A lesson in slow parenting

I came across this beautiful piece of writing the other day “Pausing to listen to an airplane in the sky, stooping to watch a ladybug on a plant, sitting on a rock to watch the waves crash over the quayside — children have their own agendas and timescales.

As they find out more about their world and their place in it, they work hard not to let adults hurry them. We need to hear their voices.” ~Cathy Nutbrown

I’ve been thinking about this so much lately and then I stumbled upon the most gorgeous post by one of my favorite bloggers Joanna Goddard from A cup of Jo.  It seems she too has been struggling to adjust to her kids pace and stop the frenzy of “doing” and rather take a moment to just ”be”. Even she admits how hard it can be stop hounding our kids with the “hurry up, lets go, we need to hurry!”
It’s like I’m constantly being reminded of this.

I have become so aware of how we rush in life. Everything is race against time. Wake up, breakfast, dress kids for school, brush teeth, check message book, pack soccer clothes, change a nappy, gulp down coffee and kiss everyone good bye. That’s before I even get to the gym or jump in the shower. Then it’s rushing to tidy the house or do some admin, rushing, trying to maximize my morning with Brody and maybe just maybe finding an hour to write a blog post. Before I know it its time to fetch Noah, race to swimming, rushing to do a grocery shop and hopefully get to a play date to relieve everyone’s frustration, including mine. (It helps that there is often wine at these occasions)

Then its getting supper and bath time ticked off the list, the last few often crazy hours of the day where you wonder if your sanity is going to be intact by the time daddy gets home. I no longer embrace and enjoy these moments, instead I put my head down to do the task and rush through the madness hoping to pat my hands dry and sit down for my own supper. I too have forgotten how to just watch my children, to linger by the door and watch them play.

But the thing that really struck a cord with me is that children don’t necessarily ONLY want to get to the carousel, play park, ice-cream shop or movie theatre. They love nothing more than the adventure you go on getting there. Taking the time to stop and look at things that catch their eye or to walking a little slower to greet people, these things seem to really matter to them. Why, even when we have no real time constraints do we hurry our kids, urging them on like their lives depend on it? Why do we find it so impossible to slow down???

What are we missing out on when we cant stop to take it all in and enjoy each moment for all its possibilities?

BY: LEIGH GEARY

Leigh Geary

Leigh Geary

Leigh Geary was born and bred in good ol’ Jozi before moving with her family to Cape Town where she continued high school. She went on and studied Foundation Phase teaching and Child Psychology through Damelin while working in the childcare industry as an aupair. She is married and has two energetic little boys, Noah and Brody, who inspire her to record her stories for them as well as bringing moms together through shared experiences on her blog The Mom Diaries.

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