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If it takes a village to raise a child what do you do when it is only you?

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coachmaven.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/klimt-mother-and-child-300×239.jpg” alt=”" width=”300″ height=”239″ />There is an old African proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child. It acknowledges that nurturing a child is so engaging and takes so much energy it can be hard for only one caregiver to provide it all. The extended family structures of the past, where several generations lived together naturally met the need for multiple caregivers. What is more common nowadays however, is the nuclear family where children live only with their parents. It can be a demanding task for parents to be the ‘village’ their children need to grow up as whole and healthy individuals. This becomes even more challenging in case of single parents who are the only caregiver while at the same time have to provide for all the family's needs too. Does this mean we always need to have an extended family to help us raise our children? Are we doomed to do a bad job as parents if we don't have a tribe? Fortunately not!

Just as it may take a village to raise a child so it takes only one loving soul to raise it too. This may sound like a contradiction but it isn’t. One of the great misperceptions many parents have is in order to be a good parent we need to be perfect or superhuman. We don't! What we need is to come from a place of love when we interact with our children. How much time we spend playing with them is not as important as the quality we put in our interactions and how authentically loving we are. Five minutes spent together where we love being with our child and enjoying them are much more meaningful and nurturing then 5 hours spent trying to be the good parent and do the right thing according to what our inbuilt “Book Of Good Parenting” says. Then, if life calls us to attend to something else we go and we do that knowing we had given our children the most precious thing we can – our love. Love is not measured in hours and minutes. Love just is. To a child it doesn’t matter 'how long' they were loved. What matters is that every time they reach for their parent, even for a second what they are met with is love.

It is sad to see a parent feeling guilty they can’t spend enough time giving attention to their child instead of simply enjoying the time they have. What such parents often miss is that through guilt they make negative not only their own experience but what their child's experiences too. Children are very sensitive to their parents’ emotional state. If the parent feels bad or guilty the child senses they are unhappy and that something is wrong. Unable to understand why they assume by default there is something wrong in them that caused the unhappiness. This is far more damaging to a child’s psyche than any lack of ‘quality’ time spent together. If, on the other hand the parent is there for their child and enjoying being together the child will feel loved and wanted. Even if short, the time spent with their parent will be a positive, nurturing experience for their soul.

If it is hard to let go of the perception we must do something special in order to be a good mom or dad we can turn to our own childhood memories for help. Looking back in time we may find what made a family day wonderful and an experience memorable was not as much what we did with our parents but how we felt around them. Most notably how loved, connected and enjoyed by them we felt ~

Makayla Sadamori combines many years of experience as a teacher and a childcare provider with her Maven Method coach training to follow her passion – helping parents bring love and joy into parenting and create a healthy, nurturing, and fulfilling relationship with their children.

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There is an old African proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child. It acknowledges that nurturing a child is so engaging and takes so much energy it can be hard for only one caregiver to provide it all. The extended family structures of the past, where several generations lived together naturally met the need for multiple caregivers. What is more common nowadays however, is the nuclear family where children live only with their parents. It can be a demanding task for parents to be the ‘village’ their children need to grow up as whole and healthy individuals. This becomes even more challenging in case of single parents who are the only caregiver while at the same time have to provide for all the family's needs too. Does this mean we always need to have an extended family to help us raise our children? Are we doomed to do a bad job as parents if we don't have a tribe? Fortunately not!
Just as it may take a village to raise a child so it takes only one loving soul to raise it too. This may sound like a contradiction but it isn’t. One of the great misperceptions many parents have is in order to be a good parent we need to be perfect or superhuman. We don't! What we need is to come from a place of love when we interact with our children. How much time we spend playing with them is not as important as the quality we put in our interactions and how authentically loving we are. Five minutes spent together where we love being with our child and enjoying them are much more meaningful and nurturing then 5 hours spent trying to be the good parent and do the right thing according to what our inbuilt “Book Of Good Parenting” says. Then, if life calls us to attend to something else we go and we do that knowing we had given our children the most precious thing we can – our love. Love is not measured in hours and minutes. Love just is. To a child it doesn’t matter 'how long' they were loved. What matters is that every time they reach for their parent, even for a second what they are met with is love.
It is sad to see a parent feeling guilty they can’t spend enough time giving attention to their child instead of simply enjoying the time they have. What such parents often miss is that through guilt they make negative not only their own experience but what their child's experiences too. Children are very sensitive to their parents’ emotional state. If the parent feels bad or guilty the child senses they are unhappy and that something is wrong. Unable to understand why they assume by default there is something wrong in them that caused the unhappiness. This is far more damaging to a child’s psyche than any lack of ‘quality’ time spent together. If, on the other hand the parent is there for their child and enjoying being together the child will feel loved and wanted. Even if short, the time spent with their parent will be a positive, nurturing experience for their soul.
If it is hard to let go of the perception we must do something special in order to be a good mom or dad we can turn to our own childhood memories for help. Looking back in time we may find what made a family day wonderful and an experience memorable was not as much what we did with our parents but how we felt around them. Most notably how loved, connected and enjoyed by them we felt ~
Makayla Sadamori combines many years of experience as a teacher and a childcare provider with her Maven Method coach training to follow her passion – helping parents bring love and joy into parenting and create a healthy, nurturing, and fulfilling relationship with their children.
Artwork: Klimt, Mother and Child
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