Wednesday, 16 January 2013

You are being watched.

Kids need role models, it's great to have someone to show them that they can be an astronaut, a successful athlete or Prime Minister. But small children start with role models much closer to home. Little children are learning at a fantastic rate and what they want to learn most of all is how to be human. So they watch the nearest human to them and generally speaking that's the parent.

It's a scary but my kids are going to use me as a role model. They already are.

It was my post last week that got me thinking about this 
"Because if I don't try something new how can I expect my children to?"
It doesn't just apply to trying new things, it applies to everything I do and that is one heck of a responsibility.

There are the obvious thing like if I were to use bad language then they probably would use it too. If they were to see me leave the toilet without washing my hands then in all likely-hood they would too. If I use my mobile phone when crossing the road, or surf the net instead of interacting with other humans then when they get their chance they will too.

I try to model healthy eating for them, I think I cook nutritious meals (find out more about that here ) and I make sure we eat them together at the table without anything to distract us. I model exercise by taking them on walks, cycle rides and going to the pool. I model manners and politeness daily (at least I hope I do).

But its the less explicit stuff that is really mind-blowing. My kids look to me to see how to be happy, how to be confident, how to behave, even how to move. They watch me to learn how to be kind, considerate, generous and empathic, I have to model that and they will know if I'm faking.

Never mind the athlete, the doctor, business director or any host of other things my daughters might like to be when they grow up, the one thing I hope I can count on is that they will be an adult. And that awesome adult I want my kids to become? I have to model that.
Just like you have to for your kids.

Friday, 11 January 2013

New Year Resolutions

"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever."
Neil Gaiman

I am absolutely scared of making mistakes. For starters I hate being wrong and when I have made a big mistake I tend to beat myself up over it, a lot. But I love this quote and really I do need things try new things, I don't want to stay the same forever, I think that would be really boring and in trying things I need to take risks and that means I may sometimes make mistakes. It brings to mind another quote on learning to fly from the book 'Staying OK' by Amy and Tom Harris which I think goes 
If you wait for the courage to come you may never take off
(I can't find my copy of the book but that is the sentiment if not the exact words).

I have to jump in there with both feet. And if there is a mistake I'll try not say 'oops'  but instead 'hmmm, that's interesting' and ask myself what I can learn from it. Because if I don't try something new how can I expect my children to? If all they see is a Mum too scared to do anything how will they grow as people? And to be honest I want to spare them the guilt cycle I all too easily get myself into.

So my New Year resolutions is to try new things and if I make mistakes so be it.