Last Saturday we had a family day out to celebrate my son’s birthday and it was lovely. Full of fun and laughter, and arguably most importantly, fabulous food (the chocolate pudding was delicious!).
What made the day even more wonderful is that if you’d said to me a few years ago we’d have a day like this I would probably have laughed at you. Honestly, I’m not sure I could ever see a time when a whole day would go well. There were times when a good hour felt unachievable, let alone a whole day, and the thought of a day out filled me with dread and often didn’t feel worth the stress.
Now though, it’s OK more often than not and we have lovely days out. I’m not saying we don’t have moments, of course we do, but they pass quickly and we can get on enjoying ourselves.
The change has been huge not just with my son, but with me as well. I had to start believing we could do it and stop dreading it. My mindset had to change just as much as my son needed support.
I’ve spent the last 4.5 years using this approach to parenting, and I have no doubt it’s been one of the key reasons that things have changed.
One of the central aspects of NVR is self-care and over the last 18 months I’ve done a huge amount of work on me. I’ve put myself first (something I was good at telling others, but useless at actually doing myself) and taken time to understand my own triggers, my own frustrations and limiting beliefs. I’ve released long held emotions that were impacting on me and healed the trauma I had experienced early on as a parent. It’s not been an easy road and I’ve been fortunate to have great support around me to guide and help me.
Putting yourself first isn’t something to feel guilty about. It’s not about ignoring everyone else, just understanding that when you are in a good place you are able to better support those around you.
There hasn’t been one thing that has resulted in this change. There isn’t one magic bullet unfortunately. We’ve used a mix of things, using NVR as the framework, that have come together to move us forward.
My son has had support and help to, not just from me but from others in our support network – friends, therapists and family members. I do believe that how we parent has a huge impact on our children, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need support from others as well.
I truly believe that we will continue to grow and change as a family for the better and I’m excited for the future.
If you’d like help from me to move forwards, come and join us in the hub. It’s where I teach everything from helping with your mindset, to understanding anger and managing meltdowns, to sensory support, to parenting teenagers and lots more. You also have me available to support you anytime in our Facebook group just for hub members and each month we have other experts joining us.
You can move forwards, however dire it might seem now and however far away that light might seem at the end of the tunnel. Keep believing in yourself.
You can find all the details here https://connectivefamily.com/connectiveparentinghub/