The idea behind Raising Change is to share information about child development to make decision-making so much easier for parents and caregivers without the need to study psychology or read books on neurodevelopment -because, really, who has time?
There are so many bells and whistles marketed as 'must haves' for children at every stage of their lives, many of them expensive and most of them completely unnecessary. Add to that the stress of hitting milestones and the obligatory comparisons we (try not to) make between our children and others.
To simplify things, Raising Change focuses on the fundamental needs through three stages of a child's development plus the all-important, critical needs of the parent/caregiver.
The beginning of your parenting journey
Let the merriment (and mayhem) begin!
Letting go may be the hardest part of all.
Parenting is as much about you as it is about them.
Spring is the season of birth and new beginnings. It is the time to nurture and nourish our children to develop a firm foundation and deep roots that allow for stable and determined growth. During this season, children are entirely dependent on adults for love and attention and to provide an environment that enables them to develop optimally. Scientists have determined that the first 1000 days of a child's life, identified as one of the 'critical periods', prepares them for future success in all aspects of life. While we may see a helpless 'bundle of joy' from the outside, what is going on inside the brain is nothing short of a miracle. How we respond to a child's needs contributes enormously to their healthy development.
Whatever we sow and nurture in spring will surely flourish in summer! After our exhausting efforts during the early years, the fruits of our labour begin to ripen during this season. As our children learn to express themselves more fully, their personalities develop (and clash!), and they establish deeper and more meaningful relationships. During the summer season, we adults begin to explore and experiment with the delicate balance between freedom and responsibility.
An observant parent understands that our children become our teachers from this point onward - while we are still there to guide them, independence truly begins to form during this stage - if we dare to allow it!
Autumn is such a beautiful season, with so much obvious change going on as nature begins to let go and make room for the next step in the process. A wise parent acknowledges the importance of letting go slowly and gently, long before their children ever leave home. It is not only our children's presence that we must begin to release but also certain aspects of ourselves that have developed over our parenting practice. We talk about the idea of giving our children roots and wings until it's time for them to fly, and we realise just how much of ourselves we have wrapped up, ever so delicately, in this relationship. Our role as a parent never ends; it simply, and inevitably changes and grows.
Whether you are preparing for the joy of bringing a new life into the world, are in the middle of your parenting journey or find yourself with an empty nest, parenting begins and ends with you! Our children are quite simply mirrors of ourselves, absorbing more of who we are than whatever we try to tell them. Healing our wounds, reflecting on our own sense of self and stepping into the potential of who we may become is one of the most valuable gifts we can offer our children. We may give them our time, energy, and love, but we cannot give up on ourselves as we do so. The privilege of parenting is a unique gift for us as much as it is them, as it offer us an opportunity to learn and grow in ways we could never imagine - if we choose to accept it.