The Invercargill Eye - - CONVERSATIONS -

As par­ents we are hugely re­spon­si­ble for the way our kids view their world.

Lots of peo­ple say they could never teach kids but the re­al­ity is, all par­ents are teach­ers.

Our kids learn from us ev­ery day. We shape their val­ues, their be­liefs and their of­ten bumpy jour­ney into adult­hood. How we re­spond through our ac­tions and words has a ma­jor in­flu­ence on how they will act and speak.

Oh, I know, we all grow up through ages and stages and while some of those are uni­ver­sal (talk­ing growth, hor­mones etc here) the way kids will han­dle these de­pends largely on us.

Do you see our world through a neg­a­tive lens or a pos­i­tive one?

Shine a light on your heart here. Noth­ing? Dig a bit deeper. Have a good look around. Be­ing hon­est with our kids starts with be­ing hon­est about our­selves.

They aren’t stupid, these wee dar­lings of ours. They see ‘home’ mum/dad and they see ‘out’ mum/dad. At times the dif­fer­ence can be stag­ger­ing.

A wee ex­am­ple could be when you’re off to visit friends and fam­ily. They par­ent dif­fer­ently to you. You know what? Ev­ery­one par­ents dif­fer­ently to you.

How do you prep your kids for the pos­si­ble ‘‘They don’t wanna play with me’’ sce­nario or ‘‘ I don’t wanna go ‘cos it’s bor­ing’’ or ‘‘(insert name) is weird?’’

How you re­spond here is key. And let’s be hon­est, be­fore you have shut the door your lot are per­haps fight­ing over who’s sit­ting where, who’s choos­ing the first song, who’s look­ing out who’s win­dow rub­bish.

Now ask your­self ‘‘What is my typ­i­cal re­sponse to this?’’

Re­mem­ber­ing of course, that it prob­a­bly took a bit to get this zoo out of the house any­way.

Do you speak agree­ment into their neg­a­tiv­ity or do your words en­cour­age them to get amongst it, find some­thing ev­ery­one can play for a bit at least, be kind and have fun? What have they heard and

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