Last Friday, I was invited to share and discuss my parenting approaches with my kids at the Home Nation Round Table.
Some become parents by accident, others worked hard to become one. And many were blessed by the divine GOD to be parents. However you come to be one, parenting is universally recognized to be THE most challenging and demanding position held by adults.
I LOVE being a parent. I love to LISTEN to parenting experts talk about parenting. I love to TALK about parenting with other parents. And I love to SHARE my parenting journey any chance I get. So much so that I have chosen to make IT my career path.
So, when the Home Nation Round Table beckoned, I was excited to partake. This program is produced by MindChamps Media and broadcasted on Champion Parenting Club’s ChampsTV.
Each week, different groups of eclectic panel of parents are invited to come to the Round Table to share their perspectives and reflect on the issues that influence modern parenting practices. Some of the parents who had been on the show include thought leaders, parenting experts, CEOs, professionals and celebrities like Sharanjit Leyl, Adrian Pang, R Chandran and Rajiv Dhawn. Sometimes, Gen Y and Gen Z children were also invited to share their unique experiences and perspectives.
“Home Nation RoundTable gives viewers the opportunity to learn from the experiences and aspirations towards champion parenting from different panels of participating guest parents from all walks of life as they discuss and expand on topics familiar to all parents in any part of the world.”
~ Nora Tann, General Manager of MindChamps Media
At The Set OF Home Nation Round Table
The people at MindChamps Media were so hospitable! We were welcomed, fed, hosted and beautified by the team.
Speaking with television cameras around you was more nerve wrecking than I thought. Despite having been featured twice on LIVE TV and a LIVE ‘televised’ online forum, I still felt the butterflies in my stomach when I went on air. Thank heavens for good camaraderie from the fellow parents who went on the program with me!
During the session, we were asked three questions. Here’s the first one. (I am posting my thoughts here on the off-chance that the answers I shared on film were not adequately or eloquently presented.)
What is one thing that challenges me as a parent? (And how did I overcome those challenges?)
For me there were so many challenges to speak of. But the ONE challenge that I am constantly checking myself against is recognizing that my kids are their own persons and giving them the room to conduct themselves as such.
Often times, my upbringing and experiences cloud my better judgements when it comes to the kids’ life. I want them to win (ALL THE TIME). I want them to have EVERYTHING.
Of course, rationally I know it is not possible. But because of our strong emotional connections to our kids, parents are sometimes not rational persons.
I am acutely aware of my incongruity when I sometimes insist that the kids follow a “proven” curriculum or path because in my mind, that IS common sense and THE most logical one. For example, I insist that they finish their meals before they turn on the TV or that they need to be sitting down to do their homework (sometimes my kids do homework lying on the floor or standing instead of sitting).
I would love for my daughter to learn and play the piano (I imagined how beautifully she will play) but she has no interest in the instrument at all. Instead, she has decided to be a drummer. Hmmm… ok, I can deal with some rock and roll…
My kids challenge me sometimes… “WHY must we do it YOUR way? Our way works too..”
And they are right. Sometimes their ways work. Most times, they don’t and I hear the sweet, sweet words “OK mom, you are right.” But if I want to encourage them to question and be curious, I need to relinquish enough control to allow them to experiment and learn what works for THEM.
Then, there is the dreaded “F” word – FAIL.
Allowing them to learn in their way also means I have to give them the latitude to fail. *GULP* That’s a rather large pill to swallow, don’t you think?
But I recognize that this has more to do with my ability to accept failure than the actual act of my child failing at something. Afterall, it is well-documented that some of the most successful individuals have held multiple failures before their celebrated achievements.
I remember a parenting workshop I conducted some months back where I shared a personal story of allowing my son to fail his Maths test. A mother in the workshop gave a loud gasp and said she could never do that. When I probed further, she divulge that she was concerned how that failed grade would cost him ascension to the top class in school.
It was a valid concern. One that I had as well. But, if you look at the larger scheme of things, allowing my son to fail a Maths test at primary school and learning his lesson is a much better bet than hedging his failure at something larger in life later. (But that’s just me.)
I don’t think I have fully overcome my challenge. But I am mindful over my thoughts, actions and self-belief. What I find helpful when my fears for their well-being or their future drive me to “push” them to do things my way is to be honest with my kids. This opens a channel for us to exchange our perspectives with one another. The outcome varies depending on the variables of the situation. But what is constant is the stacking foundation of communication between the kids and me. My kids have learned to be accountable for their own decisions and I have learnt to trust my kids to make their own decisions. And I am hopeful that this trait will reinforce them when they go out into the “REAL WORLD” on their own.
I found this video on HNRT which may be helpful to learn how other parents communicate and connect with their kids.
Till our next post, love yourself, love one another.