In the Good Old Days…
I have always been an ambitious parent. Something I have inherited from my mum no doubt! Despite the area we grew up in, my mum found a way for us to experience so many interesting things throughout our childhood. We had swimming lessons, music lessons (I played the cello), orchestra, Karate, St John’s Ambulance club and Brownies (a young girl scouts club). My mum didn’t let personal circumstances or living in a low income area stop her from having high aspirations for us. She even managed to get us into one of the best schools in the area at the time, despite the fact it was quite far out. She saw her family’s potential.
So when it came to my turn, there was no question I was going to try and follow suit, although there are some very big differences now. I wanted my children minds to expand far beyond the walls of their home, and their sheltered surroundings.
My mum was a working professional and my dad worked all the hours you could imagine. I love being a stay at home mum and we live in a safe, comfortable town close to London. It has a high price tag, but it’s worth it to live in a secure area with good schools. We just have to watch our income to ensure we all have what we need.
We Live Further From Extended Family…
We have one extra child and no extended family nearby. My parents had two, and may I say, very well behaved girls with three very reliable Aunties and Grandparents only a few minutes away to help out.
Uncertain Economic Times…
Another big difference is the economic times we are living in, and depending on which sector you work in you may be feeling the pinch more than others. But without a doubt, everyone is feeling it. The economy is slowing down and communities will soon be affected if not already, by a loss or cuts to services and redundancies. In our local area, our Sure Start Centre was threatened with closure. And despite our local schools outstanding reputations, it’s becoming obvious that even they are struggling, with difficulties with staff shortages and requests for voluntary donations.
Let’s not even get started on the NHS crisis…
So, with all of these uncertainties, are children in the UK reaching their potential? And if they aren’t, doesn’t that mean the family aren’t reaching their potential?
It seems to me we will be forced to become self reliant. We need to do all we can to support our families without the help of government, but still campaign for the critical help we do need and cannot do for ourselves such as healthcare.
In all honesty, I have often wondered how I was going to replicate the opportunities I had from my own childhood for my children. Financially it would be a stretch to achieve this with all three of my children, but is it even really necessary to do all of that? With so many activities in this area, having a sense of what I need to focus on is paramount. It is so important for my children to be happy and in these uncertain times they have to be confident and have as many adaptable skills as possible.
For these reasons I have decided to focus on five things that I think will help our families be stronger and able to navigate these uncertain times.
5 Reasons I Blog About Reaching Your Family’s Potential
1.Having a secure family home environment will set your child up for life
If your child has a lot of love at home and a place of safety, this will be the secure foundation that you can build your hopes and dreams for your children and family. Simple rituals and rhythms can help you to do this and can become anchors for you and your family. You don’t have to have a fancy, spotless, clutter free home to achieve this! The MOST important thing is that your children feel accepted and loved for who they are, and if this is lacking, encouraging and teaching them will be very difficult in the long run.
Photography credit to Camilla Camp
2. Teaching your children adaptable skills will help them navigate a changing world
There will be jobs in just ten years time that have not yet been created. Similarly, there will be jobs that exist now that will become obsolete. How do you prepare your children for that? By teaching them creativity and skills! This blog will encourage you to look for skills to build in yourself as well as your children so neither of you will be left behind.
3. Recognising our children’s individual strengths helps them feel valued
My three children are TOTALLY different from each other and they don’t have the same strengths and weaknesses. Getting the best out of them will involve three different approaches. All of which I will be sharing with you here on this blog as I explore how to do this!
4. Nurturing ourselves gives us resources to pour into our children
As parents, sometimes we become lost in our ambitions for our children. But I hope this blog will be a gentle reminder to myself and to you that we are our children’s primary example. If you treat yourself well, strive to be healthy, and learn new skills, your children will be more likely to do the same.
5. Exploring creativity helps us have more joy
I truly believe we are meant to create. Not necessarily in an artistic way, but simply finding a way to express ourselves in everyday life. It could be baking, doing a course in computer science or woodworking, decorating houses, or an online side business. It comes in many shapes and forms. I would encourage you to think back on activities you enjoyed in the past, (regardless of whether or not you were good at them) and make some time to do this activity once a week. See how it invigorates your soul!
These are the five reasons I blog about the family reaching it’s potential. What are the most important things for you and your family to help them be happy now, and in the future?