Yesterday Parents@Work hosted their first special event Connecting with Kids: Building resilience and self-worth in your children. Emma Walsh, founder of Parents@Work interviewed positive psychologist Sarah-Jayne Whiston from Bright Ideas Psychology.
The interaction and personal sharing’s of Sarah-Jayne and the other participants on the call (including our host Emma!) were invaluable. It felt like a very supportive place to delve into some hot topics we don’t often get the chance to explore in our day-to-day business of being a working parent.
The session was jam packed with gems of wisdom but the key take-outs were…
- We build strong foundations of a deep connection with our children by consistently offering them open and honest communication
- Question yourself: ‘how much are you really open to the connection and understanding of the ‘world of the child’?
- Honour your child when they offer a reflection – check in with your own ‘vibe’ or energy and ask yourself if you could be a more active listener.
- Self-care is our number one responsibility as a parent. Similar to being on a flight – we need to adjust our facemask in an emergency first if we are to effectively support another.
- Mindfulness and ‘dropping back into the body’ are key tools to developing great self-awareness and self-care.
- Take care how you’re thinking about work. You choose how you start your day and remember your presence is contagious – there is a great responsibility in that – both as a parents and a worker.
- It is normal to be human and make mistakes – no one is perfect, not even Supermum! Bring understanding to the picture whenever things go awry.
- Communication and expression doesn’t always have to be positive. Allow space for all feelings – your own and your child’s.
- Bring lightness to the mix. A playful attitude as well as being present, understanding and flexible are key ingredients to building a strong connection with children of any age.
- Quality over quantity time with children needs to be valued, especially where guilt gets in the way of a parents perception or judgement of themselves.
- It is possible to re-build a deep connection when children get older. We can do this by adapting to their changing needs, offering them more responsibility to build trust and allowing them the space to make their own mistakes without judgement or ridicule.
- We can support children to deal with bullying and peer pressure by equipping them with the skills to 1) deal with rejection and 2) to respond in a way that fosters self-empowerment and integrity i.e. role modelling what loving behaviour looks like.
Dialling in to the teleconference on my mobile made the experience so simple to be a part of. I didn’t feel the need to speak as I didn’t have any burning questions at the time however I got so much out of hearing the experiences and queries of other working parents – they actually helped me realise I did have some questions!
Thank you SJ, Emma and Parents@Work – I’m definitely looking forward to more.
Teleconference attendee and working parent.
If you missed out on joining this special event and would like a recording of the call, please request one via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another great resource SJ recommends for working parents is the Raising Children website. They have a whole series on Work and Child Care articles.
More special events are already planned. To receive updates and what courses and special events Parents@Work run subscribe to our monthly newsletter here (scroll to the bottom of the page for the sign up form).