‘Double de-clutch! Yeah, I know what you mean. We used to have an old morris minor,’ laughed my friend on the other end of the phone.
My dad’s hobby was cars. I grew up in the heart of Africa in the sixties and early seventies, which meant that I drove a number of ancient bangers that most collectors would now love to have in their classic collection. I had my licence at age sixteen and those early driving days required a whole range of skills that weren’t part of the official test but were mandatory for keeping the wheels turning. Double de-clutching required slow and careful gear-changing to prevent the ear- jarring rasp of metal on metal. You also had to know how to push-start your car (sometimes as a solo act). Windscreen-wipers were so poor that you would periodically put your hand out the window with a cloth to try to clear the screen a little. Steep hills were a feat in driving, with undersized engines and slow gear changing that eroded what speed you did have. When you knew you had a steep climb ahead, you accelerated as hard as you could on the downhill approaching the climb and then you prayed there would be nothing to slow your speed. Lose too much speed and you would have to stop, change back to first gear and laboriously crawl the remainder of the hill. I remember one particularly steep hill in the Matopas, Zimbabwe, where we had to roll back down and start all over again.
I think we learnt a lot of skills and patience driving those old iron steeds but now it’s great to be able to jump in my car, turn the key in the ignition and expect smooth-running travel to my destination. We did the best we could with what we had then but what an improvement. (Have you seen the latest Audi A5 ‘Ugly Duckling’ advert? I love it!)
You may be asking what this has to do with parenting. How I see it is that you have the choice to ride in an outdated, and often inconvenient mode of Parenting, that will often feel uncomfortable and exhausting, or you can choose to trade that in for something that has taken advantage of new breakthroughs in awareness and enjoy your Parenting journey. In either vehicle you’ll end up at the same destination but one ride will be much smoother and kinder on you all than the other.
I, for one wish, I had known when my children were young what I know now about how to parent.
Some of the key things I’ve learnt are:
– how to REALLY listen
– what exactly do we mean by self esteem, why it matters
– why Emotional Intelligence is core to your child’s success and what we as parents can do about it
– how to use conflict as a growth opportunity
– how to discipline to get the results you really want
– the power of our negative thoughts and what to do about it
– how to create a win-win experience for all concerned.
Would you like to ride in the equivalent of the latest Audi A5 when it comes to your Parenting?
This year is your chance to discover what a coaching approach to Parenting is all about. The Koemba Foundation module is over three weekends, (Friday evening and full day Saturday) and commences in Tallaght, Dublin on Friday 1st February 2013.
Sign up today to benefit from our 10% Early Bird discount.