Over the next few blogs, I want to share with you, some of the ‘gold’ from the wonderful parenting series of books by our good friend Lou Harvey-Zahra at www.happychildhappyhome.com and @nurturethechild
Lou is an author, educator and workshop facilitator, helping parents and children connect and thrive.
Creative parenting, deepening family connections and feeling close to your children are all outcomes you can expect, when you explore and implement the tried and tested simple concepts Lou shares. Many inspiring tools for the many and varied challenging moments of parenting and family life.
‘How do I discipline in a loving and positive way? Can I maintain limits and stay connected to my child?’ Many families are seeking better ways to parent, based around respect, mindfulness and love. Developing strategies to meet children where they’re at and help them navigate their challenges, will result in more positive outcomes, learning opportunities and harmony at home.
In Lou’s book ‘Creative Discipline, Connected Family’ she explores parenting styles and how understanding your style can help you navigate the early years with greater clarity and awareness. It’s an interesting concept to explore and reflect.……Am I parenting as I was parented? Am I authoritarian or permissive in my parenting?
Factors that influence parenting styles
*Do you consciously or unconsciously copy how you were parented? (this can be an automatic go to response).
*Are you very conscious of making your parenting style the opposite to your upbringing?
*Life challenges influence parenting. High stress and a hurried homelife effects our sleep and personal interactions.
*Basic temperaments………are you a fiery or relaxed type?
*Open-ness and awareness to learn, grow and build your knowledge to influence and support your parenting confidence and style.
Your children need your presence more than your presents
Lou outlines 4 basic aspects of life with children that are foundational in cultivating positive interactions and strong parent-child connections.
- Daily and weekly rhythms
- Good rest
- Wholesome play
- Real food
*Attending to these 4 elements is crucial to establishing a creative discipline strategy so let’s explore these in a little more detail:
Rhythms – Establishing positive family rhythms provides a stable and joyful
environment for children because it is familiar, comfortable and consistent.
Rhythms around waking, playing, resting, meal and snack times, bath time and sleep, support a well-rounded childhood and provide opportunities to transform behaviour in a positive way.
When we talk about rhythms, we mean the daily and weekly routines and rituals that have the potential to provide creative structure and stability to family life. These patterns become a compass for the child to navigate with certainty and confidence. This is one of my favourite topics discussed in the book because the power and influence of embracing simple rhythms as a family is a life-changer!
Rest and Slow Time – Busyness definitely effects the flow of family rhythms and of course sometimes this cannot be avoided but don’t allow it to become your families pattern. A hurried rushing pace that doesn’t find down time, ultimately builds stress and inevitably ‘melt down’s’.
Our children are our greatest teachers and absolute experts at being in the moment, finding joy in the smallest things. Quiet time is good medicine, we catch our breath and can re-connect to what really matters……..each other.
Wholesome Play – The play environment in our home and garden has a profound effect on behaviour and the quality of play. Play is the wonder of childhood, where imagination comes to life, where testing, trying, exploring, observing and creating are real life experiences to learn and grow from. Simple toys, natural materials, time in nature, time with friends and opportunities to do ‘real work’ beside you, are all fundamental aspects of wholesome play.
Good Food – Growing evidence is mounting around the connection between artificial additives, preservatives, colours and flavour enhancers and their influence on hyperactivity and challenging behaviour, poor growth and development. To best avoid these possible influences effecting your child’s development and behaviour, keep food sources and cooking habits simple and close to nature. Nutrition is a broad and valuable topic to explore for the health of the whole family and as adults we can make our own choices but for young children, we must make good choices for their lifelong habits.
These topics and much more are explored in detail including
Creative discipline techniques and Meeting parenting challenges.
You can find all of Lou’s books in-store and online here