There are no perfect families
If you were under the impression that as a parent your job was all about creating a perfect family, stop right there. We can sometimes play happy families, just look at facebook! But what you really want is a resilient family.
We all know a family that seems perfect, maybe we try to model them or copy them, maybe we even compare our children to their children. Do you remember those children when you were growing up? I do, and none of them ended up being superheroes because superheroes don't exist and neither do perfect families.
Parents today always feel criticised. We are never doing enough. We have too much advice and pressure, too many decisions to make about schools, languages, and how we manage their free time, technology, bullying, healthy diet and image, or whether they are mindful enough?? The list is endless, when do we get to have fun?
Resilience allows you to see the best in your child and yourself. Focus on the good things as much as you can, and think about what you enjoy doing with your child, not what other people tell you. Realise that everything is a phase and won't last forever and learn and move forward with your child, probably you can remember that happening already. Also learning how to laugh with your children is the best tonic in any family, and reminds you of why you wanted a family in the first place!
If you need a bit of extra help to get you through a tough time, please get in touch and we can work it out together. There are many ways to help your child and primarily you are the one to do that. Schools, teachers and psychologists should be there to support you so that you can give your best to your child.
Here in Barcelona Jorge Barudy is one of the leading international figures in resilience and families; his work has been an inspiration and guiding tool in my work and with my own family. If you read Spanish, I highly recommend his books or you can read his work online.
There has been a lot of amazing work done in the UK and Australia recently where resilience and children's mental health are being taken seriously in families and schools. The 'modern' world has delivered some statistics that we need to address. Unfortunately here in Barcelona I have not come across one school that has a resilience program but I am working on it, and would love my own children to be able to attend a school where resilience was part of the curriculum.
John Oates writing about resilience and families in the UK
¨The concept of resilience has an important part to play in the discourse of parenting support. Resilience is central to an individual’s capacity to thrive, whatever the circumstances. Resilience is linked to two key factors: the quality of the relationship between parents and children and supportive community networks. Thus resilience is not a fixed quality, dependent solely on the cards that have been dealt to one. ‘Genetic advantages are useful but as social beings in the modern world our greatest advantage is to be able to know our own minds and those of others, and therefore to stand up for something or someone ...’ (Kraemer, 1998). Resilience is fostered by parents and family, but also by school and community. ¨