One question I often ask adults in my workshops is “what do you REALLY want more than anything for your children?” So before you read on, take a moment to think of something that you wish for your child and their future. Most answers I hear are things such as: happiness, confidence, positivity, resilience, and to feel loved… this list could go on and on but I’m guessing your answer to the thing that you really want for your children will be centred on contentment of self and wellbeing?
So how is it that can we really embed all of these qualities in our children and how can we bring them up to be content within themselves and in life despite the natural challenges they will face? When children are born and in their early years they are happy in their own skin and ultimately their most authentic selves. In this fast paced, demanding world, how can we help our children to feel confident in who they are and how can we really nurture our children so they grow up knowing their worth and feeling empowered in their own abilities? My belief is that the answer could be in authentic parenting.
To be authentic means to be unashamedly you, to live by your beliefs and to be deeply connected to your inner self. It enables us to feel committed to our values despite outer circumstance and breeds an inner confidence which lets us step into our own uniqueness and live in a way which feels right for us. It helps us to release insecurities, be a little less judgemental and be courageous! If we want our children to grow to have deep sense of who they are and harness these traits, perhaps focusing on authenticity and teaching them to listen to the inner signals of their own thoughts, feelings and instincts could be a way for them to keep grounded to their beliefs and grow as their individuality, with a greater ability to deal with life.
Unfortunately, in today’s society it can be very hard build authenticity in our children when it can feel challenging to parent in an authentic way. All around us are subliminal messages of how parenting should look, or how our children should be. Every person has different views on the perfect way to raise a child and we will unfortunately hear some very unwelcome opinions. This makes us question ourselves, doubt our parenting and ultimately waiver in our own self-worth. Unfortunately, we are conditioned to look outwards for how we can do things right or for assurance which can cause us to set high expectations upon ourselves and unintentionally onto our children. Through authentic parenting, we can regain control and reclaim our power, not only as parents but as individuals. We need to liberate ourselves in order to raise liberated children.
In part 2 of her beautifully written blog, Gemma shares some insightful ways to support you on your journey to authentic parenting. Check back on 14th September to read more.
About Gemma Baird
Gemma lives in Carlisle, Cumbria with her two children. She works in a school, supporting children with additional needs, and runs nurture groups for children with varying needs. Her experience of working with children and passion for children’s happiness and wellbeing has led her to train as a Mini me yoga ambassador. She is now on a mission to bring yoga and mindfulness into every school setting and home in and around Cumbria. She offers numerous workshops to educators or any adult who is interested in using mini me yoga with the children in their lives. Gemma can also provide yoga sessions at home or in educational settings for children aged 3-14. She invites you to get in touch to find out more about her services and how to discover the magick of mini me yoga.
Contact Gemma on Facebook: minimeyogacumbria