Lastega ja lastele

Auhinnaga „Lastega ja lastele“ täname ja tunnustame inimesi ja organisatsioone, kelle uued algatused või pikemaajaline tegevus on positiivselt mõjutanud laste ja perede käekäiku.
Tunnustusauhinna taotluste voor on avatud 15. aprillini.

Esita taotlus

Born to be a smart parent

As improving yourself professionally is self-evident, then developing yourself to improve your parenting skills should be as natural.

When I read the slogan of the Mentor program “Smart parent” training I wondered whether it would be wise to spread out one’s life and problems in front of other people. I thought to myself that if the lectures are spent on listening about a trendy and unprecedented parenting method, which will turn all little individuals into good and polite minions in a flash, I will remain rather sceptical. Still, I did register, out of curiosity, hoping I would find some words of wisdom or a trick to use in raising and supporting children in my family.

It became clear already at the first meeting that this is not a novel course on the upbringing methodology that would miraculously make children obedient and parents smart. While sharing my own experience and listening to the stories of the group members, it dawned on me that everyone there already was a very smart parent and I am one of the smart mothers among others. The trainer believed, affirming approvingly, that in fact all of us have the knowledge of being a good and smart parent within.

Why organise training courses if we already are that smart?

In everyday routines, the differing wishes and needs of family members can easily bring up bickering and quarrels. For example, my little son Ott wants to play with his favourite tractor on a weekend afternoon, while I expect my family to sit down for lunch. Conflict arises quickly when I am imposing my own will and ignoring the child’s.

Another example directly from life. On a workday morning porridge milk boiled over. While looking out the window, I noticed that the sleet that had fallen in the night is slowing down the traffic and it is highly likely I will be late for work. In such context, my son’s wish to combine dressing with hide-and-seek did not find a positive response, which in any other morning would have turned the morning hustling of the entire family funny and would have cheered us up.

Not all days are alike and what I learned in the training course is how to increase my own ability to cope with difficult situations and to anticipate cloudier days more effectively. Whether the balance of activity is disturbed by wrong time planning or too much tiredness or various wishes colliding - if I am aware of myself and my needs, the relationships around me are much clearer.

Lately little Ott wants to sleep with his slippers on. At first I noticed myself explaining that this is not customary and when he goes to bed, he should definitely take off his slippers. This was where my arguments ran short and Ott was still convinced that dreams are much sweeter with slippers on. I continued explaining for a few days, but my son held his ground. I pondered over this slipper-situation using the knowledge I acquired at the training course and a moment later thought, as this situation does not endanger the life of my child or damage anyone else’s in any way, then so be it! Going to sleep is so much more peaceful now, I guess Ott is just going through a period, when he wants to sleep with his slippers on. Obviously, he will have some other period soon that will test my parenting abilities.

Sharing my experience with others in the group assures me, that our family is not the only one where, in some mornings, porridge milk boils over and everything seems to go wrong.

What to do so that the emotions of being a parent do not take you over?

One of the reasonable possibilities is to remind yourself of the simple parenting skills from time to time. You can talk it over with a friend or in online forums, read handbooks on growing up together or discuss the problems together in a group under the guidance of a professional trainer.

We all wish the best for our children and think that we know what is best for them. Clearly we do, but we should not forget that while doing it we should listen to the child and co-operate with him or her. They are all little individuals and our role as parents is to help our children grow up to be independent persons who respect others. Sometimes we forget that, but this is natural.

Someone wise has once said, that our children need our help the most at the time, when we are the least ready to help them. The smart parent training gave me lots of skills on how to be there for my family most of the time.

Do not be angry, be surprised!

I learned this phrase during the training session, have used it quite a lot and it can work like a charm. In a situation that I do not particularly like and I run out of words, I press the “surprise button”. This automatically turns off the “anger button” and I have saved a great amount of my own and other people’s nerve cells. This applies to the relationships in my family, but also when dealing with co-operation partners and colleagues.

I wish you well-functioning “surprise buttons”,
Kati Käpp

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