Dad’s love and intuition

Father

My father never told me… he was not a talkative man… but the way he looked at me, the way he treated me made me feel that way. I never stop admiring how my dad seemed to always intuitively know what was the best for me, without reading any fancy parenting books or having any teaching degrees. I never stopped feeling his silent love.

At the time when men were rarely actively involved in parenting, my dad was always there for me, taking me for long walks, bathing me, putting me to sleep, calming all my fears… And I was a very fearful child scared of everything imaginable: darkness, heights, being alone, fights and arguments, snakes, worms, caterpillars, mice and rats to name a few…

Protection

Dad always asked the right questions, listened without making any assumptions or twisting the meaning of what he heard. Even when he disagreed, he rarely argued – he always found another way… Like the time when I saw him chopping the wood and then picked up his axe. “Don’t touch my axe”, he said. “Why? If you can chop the wood, why can’t I?” “Because you are not much bigger than that axe and I don’t want you to chop your head off”, he patiently explained. “Don’t worry,” I laughed. “My head is probably the only part of my body that I’ll never be able to chop off.” He did not argue, but made sure no axe was ever left within my reach…

Eye

Dad never used gender stereotypes. He never told me that I am a girl and therefore should behave or do things in a certain way. He just accepted me the way I was, without trying to mould me into anything else. It felt like a breath of fresh air, a welcome break from my mum’s and grandma’s constant nagging: “You are a girl, so you should be dressed like this, you should talk like that, you should do this and don’t do that….” I could never quite comprehend where my mum and grandma got all those dos and don’ts, which somehow I always managed to get wrong…

Girl

While my dad rarely expressed himself in words, he had other ways of getting his point across. His communication toolbox included not only admiring looks, but also silent staring, rolling eyes, raised eyebrows, all sorts of winks and a million of other facial expressions. I’m sure, there were some pulled hair too every now and then…

Staring

While parenting my own children, I met a lot of truly amazing dads and learnt lots more from them than from any parenting books or my teaching degrees. I never stopped admiring their creativity, ability to make any activity fun, patience, intuition and perfectly balanced approach to setting boundaries to provide maximum opportunities for challenges and freedom while keeping all risks under control.

Father and daughter

It never stops puzzling me however that so many dads rarely recognise their amazing parenting abilities and intuition and are often quick to retreat and silence their views on parenting. Something that Celia Lashlie also noted in her book “He’ll be OK”.

Do not doubt your parenting skills. Follow your heart, trust your intuition and have fun.

Children do change us and our lives in lots of ways. Enjoy this special period in your life, treasure all the wonderful moments you are having with your children and stop pulling out your hair over not-so-wonderful ones….

Credits:

Be like a child…

“Be like a child – clear, loving, spontaneous, infinitely flexible and ready each moment to wonder and accept a miracle.”

Mother Meera

grayscale photo of toddler smiling

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

“Just because we’re adults, that doesn’t mean we have to make life all about work. Learn how play can benefit your relationships, job, and mood.

In our hectic, modern lives, many of us focus so heavily on work and family commitments that we never seem to have time for pure fun. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we stopped playing… But play is not just essential for kids; it can be an important source of relaxation and stimulation for adults as well.

Playing with your romantic partner, friends, co-workers, pets, and children is a sure (and fun) way to fuel your imagination, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and emotional well-being. Adult play is a time to forget about work and commitments, and to be social in an unstructured, creative way.

Play could be simply goofing off with friends, sharing jokes with a coworker, throwing a Frisbee on the beach, dressing up on Halloween with your kids, building a snowman in the yard, playing fetch with a dog, acting out charades at a party, or going for a bike ride with your spouse with no destination in mind. There doesn’t need to be any point to the activity beyond having fun and enjoying yourself. By giving yourself permission to play with the joyful abandon of childhood, you can reap oodles of health benefits throughout life.

Fun

The benefits of play

While play is crucial for a child’s development, it is also beneficial for people of all ages…

Play helps:

  • Relieve stress.
  • Improve brain function, prevent memory problems and ward off depression.
  • Stimulate the mind and boost creativity.
  • Improve relationships and your connection to others. Sharing laughter and fun can foster empathy, compassion, trust, and intimacy with others.
  • Keep you feeling young and energetic.

Play

Play and relationships

Play is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting. Playing together brings joy, vitality, and resilience to relationships. Play can also heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts. Through regular play, we learn to trust one another and feel safe.

Trust enables us to work together, open ourselves to intimacy, and try new things. By making a conscious effort to incorporate more humor and play into your daily interactions, you can improve the quality of your love relationships—as well as your connections with co-workers, family members, and friends.

  • Play helps develop and improve social skills.
  • Play teaches cooperation with others and is a powerful catalyst for positive socialization.
  • Play can heal emotional wounds.

healing

How to play more

Incorporating more fun and play into your daily life can improve the quality of your relationships, as well as your mood and outlook. Even in the most difficult of times, taking time away from your troubles to play or laugh can go a long way toward making you feel better.

It’s true what they say: laughter really is the best medicine. Laughter makes you feel good. And the positive feeling that comes from laughter and having fun remains with you even after the giggles subside. Play and laughter help you retain a positive, optimistic outlook through difficult situations, disappointments, and loss.

Laugh

Develop your playful side

It’s never too late to develop your playful, humorous side. If you find yourself limiting your playfulness, it’s possible that you’re self-conscious and concerned about how you’ll look and sound to others when attempting to be lighthearted.

Fearing rejection, embarrassment or ridicule when trying to be playful is understandable. Adults often worry that being playful will get them labeled as childish. But what is so wrong with that? Children are incredibly creative, inventive and are constantly learning. Wouldn’t you want to be childish if that is the definition? Remember that as a child, you were naturally playful; you didn’t worry about the reactions of other people. You can reclaim your inner child… The more you play, joke, and laugh—the easier it becomes….”

From The Benefits of Play for Adults

Fresh

Credits:

 

Parenting theories, lessons and tips

“Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children, and no theories.”

John Wilmot

I have three children only and a million of theories, which all turned out to be just a trial and error in practice. Parenting is as crazy as circumnavigating the world without a map…but, oh, what a journey, what an adventure! Journey that at times felt agonisingly frustrating and was driving me absolutely mad! Journey that helped me to get to know myself better and re-evaluate a lot of things in life. Journey that taught me:

  • to focus on enjoying the ride rather than getting to the destination
  • to stop being perfectionist: there are no perfect children, but there are plenty of perfect moments with them
  • to be kind to myself: after all the only ‘perfect’ parents are those who never had children…

And that journey does not end when they become adults. Today I came across an article on parenting adult children with some useful tips:

  • Recognise and respect your differences
  • Discover your own strengths and weaknesses as a parent
  • Let them learn from their own mistakes
  • Avoid making them choose between you and their family
  • No unsolicited advice – let them take their own decisions without interrupting them.

I would also add to this list ‘get your own life sorted’, take care of your own happiness and well-being. On airplanes we are always advised to put our oxygen mask first before helping our children? If we run out of oxygen ourselves, we can hardly provide any help to them…

What are your key parenting lessons or tips?

parenting-quote

Credits:

 

What have you learnt as a child?

If a child lives with criticism
He learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility
He learns to fight.

If a child lives with ridicule
He learns to be shy.

If a child lives with tolerance
He learns to be patient.

If a child lives with encouragement
He learns confidence.

If a child lives with praise
He learns to appreciate.

If a child lives with fairness
He learns justice.

If a child lives with security
He learns faith.

If a child lives with approval
He learns to like himself.

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship
He learns to find love in the world.. !

What have you learnt as a child?


ENDS

This can happen to anyone…

“I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, Mother, what was war?”

Eve Merriam

This is what war does to children…

Can’t stop thinking about children suffering from war in places of my childhood where I felt so happy and safe as a child.

Syria, Ukraine, Russia, BosniaAfghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya… – this can happen to anyone 😦

Sevenly

Image from pinterest.

ENDS

Strong Is The New Pretty AND Be Yourself Is The New Happy

Have you seen the “Strong Is The New Pretty” photo series by Kate Parker?

Kate, a photographer based in Atlanta, Georgia, is proud of her two daughters (Ella, 9, and Alice, 6) and takes beautiful photos to capture them the way she sees them.

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“I wanted this series of images to show their boldness, their strength and the beauty in them, as they are,” Parker writes on her website.

“My girls know that who they are is just perfect. Their silly, adventurous, frustrated, happy, LOUD, athletic, fierce, funny selves. They don’t need to have their hair done, clothes matching, or even be clean to be loved or accepted. Strong is the new pretty.“

strong-is-the-new-pretty-kate-parker-6

Strong Is The New Pretty
AND
Be Yourself Is The New Happy

🙂

strong-is-the-new-pretty-kate-parker-7

From http://www.boredpanda.com

THE END

Fathers in today’s modern families can be so many things…

“Fathers in today’s modern families can be so many things.”

Oliver Hudson

From http://www.wrightsmedia.com

“My friends Katie and Scott… are both Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who work full-time. About a year ago, Scott travelled to the East Coast for work. He was starting a late-morning meeting when his phone rang. His team only heard one side of the conversation.

“A sandwich, carrot sticks, a cut-up apple, pretzels, and a cookie,” Scott said. He hung up smiling and explained that his wife was asking what she should put in the kids’ lunch boxes. Everyone laughed. …

There’s an epilogue to their story. Scott went on a trip and discovered that Katie forgot to make the kids’ lunches altogether. She realized her slipup midmorning and solved the problem by having a pizza delivered to the school cafeteria. Their kids were thrilled, but Scott was not. Now when he travels, he packs lunches in advance and leaves notes with specific instructions for his wife…”

From ‘Lean in’ by Sheryl Sandberg

lunchbox-dad-1From Lunchbox dad

“The may be an evolutionary basis for one parent knowing better what to put in a child’s lunch. Women who breast-feed are arguable baby’s first lunch box. But even if mothers are more naturally inclined toward nurturing, fathers can match that skill with knowledge and effort…

We overcome biology with consciousness in other areas. For example, storing large amounts of fat was necessary to survive when food was scarce, so we evolved to crave it and consume it when it’s available. But in this era of plenty, we no longer need large amounts of fuel in reserve, so instead of simply giving in to this inclination, we exercise and limit caloric intake.

We use willpower to combat biology, or at least we try. So even if ‘mother knows best’ is rooted in biology, it need not be written in stone. A willing mother and a willing father are all it requires… As women must be more empowered at work, men must be more empowered at home.”

From ‘Lean in’ by Sheryl Sandberg

lunchbox-dad-4
From Lunchbox dad

Lunchbox Dad
From http://www.lunchboxdad.com/

Let’s appreciate such truly amazing dads!

🙂

THE END

Let’s look for way forward, not who to blame…

From http://off-campus.weebly.com/

As Michael Straczynski once said, “People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.”

Considering this general tendency, it does not come as a surprise when we see men being blamed for all problems affecting women.

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From http://terry73.wordpress.com

Women do have lots of problems. As Sheryl Sandberg points out in her book Lean In, “the blunt truth is that men still run the world. This means that when it comes to making the decision that most affect us all, women’s voices are not heard equally…”

There are lots of reasons for this. “Women face real obstacles in the professional world, including blatant and subtle sexism… Too few workplaces offer the flexibility and access to child care and parental leave that are necessary for pursuing a career while raising children…”

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From https://twitter.com/workingmothers1

As the result, the whole society suffers: “The laws of economics and many studies of diversity tell us that if we tapped the entire pool of human resources and talent, our collective performance would improve. Legendary investor Warren Buffett has stated generously that one of the reasons for his great success was that he was competing with only half of the population. The Warren Buffetts of my generation are still largely enjoying this advantage. When more people get in the race, more records will be broken. And the achievements will extend beyond those individuals to benefit us all.”

Men in a boardroomFrom http://www.wemadeit.ca

When asked how American women could help those who experienced the horrors and mass rapes of war in places like Liberia, Leymah Gbowee (Liberian peace activist who won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize) responded with four simple words: “More women in power.” We do need more strong women in power who don’t play victim, who don’t make themselves look pitiful, who don’t point fingers but stand firmly and deal with the problems.

Quote

From http://www.pinterest.com

We do need more women in leadership roles to improve conditions not only for all women and children, but for men as well.

“Why improving conditions for men?” one may ask.

As Sheryl Sandberg points out. “Today, despite all of the gains we have made, neither men nor women have real choice. Until women have supportive employers and colleagues as well as partners who share family responsibilities, they don’t have real choice. And until men are fully respected for contributing inside the home, they don’t have real choice either. Equal opportunity is not equal unless everyone receives the encouragement that makes seizing those opportunities possible. Only then can both men and women achieve their full potential. …

We all want the same thing: to feel comfortable with our choices and to feel validated by those around us. If more children see fathers at school pickups and mothers who are busy at jobs, both girls and boys will envision more options for themselves. Expectations will not be set by gender but by personal passion, talents, and interests.”

From http://cdn2.thegrindstone.com

Like Sheryl Sandberg, I hope my children will be able to choose what to do with their lives without external or internal obstacles slowing them down or making them question their choices. If they want to do the important work of raising children full-time, I hope they will be respected and supported by the society disregarding their gender. If they want to work full-time and pursue their professional aspirations, I hope they will also be respected and supported by the society disregarding their gender.

From http://d.gr-assets.com/

Let’s look for way forward, not who to blame…

😉

THE END