One of the things I mention in my book ‘mumhood’ is not something people talk about much. I admit; I didn’t.
I hadn’t realised the extent of this before I became a mum. It’s like anything; until you actually have practical experience of it you don’t tend to pay it much attention. You get on with your more direct life experiences and take little notice of those on the periphery.
Even when working in school was my direct life experience it didn’t really impact on me at first.
But I quickly twigged that all children are different, have core differences, idiosyncratic differences, respond and behave differently. And the next thing I realised was that all were parented differently and the way in which some were parented made them very difficult to engage with! Some kids didn’t seem to have respect, or consideration for others, or how much others could benefit them either, as if no one had taken loving time to build that understanding in them. And the way they behaved affected all the kids in the class, some of it not pleasantly.
When you think on a wider scale, this is how the children of today are going to affect all people in society, never mind a class.
Just think about it – but stop thinking about children as your children for a moment and think about them as they adults they’re going to become when they’ve grown beyond our mothering.
Through their behaviour, most often learned through your behaviour, they will interact with others. When they are grown and you are no longer holding their hand they will interact with others in shops, Uni perhaps, restaurants, cafes, hotels, on public transport, at work, in politics, in cinemas and a variety of other public places. Wherever they come into contact with others, they will affect others.
So what kind of effect do you want that to be? What do you want others to feel about your kids-cum-adults; that they’re a pain to be around or a pleasure to be with?
Because the way you are with them whilst they are still children is mostly going to determine that, despite idiosyncrasies.
That’s why we have to bother with looking after them. That’s why I want to support mums in doing that. Because mums do an incredible job and can have an amazing impact on developing people who are a joy to know, who spread happiness, positivity and love around, who have an uplifting effect and who are noticed for the right reasons not the wrong ones like some of those I taught!
Children affect everyone. Your child will have a wide effect that is starting here with your example as they copy you.
And the more happy, positive and loving you can make that example the better it will be!