Ten Things I Tell Myself to Remember Around Parenting

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How do I love these children as much as I can? How do kids learn things that connect with their souls?

How do the fireflies of inspiration spark their spirits? Can I help keep those iridescent lights of creativity shining?

I ask myself these questions…

I know that for me putting the kids in a schooling environment stopped being an option when I saw their spirits shrinking and the sparkle diminishing from their eyes. I also know that this may not be easy to read, especially if in your heart you feel through my words that there is a glimmer of truth that may relate to your life. In fact if my kids were in school and I read this I might have stopped by now.

Don’t go! I have something lovely to say.

Parents, I love you, you are amazing, the journey of bringing up children for me is not easy, there are twists and challenges. My kids can break my heart and then in an instant fly me laughing to the moon with some joke that may have crept in sideways when I was trying to say something really serious and meaningful.

 

These are Ten Things I Tell Myself to Remember Around Parenting

1. To set my kids free, get out of their way, even if that means for a day, an hour, for five minutes.

You don’t have to unschool to do that it is a mind set, a letting go.

2. Step down

I am not always right, I am often wrong and it is so good to step down.

3. Say sorry

I can burst a bubble of anger in an instant and it is so easy to actually just say sorry.

4. Let them bunk their homework

Let them, at least once in a while if they have to do homework, sometimes just be on their side. Mine don’t have homework but when they did I let them bunk.

5. Be kind

And if you find you are not being kind, go back to point number 2.

6. Let them run, climb, play  and be silly

Kids need to run, climb and muck around, so do adults really, I am aware that I need to sometimes just run and muck around and so do they.

7. Give them a chance to relax and kick back

Even as an unschooling parent I have to stop myself from turning things in to a lesson, sometimes they just want to read and relax, I have learnt or am learning to let them be.

8. Be grateful

Even when I am struggling to cope with another spillage, argument or fight, I remind myself how lucky I am, there is so much to be grateful about to have these happy healthy wonderful beings in my life.

9. And when you feel like laughing with them laugh. Don’t let the adult in you stop the child within you from playing

I remind myself to do this, as sometimes when having fun I stop myself, I don’t know why, the adult voice in me tries to take over, I am learning to push that voice aside and laugh and enjoy my kids as much as I can.

10. And love them, then love them a little bit more.

LOVE

 

I am not a shiny parent set here on earth with angel wings and a glowing halo, I get grumpy and impatient. I have to remind myself constantly to play and ease up. I sometimes go in to the bathroom and bite my fist. But I do check myself as to how I show up because I am aware that we (and if you are a parent I include you in this) lovely parents, are creating the future, these children will be bringing up our grandchildren.


So lets to do our best to put our own personal stuff aside in the moments of frustration. This time is moving so incredibly fast and in a flash their childhood will be a distant memory.

Let’s love them as much as we can.

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About the Author

Lehla is an illustrator and an author of books, she has written for The Guardian. She trained as an actress at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She wrote The South African Illustrated Cookbook, The Lovely Book for Wonderful Women and she illustrated a kid’s book by M.J. Amani called ‘Excuse Me, I’m Trying to Read’ and also ‘I am Me, You, Us and We’ by Caroline Trowbridge. Above all she is a mother to three fast growing kids, she juggles her time between them and working on new books and projects. She has recently co authored with Anthony ‘Jump’, Fall, Fly – from schooling, to homeschooling, to unschooling’ Her art work can be seen at http://lehlaeldridge.wix.com/lehla-

4 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Darcel says:

    Love this! I like that you said you don’t need to be an unschooling parent to put these practices in motion. We all do what we feel is best for our kids, but as adults, we often get in their way a little too much. I’ve learned that letting go and being with them makes us all relaxed and happy.

  2. Hi Darcel, Yes for sure I don’t think you need to be an unschooling parent to put these ways of thinking in motion. It is like you say the letting go bit that is important and for me that is the thing I am learning the most in this journey. Like right now the kids have just gone outside in the rain and the dark semi clothed on a trampoline! And I know that the memory of doing that with their friend is more important than the fact that they may catch colds…the mother bear in me had to let go in this moment and I chose to put fun at the top of the agenda…and it is worth it I think!

  3. Olivia says:

    Lovely reminders. I always say that unschooling is simply parenting.

  4. I think you are right there Olivia.

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