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Parenting when parenting is needed most

Being a parent and raising children is one of life’s most treasured wonders, filled with joy and boundless love.  And for those of us who are not parents, you would have felt the pure joy your parents and siblings shared together as family over the years.

But we know full well that life conjures up its fair share of challenges and parents take a leading role of how their families behave, think and endure the good times and the not so good times.

During lockdown and COVID-19 every bubble will be looking at their leaders, their parents for advice, to guide them to a positive outlook to motivate them and love to comfort them.  Parenting is tough and challenging, enduring and never-ending.

I was at home having suffered major illness and job loss alone in my bubble as the world continued around me.  Alone at home, 10 hours a day 5 days a week, my new norm recuperating and finding the new meaning of life.  Deep in my thoughts determined to recover, rest and re calibrate the present and the future.  Deep in my internal struggles to control my emotions and keep that voice in my head in check.

All the while still being a parent, husband and one of the leaders in our bubble.  I took the time to be kind to myself, to allow myself to be vulnerable and to share my feelings openly communicated in an age appropriate way.  I kept my emotions in check and shed a few tears in the privacy of my bedroom.  I allowed myself to grieve and acknowledge this juncture in life, but then move on and not to dwell on the past.

I acknowledge that my family were worried about me, but I had to be strong and brave for them, not turn to alcohol and destructive behaviour.  Through the good times and the bad you are the leader, the parent and its easy when everything is rosy.  Its when things get tough that’s when our families our teams need their leaders most.  That’s when we grow as people and become emotionally resilient in tumultuous and uncertain times.

When things are tough is when the real lessons are learnt.  As a parent, my children will endure hardship, grief, illness and setbacks in life.  I had to be the parent when my family needed their parents most, yet at my most vulnerable.  At our most vulnerable during COVID-19.

Its tough, its hard but how we behave as parents now will be life changing for our families, our teams and how they respond once life resumes to normal.  What a wonderful opportunity to teach our children emotional resilience without even saying a word. They don’t need school lessons to learn life’s most precious lessons during lockdown.

They will observe, hear and feel your energy and presence. This will be embedded in their minds when navigating life’s challenges ahead.  We control what that looks like.

Enjoy and maximise this special time together.