A collective sigh of relief falls across the world as the clock ticks over to the 1st of January 2021. What a wild year it has been! Pandemics, bush fires, riots and home-schooling – we are lucky to have made it out, with most of our sanity 

As one does on New Year’s Eve, I reflected on the year. The highs and lows, the wins and losses and everything else in between. Despite the horrors surrounding us from every angle, I think we as parents had a whole new breakthrough with parenting and it was as glorious as it was scary. 

We got to see our children in a whole new light – struggling or succeeding at school, how they handle (or not handle) emotions, and new challenges and I feel like we learnt just how creative their minds really are. In return, they got to see us in a different role. We were home, trying to work and they could see what it is we actually do. They saw our stresses just as we saw theirs and it formed a bond to connect over. Most days, it was fun times while others were a real struggle from both sides. But I feel like we got there… or at the very least, are getting there. From having to remember pants in web meetings to learning that they changed maths since we were at school, here’s to us and our perseverance. 

Once the children were in bed, my partner and I sat down and spoke about our new year’s resolutions and our goals for the coming year. It was mainly about relaxing more and not sweating the small stuff, eating less sugar, and attempting to get our fitness back. Very typical parenting goals. But this year, for something new and actually achievable, there were more parenting goals. Being more active at their school, say yes to all (most) the playdates and let them verbalise what they are feeling in ways they feel comfortable. 2020 was an eye opener for me and after spending 7 months in lockdown with them, I feel like I know them on a whole other level and look forward to exploring that even further this year. 

But with the new year, I know new anxieties and new fears will pop up. Not just for the kids either. It’s daunting going into the unknown. That’s why I am grateful for the help of Parental EQ’s Parenting BackPack App in at least helping me to help my children navigate the wide range of emotions, reactions and developments.

Because let’s be honest, parenting is a journey, but no one gives you a map. The Parenting BackPack App is designed by experts to help guide you through your child’s social and emotional development better than any map could. It focuses on emotions, thoughts, mental health like anxiety as well as tips on how to help them build resilience. There are self-paced modules for you to gain the knowledge to help recognise and navigate your children’s fears and insecurities as well as carefully created activities for you to do together with your children to help you both understand. After all, “being a parent is learning about the strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with the fears you didn’t know existed” (Linda Wooton) including those felt by your children.

In my house, we are a huge fan of the activities and to be honest, my kids just think they are games. It makes it a lot easier to open communications and get to the nitty gritty of what is going on. These holidays in particular, we used a lot of the Belly Breathing techniques, emotional labelling with the help of the Wheel of Emotions and Detective Thinking which broke down why and how my kids were feeling what they were feeling. It is really empowering and enlightening for all of us. There is also something so satisfying in knowing that the little things you are doing to help your child is backed up by science!

 So, as we quietly shuffle into 2021 (so we don’t upset the cosmos,) with a strong coffee in one hand and a can-do attitude in the other, know that you will be armed for the new year with a new view on parenting and a calmer understanding of your own children and their incredible little minds work.

Here’s to an empowering year for all. 

Scribed in calm & chaos by the very real Casey Luxford
with that strong coffee

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