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I went to a ‘workshop’ last night entitled “Play is the Way” hosted by a gentleman with great enthusiasm for his job and passionate
about his programme.

Basically the premise was that “Children do not fail, systems, programmes, teachers & parents fail, children do not fail”.

I agree entirely with this premise, but what a wake up.

Everything I do, everything I say, in some way, shape or form, manifests itself in my children and either enables them to succeed or results in their failure.

Like I didn’t already place an enormous amount of stress on myself as a parent and the influence I am having on my children!

It’s important to note though, and for me the reason why I enjoy these types of ‘workshops’, nothing he said, nothing he ‘touted’  new.  It’s simply that we have forgotten these simple truths through constant marketing demanding that our jobs as parents is not to raise well adjusted adults but to have a happy child.

Through constant marketing we have been made to feel that if my child is not happy, right here, right now, I have somehow failed that child and become less than that perfect parent I want to be.

When did we begin to assume that parenting was a perfect occupation?

Why do we expect so much of ourselves when all our child asks for is love?

Who do we model ourselves on and when parenting with a partner how do you align two different histories into one coherent parenting practise?

When do we require our children to be more?

When do we say “enough, you work it out for yourself?”

Whilst my children are relatively still young, it is the complaint of “the younger generation”, the “generation Y’s” that suggests to me that we are yet to make this demand of the up and coming, the people that I hope will lead the way, in technology, in kindness, in environmental responsibility, yet, if I am to believe the workshop last night (which I do), it is not their fault.

The system, education, you & I failed them and in doing so failed ourselves.

One statement he made still reverberates in my mind, and eases some of my guilt.  He said, “100-80 years ago we all had 10-12 children so didn’t have the time for poor old Jack/John/Lucy, we simply told him/her to deal with it, get over it, which they
did”.

Do I, do we, have the courage to demand more of our children, in order for them to be all it is they can be?

Can I let them go long enough for them to be truly happy…….free?

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So I got some “legal” type papers in the mail the other day, you know the ones where you have to fill everything out in block letters, black ink only, filled out under the light on a waning moon.
 
To complete it to the companies satisfaction the form also requires that two people witness my signature.
 
Big deal really…..except I hardly know two people yet in my new home town let alone two people who I would feel comfortable asking to witness my signature.
 
So why do I have to know these people, surely I can just go to a police station or the local doctors/pharmacists to get a witness, only that would be admitting my solitude and make me feel even more pathetic than I already do.
 
So why can’t I ask the few friendly, nice, lovely people who I have become acquaintances with?  Why does it feel so odd to ask them?  I know they would, it’s not like they are signing away their first-born, just witnessing my crazy piece of scribble on a page.  Why does it make me feel odd?  A loner?  A bit of a sad case?  A Nigel No Mates.
 
Maybe by reaching out and asking for such a simple thing, people will realise how isolated you can be as the new face in town, maybe remind them of what it was like and encourage them to reach out?
 
Or maybe, like me, they’ll just find me a little bit sad.

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