Adam’s message is one of love, hugs and kisses in the family and for me is the secret sauce of parenting and a happy family. Every child is different yet we are all receptive to the same endless advice and commentary on issues that affect their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing and development.
How can we filter all this information and advice to make it relevant to the specific needs of our very unique children? How do we avoid the anxiety triggered every time we hear news stories or research findings about the effects “everything” is having on our children? How can we keep up to date and be prepared to guide and help and our children cope with the growing list of issues they face as they struggle to “Fit In” and make it in an increasingly complex and often hostile world.
The answer is we can’t.
As parents we all come from a different place. We each had our own different parents growing up, different childhoods, different opportunities, different experiences and events in our lives that shape who we are how we deal with life and how we parent. Some of us struggle with our past, some of us benefit from growing up in stable loving environment. Some of us have natural parenting instincts or strong powers of perception. So how can we all deal with everything that is thrown at us and keep up when we simply don’t have all the tools and skills necessary to be the “Perfect Parent”. Well my experience has thought me that there is no perfect parent. There is no perfect blueprint or perfect instruction manual to raise the perfect happy child. There is just too much psychology, emotion and a million other variables that makes parenting a difficult and almost impossible job to get it 100% right 100% of the time.
So, where does that leave us?
There is no clear cut right and wrong to raising children with different needs, wants and abilities. We try to figure it all out by picking up relevant tips that address our worries of the day in a jungle of media noise and social networks. But despite all the noise, differences in opinions and individual characteristics of children there is one constant approach that will wrap a warm happy blanket around your whole family and give you a good chance of getting it at least a little bit right.
No matter how different a child is or how different parents are, expressions of Love, shared reading and interactions with nature keep recurring as the key ingredients to raising a happy well adjusted child.
You see, when you read to them from a young age you are creating an unbreakable bond with them. You are creating and nurturing physical, emotional and verbal channels of communication with them so you can understand each other better as they grow.
When you tell them you love them every day you will teach them to both love and be loved. You will teach them empathy and help them display emotion and affection. From love comes respect for both you as their parent, for themselves and people around them.
When you encourage them to engage with nature you will inspire them to use nature as a source of strength, inspiration and spiritual guidance and enlightenment. You will help them discover a safe quiet place where they can go and cast away their worries, ease their anxieties and reboot their systems.
But just like any recipe the key ingredients will need a little seasoning to suit your taste. For me I have always added respect, manners, gratefulness and the word “No” into the pot and garnished our family dish with Giggles, Hugs, Kisses and the constant pursuit of a creating magical memories for us all to share. Through endless weekend family excursions we have created many magical family moments that will be remembered by our children forever.
But here is the most beautiful part of it all. When our children become parents we will have provided them with the tools they need to raise happy children in the future using the very same recipe you have passed on to them.
This is how we protect the future of our grandchildren and future generations. This is how we inspire a better happier environment for our children’s children. This is how we will be remembered and leave our mark on the world.
This is Adam’s message and it is this philosophy in action that has inspired my books and has helped me, and many of other families deal with the daily challenges of raising children.
“If you read to your children form the moment they are born, tell them you love them and take them for a walk as often as you can your doing something right. The rest we just have to figure out as we go.”