How many of us would describe the daily slog of parenting as a never-ending ball game – planning moves, dodging challenges, playing and replaying moves over and over in your head to get to the other side of those imaginary goal posts? But while it may feel like we’re all madly fumbling the ball – at the end of each day to our families we ALWAYS emerge as champions!
If you think back to the first people who ever believed in us it was likely to be our parents or family. And now as a parent, carer or role model, you also know the importance of having someone believe in you, provide words of encouragement or just be in your corner when you need it. Whether it’s your child’s health, education, what they eat, or how much time you all spend together – there is no one better placed to be the captain of your team than you.
There isn’t a one size fits all formula for thriving families. Australian households are changing, with an increasing number of blended, one-parent, and extended families living under the one roof. And these families all have different incomes, educations, histories, backgrounds and family values and traditions. But one thing remains the same. Families, in whatever shape they take are the first providers, protectors, and promoters of their child’s and their family’s well-being.
Whether it’s planning meals, balancing work and family life, engaging with teachers or speaking up at the GP when your child seems off, we’re all playing offense daily to position our families to win.
There’s certainly no playbook for parenting, but we do have few pointers that we can all use to make the role of captain a little less daunting.
- Balancing work and home life – from making sure the expectations with your employer are clear, to turning off your work phone and practising a little mindfulness exercise before you arrive home, there are a lot of tips and tricks available to get the balance right for your family. Check out the raising children network for more ideas.
- Be their first teacher – kids learn from so many people throughout their early years, but learning begins at home. Check out some tips here on the easy ways to build your little one’s literacy early.
- Trust your instincts – you know your kids and family better than anyone, so if you are feeling unsure about advice from a teacher, coach, or GP – don’t be afraid to speak up. Here are some tips on being a great advocate for your child’s health.
- Learn from others – no two parent’s journeys are exactly the same, but our friends or extended families could have some wisdom or great ideas on what has worked for them. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been sharing their parenting wisdom for more than 60,000 years, passing along important cultural traditions from generation to generation. Check out one family’s story here.
- Be your own champion too – parenting takes a lot of energy and to be our family’s strongest advocate we have to take care of ourselves as well. Make sure you consider your own well-being too.