the skills to be a well-rounded member of society.

My youngest son was home educated and has no qualifications, yet he can run a household and look after the dog. My oldest son, who has Asperger’s syndrome, thrived at school and ended up with a first degree with honours in computer science with artificial intelligence, yet he is unable to run the household. Every child is different.

I went to the Happy Teens conference yesterday and a young lady with mental health issues gave some very good words of advice. She said that only a child’s parent is the expert on that child, not the GP, not the specialist and not the consultant. We know our children intimately, we carried them in our womb, we looked after them as a baby, we have been with them through every step of their lives and we are their EXPERT.

We fear other people’s judgement, well ignore them as they are not living your live day in day out with your child. I have made some major decisions in my life that society may frown about, however, I had to make these decisions for my own wellbeing and ultimately, for the wellbeing of my children. Luckily, my family supported me and was able to understand the situation and yes, it worked out perfect in the end.

One big tip I will give you is to be curious, re-connect back into the innocent wonder that a child has. Children try things out, they research with all their senses and they experiment and yes, they do make mistakes and learn from them. Connect with your child, learn together, ask them their opinion. After all they are just small adults and you will be surprised with the answers they come up with.