Are you modelling well-being to your kids? If you ask your kids this question what would they say?
We all know that we need a balance between family time, exercise, relaxation, connecting with family and friends, work, and nurturing interests. Easier said than done! The reality is that none of us find our balance every day or even every week. So what can we do to really get to grips with balance in our lives? And why is it important that we do this for our children?
I want you to ask yourself one question: who is supporting you? Take a minute to think. Who do you talk to when you are worried? Who do you share your concerns with, about family life, raising your kids? Who do you laugh with, or let off steam with? Who do you exercise with? Who really listens to you, and who tells you honestly when you are overreacting, or that you need to step up? And who will drop everything to support you in a crisis?
Those are the people in your support network.
I often talk to young people about the need to build a support network as a well-being strategy. But it is the same for all of us. We all need a support network. When our children see how our support networks help us to deal with the challenges of life, we model to them how important it is for them to build their own support networks.
So one more question: who is also supporting and guiding your children beyond you? Can you name these people in your children’s lives? An older cousin? A grandparent? An aunty? A teacher? A coach? One of your child’s friend’s parents? A tutor?
Don’t worry if you cannot think of many people supporting your children beyond you, but I do encourage you to think about this and to intentionally help your children to build strong relationships with people who care for them. This well-being strategy will serve them well now, and in the future, especially as they leave home. And this extra layer of support will help you raise them too.
Figuring this out is a work in progress, as is all parenting. But it is worth remembering that we cannot expect our children to find genuine happiness and navigate life if we do not show them how to do it ourselves.