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Parenting from the Heart

I spend several hours a week swimming at our local swimming pool. It is inevitable that I get to observe many parenting styles.

 

There are the parents who love being with their children, and teach them to swim with laughter, fun, passion and joy. Their energy is contagious, and I really enjoy witnessing parent and child. I have favourite times of the week to swim because I know I’ll end up smiling as a result of seeing the way these families interact. It truly is such a pleasure to be nearby.

 

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Bethany and I collecting seashells, Pakiri beach, New Zealand. 1997

 

 

And then…there are the parents who run a military-style boot camp and use yelling and aggression and rough physical behaviour to ‘teach’ their child. These are parents that I find myself swimming away from as fast as I can. Their energy is poisonous. The child doesn’t have the option of moving away. Sadly. It breaks my heart. No child deserves to live in that atmospheric nightmare.

What strikes me about the latter type of parent is the complete lack of awareness by these people as to how their brutal actions and harsh manner impact not only their child but anyone in listening distance. I find myself wondering: if they behave like this in a public place, what on earth is their parenting like in private? I shudder to think.

Parenting is not an easy job much of the time ~ it’s demanding, relentless, and 24/7 ~ but one thing is clear: when we parent from the heart, it’s a win/win situation for all concerned.

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