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For Mothers

For Mothers: Protection for our children

Do not be anxious!

We need to protect our children. As part of that protection, we need to rise above fear for our children. Why? Because worry, anxiety and stress can cause strife and disagreement, disharmony and discontent. They can destroy the peace and harmony of the home. We must try to avoid it… in order to protect our children, even from ourselves.

I’m guilty

Sometimes I worry for my son. He’s an able, healthy, decent human being. And yet, I worry anyway.

This gets in the way of fun and it gets in the way of his freedom and his learning curve. If I worry, I distract him. Or I persuade him, rather than leave him to his own judgment. 

He won’t learn unless I leave him alone.

Young ones

Of course whether our children are young, or old, we seek to protect them. But the level of protection is relative to their age and capability. And so, the little ones need much more of our direct protection for their physical and emotional well being, than do the older ones.

Love them

Let’s not hound our children, or fret about their decisions. Let’s lead and guide them so that they will learn and grow as they need to. Let’s set boundaries that will protect them on the one hand, and release them to grow on the other. Balance, age appropriate freedoms and boundaries, will help our children to feel loved, nurtured, safe… and free.

Bless them with respect

When we endorse our children’s good decisions and choices, we build them up. When we throw cold water on their ambitions and endeavours, we demoralise them.

Let’s look forward to the future with hope and positive expectation. And let’s show our children we have faith in them. Let us give them safe guidelines and trust in their best, protecting them from harm but allowing them to make their own achievements and even their own mistakes.

That’s what I’m saying to myself as much as to anyone else.

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For Mothers

For Mothers: Teaching about Friendship

What is friendship?

An old adage (at least in Canada where I grew up) goes like this:

“If you want to have a friend, you’ve got to be one.”

I think teaching about friendship to our children is likely something we do instinctively. It’s a valuable and an important area for our children’s growth.

But what is a friend?

I grappled with socialising my child because I wanted him to get on with others but I encouraged depth and quality of friendships rather than breadth and popularity in his relationships.

As far as I make out, a friend is someone who is loyal and dependable, someone who is supportive in your ups and downs and for whom you are supportive toward them in theirs.

A friend helps when you need help, accepts your help when they need yours. 

A friend laughs when you need to laugh and sits with you when you are sad or disappointed.

A friend is reliable, dependable. But also, in friendship, you enjoy one another’s company and perhaps share common interests.

Popularity v solemnity

It’s great to be popular but it’s also important to learn to be on one’s own. Having people around who affirm you is important but learning to be on your own comfortably is also valuable. If we always need others around to affirm us, what happens when we get a job in a far away land or where there are few colleagues? If we always need people to entertain us, what happens when we’re alone?

I believe whole-heartedly, we need to know how to hang out with others and equally, we need to know how to enjoy our own company.

Loyalty and reciprocity

A friend sticks by you (and you stick by him) in times of trouble: illness, grief, celebration….

Misguided loyalty can arise when a friend won’t rat on their buddy when something criminal or dangerous or life-threatening is occurring. On those occasions, a true friend will get help as needed!

Friendship hopes and wants the best for the other person, is not jealous or demeaning, is respectful and encouraging. 

Friendships start from a very early, pre-school age. 

We all need friends. I’m still learning and hope I’ve downloaded what I can to my offspring but am also learning how to learn from the next generation. Once they are adults, our children can, in a unique sort of way, become friends, if we respect each other, admire and encourage each other, and release one another to be the best person they can be.

Those are my thoughts on Friendship. I’d like to know what you make of it. Feedback is always invited:)