Alison Curtis: This Is Why My New Year's Resolution Is To Parent Better
I am not one for making new years resolutions because well, basically I don’t want to disappoint myself when I don’t stick to them. But this year, as Joan is getting older and our relationship gets more ‘complex’ I think it is a good time for me to resolve to parent better.
Honestly I think we have a wonderful relationship, we are so attached to one another, she is my world and I do think I am a good mother. But we can all do things better. I have thought about this a lot this past week and I am going to endeavour to improve on four key things! See if you agree and want to join me on this.
Turn Off - It is simple we all know it but I just don’t do it. I am on my phone way too much. I find it hard in that a) I’m addicted and b) due to the nature of the job I want to stay up to date at all times.
I find myself sometimes checking it while she is in the bath or jumping onto it right after I collect her from school. This really really isn’t necessary and I know it but I have to follow through with the resolution to get off it if more.
I am thinking about setting out hours the phone is just off or on silent during evening times. When I was away this past summer for three weeks my phone didn’t work, we didn’t have WiFi at our cottage or TV and guess what we survived!
More than that Joan and I had a ball, we played loads of games, read lots more and were far more active. So that is resolution No 1.
Listen and Question more - I am so fortunate that the way my working life is I am with Joan a lot more than the majority of parents in this country.
I am grateful for this every week. I am with her Monday to Friday every afternoon. We fit in basketball, swimming, horseback riding, all the things that most families have to shove into a few precious hours at the weekend.
But what I could do a lot more of is up the anti on our conversations during all those hours we have together. Start more curious and fun conversations, listen to her answers and thoughts and question her more on her opinion of things.
They have fascinating minds and we have a vital role in helping them develop world views and critical thinking. But also to just goof off!
Food - I feel I got lazy in 2017 and my repertoire for dinner slimmed a bit. So no more! There are millions of options out there and thousands of different foods I want to introduce her to thing year.
I resolve to get more adventurous with her lunches and creative with dinners. I also resolve to not get upset if a new dish or lunch goes unloved the first few times around.
I want to talk to her more about food, where it comes from and why certain things aren’t good for us.
My husband got an allotment late last year and I think if Joan plants her food and sees it growing, we are on to a winner.
Experiences - What an incredible country we live in with a deep deep history and vibrant culture. I want to give Joan more of those memory experiences and for her to take away information she can use later to build up her confidence.
Last April she and I did our first ever mini-tour of Ireland, just the two of us, taking in Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford. I took a lot away from that trip and I feel she did too. She tried a few new foods, we visited an art gallery and she got to flex her muscles at Castlecomber Discovery Park. These are all building blocks and make for special memories.
I am sure that all of this seems basic, but I think as we get caught up in daily routines that are so full of everything we have to get done, I for one have let a few of these things slide