Throughout my own journey of discovering how to raise happy and successful children, I’ve battled many inner demons about my own relationship with my parents. One thing I know for sure is that the relationship with your parents shapes you forever, even after decades of not living together.
What I also know is that it shapes each person in a completely unique and unpredictable way, but most importantly, that it is in our complete control to decide what defines us. So, my take away from all this research and experience? As parents, we are our children’s first and primary teachers and act as role models in how to act and how to experience the world around them.
We have an enormous impact, yet we have absolutely no control.
I now have an 11 year old who has started being less interested in the family and is more caught up in her own world listening to music, drawing and, yes, watching her tech. Over the past few years I noticed how much less time we were spending together due to school, work and social commitments.
And I’m determined to make time every day, as hard as it may be, to connect with her. For us, that’s the dinner table, the only regular opportunity for us to sit together with no other purpose other than to eat and be together. Some days there’s very little two-way interaction. You know, when it goes like this: How was school? Fine. What was the best part of the day? Coming home. What did you do at recess? Eat lunch.
But every now and then, we enter into this magical world of chatter and laughter and those are the moments I value! Raising children has taught me that I am in fact the student and my children are the teachers. I am learning from them every day, just like I learnt from my parents.
According to recent research it is believed that the average British family only get to spend 49 minutes a day together!
It has also been said that the sign of a resilient family - the ones who can bounce back from tough times & experiences is often down to the strength of their relationships with each other In this video - Mother and daughter - Clare and Rosie (9 years) talk about how they are working really hard to save their family unit from completely disconnecting with each other.
Clare is a secondary school senior teacher who is widely recognized for helping spearhead mental health and wellbeing strategies in schools. In 2015 she was one of the first in the country to be appointed in the pastoral role as The Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing for a large comprehensive secondary school in Surrey.
She was also announced as the runner up for the 2015/16 Community Champion Award. The Community Education Awards recognized Clare for making an outstanding contribution to helping children become positive community members.
Listen to Rosie and Claire Erasmus talk about how to strengthen family relationships and young Nicole Sanders takes a stand in support of family dinners and discusses the positive impacts of family time.
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Dream Cast Kids Journal.
We have included writing prompt to help reinforce the concepts such as empathy and kindness, gratitude and more in both the Dream Cast Journal and Dream Cast Conversation Starter Cards tying the learning experience together perfectly.