The ever changing nature of parenting 

This evening I lay down beside S and watched him fall asleep. Watched as his eyes closed at the end of another busy day, watched as his face relaxed and he fell into a deep sleep. I often use these moments to reflect on our day and think about how I can do better. Parenting is a tough job…We’re constantly having to make choices and hope they are the right ones for our kids. I don’t know any good parent who isn’t constantly berating themselves for the choices they make…it just goes with the territory.

Now that he’s 5, he’s started to make many of his own choices and my latest challenge is allowing him to do the things he wants to do, even if I don’t agree with them. I often look back at old blog posts and laugh at my naivety. When S was younger I truly believed you could negotiate/gently coerce children and that you didn’t need to raise your voice or resort to black mail. And now I increasingly find myself doing those very things. 

I recently read a blog post where the writer asked : How would you feel if your spouse talked to you the way you talked to your child? This is a pretty powerful question and I’ve been asking myself a similar one: How would I feel if my parents spoke to me the way I speak to S? And that’s given me a lot of food for thought. While I do think that adults and children are different, sentences like that still make me think. Ofcourse most adults aren’t unnecessarily rude, don’t refuse to eat, refuse to have a bath  or ignore you when you ask them to do something like many 5 year olds do so it’s not an accurate comparison but nevertheless, if it’s made you more mindful then more points to the writer.

I think of parenting as an ever changing responsibility. Just when you’ve tackled one challenge, another one presents itself. It forces you to look at yourself and analyse who you are. Why is that some behaviour bothers us and doesn’t bother another parent? What is it about our children’s behaviour that gets under our skin? I was listening to a podcast recently by Torie Henderson (A life coach for parents) and she got right to the point when she said that most of our reactions towards our kids comes from a place of fear that we are not good enough mums/parents. The more I pondered on her words, the more I nodded in agreement. Most of the time, when we get frustrated, it’s because our child is doing something we don’t think is right. And our reaction comes as a result of our perception. But what if we change our perception? What if we relinquish control of how we think things should be? Wouldn’t we be happier? Wouldn’t it make parenting more joyful? 

What is it about parenting that makes us such control freaks? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

From SAHM to Working Mum

I’ve always defended stay at home mums. I have been one for a long time and although I have been working for the last year, I was working from home and choosing my own hours so really, I didn’t feel like a working mum. I was still at every community time at school, at every school event and regularly had coffee with other fellow “school mums”. But all that is about to change. After 5 years I am going back to a 9am – 5:30pm job. I didn’t realise it was possible to feel so excited yet so anxious at the same time. To feel like everything was coming together and falling apart at the same time.

I haven’t even started working yet but the guilt is slowly creeping in. Am I doing the right thing? Will S be okay without me? Does he still need me? How will he feel if I’m not there to watch him perform (read: stand on stage and pick his nose) at community time? How will he feel when he comes rushing out of the school doors and not have me there to pick him up? S has had my undivided attention for 4 and half years and all that is about to change. And my biggest worry is how he’s going to cope and feel. Although judging by the way he was acting today I think I should be more worried about how I’m going to cope because he’ll probably be just fine.

Many people have said to me that he’ll be fine and that it’s a good thing. That by working I am showing him good work ethic, etc. So yes while I’ll be doing it for him, I’m really doing it for me. Because I need it, because I want it. I absolutely love being a mum but I miss being Natasha too. And let’s be honest, when you’re a single parent and the centre of your child’s world, it’s very easy to forget who you are. To put your desires, dreams and goals on the back burner.

September is my birthday month, the start of the school year and a time for new beginnings. I’m about to start a new role I know I’ll enjoy which will also mean compromising on another role I’ve loved for the last few years. I guess my biggest fear is my own judgement. We’re so conditioned to believe our kids need us and that only we can do the best job raising them. One of my challenges is going to be getting past that mindset knowing he’ll be everything he’s meant to be whether I stay at home with him or go out to work.

As a mum I think I’ll always have the question looming over my head: Am I doing the right thing?

Wish me luck!

Summer is here!

Judging by the humidity levels today, I’d say summer is well and truly here…let’s hope it’s here to stay.

S has another month off before I have to start thinking of ways to keep us busy. We’re away in Tenerife at the end of August which I’m really looking forward to and just yesterday my cousin and I booked to take our boys to Butlins in Bognor Regis in July. I have some really fond memories of Butlins Holidays from when I was a child and I’m sure our boys are going to absolutely love it!

If you’re spending the summer in London, feel free to check out my guide for things to do in London this summer. Last year we did Legoland, Belmont Farm and The Chickenshed Theatre to name a few.

For lots more ideas around the UK, you can check out this handy ebook created by over 101 of the Best British Bloggers. It’s filled with hundreds of activities, destinations and just general fun ideas to have with your children this summer. Each idea has come from a fellow blogger who has personally tried and tested the experience, so you know it’s going to be a fab list.

So here’s to lots of fun in the sun this summer!! What are your plans? Are you going away anywhere nice?

 

Jo Frost, The Book Trust Ambassador & Supernanny

Last week I got wind of a Book Trust event being held this Tuesday in London. Being an avid reader, I signed up for it with Tots 100 with no clue who the author was going to be. So on Tuesday morning when I woke to find out it was Jo Frost, I was quite excited. Hers was one of those parenting books I bought years before I was even pregnant. I’d watched many of her shows and was a huge fan!

Jo has recently become the Global Ambassador for the Book Trust, a charitable organisation transforming lives by getting children and families reading. Their new campaign “Bath Book Bed” aims to get families together at the end of the day to set a routine of bath book bed before getting their kids to sleep. They believe with this routine kids are going to get a better night’s sleep and as a result, so will parents. Jo was on hand to chat to us about why this routine is so important and to help some of us through our sleep (or lack of) woes.

I’ll be honest, I’ve followed the bath book bed routine since S was 6 months old and he wasn’t a great sleeper. However, after chatting to Jo I realised that there were so many changes I could have made that might have led him to be a better sleeper and that although his routine didn’t have him sleeping through the night, it helped with so much else. I’ve written before about how important reading to your child is and I still stand by all my reasons. That 30 minutes before bed is his down time and our bonding time. And there are nights I can’t do it but someone else at home always will, so nothing changes for S.

Tuesday’s event was held at The Library near Charing Cross Station. It’s a beautiful venue with a glass roof, old bookcases filled with books and a bar (my kind of heaven). We were spoilt with bucks fizz and an assortment of pastries and croissants before being taken in for a round table discussion with Jo herself. She was chatty, down to earth and very real…just like she is on tele. As you listen to her talk you can see just how passionate she is about what she does.


According to Jo, in society, we’re all sleep deprived (whether we’re a parent or not). The ripple effect of that, as parents is a lack of tolerance, a lack of drive and motivation. It’s the moments when you know in your head that you want to feel happier but you’re exhausted. You can see it on your child’s face when they haven’t had the sleep they need and they’re less willing to show you that they have the ability to learn and focus and concentrate. It has a detrimental effect on their executive functioning skills. It then effects every other cornerstone of the day…meal times, getting ready, etc. This is why the campaign is so important to her. Not only does she believe reading helps with literacy, speech development, etc. but also with our moral compass and emotional intelligence in being able to relate and have empathy for different characters that we read about in stories. Lastly, you cannot replace that feeling of relaxation and calm you get when your child is nestled up beside you as you read them a story.

Without further ado, here are some of Jo’s invaluable tips to parenting and getting your child into a good bedtime routine (mostly in her words).

  1. When thinking of starting a bedtime routine, work backwards. If your child is getting up at 7am, they need to be going to bed at 7pm. So you’d start the routine an hour before at 6pm. An hour before is all that’s needed to establish fun at bath time (let your child have fun, let go of all their energy), calm during book time and then finally bed time.
  2. Children are open little beings and very receptive to different energies so it’s very important to be able to create the right energy for them. If we want our kids to nestle up to us for that bedtime story then we need to create the right environment for them. Which means that we have to be disciplined enough to recognise that the radio that was on, needs to be turned off. The background noise of the television has to come off. There’s no room to invite technology in to the space where you are going to be creating a safe, peaceful, calm ambience for your child.
  3. As parents, getting our children to sleep through in their own bed needs to come from a place of strength. You have to show your child your expectation, tell them what you want them to achieve and reward them when they meet your expectation. (As a side note, this is what I did with S and it worked. I went from holding his hand till he fell asleep every night, 30 minutes sometimes, to telling him he needed to put himself to sleep and that I’d be right outside his door. It took 2 nights and I’ve never had to hold his hand to sleep again. And he sleeps through the night).
  4. Find time, even if it’s only 15 minutes every evening to spend quality time with your kids and make it consistent. It doesn’t matter if it’s only 15 minutes but let it be 15 minutes every day rather than 20 minutes on a Monday then nothing nothing nothing then 10 minutes then nothing nothing then 10 minutes again. Even in the morning, if you give the kids 20 minutes, undivided attention to do early learning with them, they’ll give you an hour. They’ll go off and self play and they’ll give you an hour. But you need to give it to them first! 
  5. Everything that you do during the day, helps in the evening. So if during the day there’s that moment to be able to read to them or encourage them to look after their puzzle pieces, use those opportunities to teach them life skills because one of those executive life skills is to be able to sit down and focus and turn the pages and read. Don’t be disheartened if they don’t want to read during the night time, you can practice in the day time too. What happens in the day only enhances what happens in the evening.
  6. As parents, you need a routine in the day that helps support you with time management in the evening.
  7. Don’t use yourself as the reward. If your child knows you’re going to sit there and hold their hand until they fall asleep, why would they go to sleep? How are you teaching them the transition between day and night? We need to teach our children that sleeping is a good thing and it’s important. Don’t use yourself as the prize. By doing that it’s bleeding into your time with your other children (and what they need) or your partner or even time for yourself.
  8. As mothers, we need to get real with the real reasons we choose to remain attached to our children beyond what they need. And it can be disabling to them, rather than giving them the capacity and the ability to be able to reach their milestones in their developments. Many mums are being used as human pacifiers (at night) but it’s only when the mum makes up her mind to recognise this that she is going to empower her child by giving them what they need for their development.
  9. In your heart, trust what you know about your child because it’s right. Listen to your gut! You know what you know!
  10. There will be days where the bed time routine doesn’t happen…but keep on it. Even with raising kids, one day it’s chaos, the next day you can’t wait till 7pm because you’re exhausted. Tomorrow is another day…that’s raising kids…that’s parenting. It’s not the image that books portray, it’s the reality…it’s also the joy.

No matter how old your child is, I’d encourage you to take part in the Book Trust’s “14 days to better sleep”. You can sign up here and see how you go. You have nothing to lose but hopefully lot’s of sleep to gain.


Thank you Book Trust for the fabulous goody bag and thank you Jo Frost for your invaluable advice, it was such a pleasure to meet you!


 

Happy Single Parents Day!

Did you know there was a national single parents day? No? Me neither! Until this morning. I was scrolling through Facebook when a fellow blogger put a post up about it. And I stopped for a minute to acknowledge all the single parents out there.

You see, although I do sometimes give myself the label “single mum”, most of the time I don’t stop to think of the work a single parent does. In my case I’ve pretty much had to act as a single parent since S was born so I guess I don’t know any better. I’ve recently had a few people call me flattering things like “super mum” and as nice as it feels, most mums I know are super mums, single or otherwise. It was only recently when a friend remarked on how “effortlessly” I made things look that I decided to think about what the main differences between being a single parent vs. being a parent in partnership was. 

I guess the biggest difference is having someone share the load and in my case I’m blessed to have a family/friends who will listen to me rant about schools, give me advice on dealing with a 4 year old and take him off my hands so I can have a break. Between my family, friends and our nanny, I do get “me” time…which is why I don’t think of myself as a single parent in the traditional sense. Because I’m blessed to have a village of people behind me. I got a beautiful message from my cousin this morning that really touched my heart: “Happy single parent day natsy! God bless ur a star……May God continue to give u the strength to raise S in the ever so perfect way ur doing so.”

I can’t speak about other communities but in my community, being a single mum is a big deal. There’s still the taboo associated with divorce, let alone getting divorced when you have a child. But ultimately I’m not one to shrink back from doing what’s right for S (and myself), even if it goes against the norm.

Even with my army, parenting is a tough job! It’s relentless, exhausting and gives you grey hair’s quicker than you can say Meryl Street (true story!) But there’s also so much joy! And single parent or not, that’s what we have to focus on. It’s the joy that gets us through the tough days.

So to all the real single parents, I salute you! For the amazing job you do day in and day out. I personally think more credit needs to be given to single mums specifically. We still live in a world where single dad’s are glorified, like they’re doing something noble while single mums are often thought of differently. It only takes a little logic to see what an amazing role model a single mum can be…just look at Barack Obama, Adele and Justin Bieber 🙂

  Source

What sort of “punishment” is appropriate at school (in 2016)?

I was chatting to a friend earlier when she recounted a story that shocked me. She told me of her son (about the same age as S), getting into trouble at school. The headmaster went up to her a couple of days ago and said I just want to let you know your son was sent to my office because he wasn’t listening and he was splashing water in the bathroom. His clothes got wet and he had to be changed.

“Listen, there’s nothing to worry about, he’s a gorgeous, lovely boy but we just wanted to let you know. I’ve told him that we have good boys and girls at this school and that next time if he was sent to my office, I’d call mummy or daddy and he didn’t want that.” said the headmaster.

This mum accepted it and picked her son up from school as usual. At first he didn’t say anything to her but later on in the afternoon he mentioned he’d been sent to the headmasters office and that he had to face the wall. *This is the part that shocked me* The kid isn’t even 4 yet.

The mum chose not to make a big deal out of it in front of her child but the next morning she went up to the headmaster and the conversation went something like this:

Mum: My son told me he got sent to your office. But he also mentioned that he had to face the wall?

Headmaster: Yes, he had to sit on the floor and face the wall because (and he said this quite dramatically), I was too angry to look at him.

Mum: *shocked face* Okay

Headmaster: He has to learn that he needs to be compliant.

Mum: But I don’t think shaming him is going to achieve that.

Headmaster: He is a strong willed child, you know that! We have to try different methods.

Mum: Yes but it’s also the kind of thing you heard done in the 60s.

Headmaster: I promise you, we’re not doing anything harmful here. He needed to face the wall so that he had no distractions, nothing to see, nothing to think about, except what he’d done. It’s tough love and sometimes it needs to be done but the key word here is love.

Now, is it just me that’s fuming or is this appropriate “punishment” for a top private school in North London. In some circles this child is still deemed a toddler. He’s at nursery, he’s not even four. He got pulled in to the headmaster’s office for essentially being playful.

As a parent, am I over reacting? Should schools be allowed to deal with children’s “bad” behaviour in a manner they see fit? Should the headmaster have been upfront with the mother about what happened rather than wait for the child to tell the mother?

As most people know, I’m an advocate for gentle parenting. That’s not to say I don’t raise my voice or get angry/snappy at S from time to time. But I try my best to approach his tantrums from a space of understanding, using my words to explain what I deem appropriate/inappropriate.

I went to boarding school in India and was punished in a variety of manners. I had to kneel, I had to kneel holding a stack of books up in the air and I once got smacked on my palm with a metal ruler because I was sticking up for my friends. I was a good kid in school and that happened to me so you can only imagine what happened to the kids who weren’t so compliant.

And that takes me to my next point. Compliant!? How boring would the world be if all children were compliant? We’re in 2016, surely school’s should be finding new ways to challenge “strong willed” kids rather than shame them into believing they are not good because they’re not doing as they are told. What ever happened to thinking outside the box?!

This is a subject that I’m quite passionate about (in case you couldn’t tell). I was having a conversation with another mum 2 weeks ago who referred to the English system as “Victorian”. She was comparing it to the more laid back casual American approach. She couldn’t understand why children as young as 4-5 were given home work everyday and pushed to write in a certain manner and be reading at that age as well. That’s not to say all English schools are bad but having seen 3 children go through school and excel, she did feel a lot of pressure was being put on her 4th child by this school.

Look, it takes all sorts and I’m sure there are many parents who would be happy to have the school deal with their children as they see fit. But I’m sure there are many who wouldn’t. I’d love your opinion. Am I being too soft about this?

 

Dear Dad at soft play

Dear Dad at soft play,

I saw what happened on Sunday, I was watching it all. I saw as you looked up and your son came running to you saying “Daddy, that boy pulled my hair”, you looked concerned. And who wouldn’t. No one wants their child to be hurt by another child. But soft play areas get busy, especially on a cold Sunday morning, and tensions run high between the kids and sometimes these things happen. For so many different reasons. I heard you ask your son which little boy and as he pointed, I looked over and saw two little boys come down the slide with big smiles on their faces. Whatever the issue was with that child, it was clearly forgotten about.

But you couldn’t forget it. You couldn’t let it go, telling your son to stay away. Or approach the mother and ask her to watch her child. Instead, I heard you say something I really didn’t expect, I heard you tell your son “If he pulls your hair, push him back.”

Dear dad, you look like a nice guy. You’re well dressed, as is your kid. He came to you for comfort, he came to you for a cuddle, to tell you he’d been hurt. He wanted your reassurance, your love, your comfort. Your child needs to learn how to handle things without resorting to violence. Your child needs to learn that an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind. He needs to know that these things happen in soft play centres but that he should use his words and not his hands to retaliate. To tell the other child he didn’t appreciate it. To sort it out amicably.

We live in a world where violence is on our TV screens everyday…as much as we try to shelter our children, they will be exposed to it. They don’t need to be exposed to it by those that love them the most. He needed your guidance.

I didn’t say anything because your child looked like a good kid. I didn’t actually think he was going to act on it. He was fine (all his short hair in tact) and the other kid was off on the other side of the play centre.

But what happened after that shocked me even more. Your son sees the little boy approaching him, he turns to speak to you, you look away and in those 2 seconds that your head is turned, he pushes the little boy running past him, causing him to fall and hit his head. And then coincidentally you turn back, poker face!

And the little boy’s mother runs to scoop up her crying child with sadness in her eyes. Because she can’t understand why an older boy pushed her son, while standing right beside his dad, and his dad did nothing. She didn’t know her son pulled your son’s hair, you didn’t tell her you see, you didn’t clear the air.

I know you may think you’re teaching your kid to be tough, to fight back and defend himself. To be strong and take no shit! But what you don’t realise is, your kid gave you away dad. 15 minutes later he went up to that mother and said “I pushed him” and when the mother asked “Why did you push him?” your son responded “My daddy told me to, my daddy told me to do it!”

Children aren’t born vengeful, hurtful, racist. That’s all on us, it’s how we raise them. Parenting can be tough, we’re protective of the most precious people in our life BUT physical retaliation is never the answer.

Your child needed comfort, he needed reassurance, he needed love. That’s it!

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

 

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Obama’s parenting advice

If you’re a regular on Facebook, you would have most likely come across this video where President Obama gives family/parenting advice to his interns. It’s great advice. My favourite line was “If you’re going to be home, be home!”

And this is something I’ve struggled with over the holidays. I work from home and with S being home, he’d see me on my phone often. Now I’ve got to be honest. On many occasions it was work but on many it was just Facebook/Instagram browsing. As a blogger I think we’re even more guilty of this because Twitter & Instagram move so fast, take your eye off the ball and you’ll miss something.

Over the holidays I also noticed S getting more whiney. It was most likely a combination of his age, the fact that he had no routine and not always having my full attention when we were at home.

Yesterday was his last day off and I decided we were going to have a phone free afternoon. We went down to our local high street, ran some errands and then went to Wagamama for lunch. Once we ordered our food, I engaged S in conversation by asking him what we did over the Christmas holidays and then asking him to tell me about people in his class, their names, etc. He sat down chatting to me, asked the waitress for children’s chopsticks, asked her for some more water and finished all his food. I can tell you there was a huge difference in him when he had my undivided attention vs. when he didn’t.

If you have to be honest with yourself, how much time do you really spend on the phone? How much of that time is really necessary? This is something I’m going to repetitively ask myself in 2016.

This evening a friend posted an article on Facebook about being married to your phone. And as I read it, I couldn’t help but nod my head in agreement. But it also made me feel sad. Since when did our phones become more important than our families? Why do spouses find it easier to message each other rather than have a simple conversation? And the worst thing is that so much is misunderstood on whatsapp/messenger/any other mode of text communication.

Last year sometime I had dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in years and half way through the meal, she takes out her phone and starts messaging someone. First she said it was her mom and she was letting her know what time she’d be home, so I gave her that. Then 5 minutes later I realised she was messaging a friend. A couple of minutes later, she takes a picture of some ratty looking bracelet on her arm to send to her friend to say “Ha! I took your bracelet when I was at yours and you didn’t realise.” (She told me this). A few minutes later and other guests started whispering and looking in our direction. I wasn’t offended, I know I’m not a boring dinner date, but I was shocked! Why go to dinner?! It goes without saying that I haven’t seen her since.

While I’m grateful for technology and the ability to stay in touch with friends who live on the other side of the world, I also believe phones are killing conversation.

More importantly, I believe our children mirror us and if they constantly see us head down in our phones, it won’t be long before they’re doing exactly the same thing. The next time I’m on my phone and S calls out to me, I will ask myself what’s more important? “This chat/picture/status…or my son?”

What makes a parenting expert?

The minute you announce you’re pregnant, you have everyone recommending certain books by “parenting experts.” Gina Ford, Jo Frost, Kathryn Mewes, Sarah Ockwell-Smith, etc. What I found out when I was expecting was that many of these so called experts didn’t have kids of their own. Gina Ford who is notorious for her routines and leaving children to cry it out has never had any children. And Jo Frost, Supernanny, can place your child in the naughty corner but hasn’t ever done that to her own child. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that their methods don’t work for thousands of people but I do wander how they would cope if it actually was in fact their own child, if they weren’t just swooping in to help another family and their children. And then I came across this article yesterday.

Kathryn Mewes who has her own TV show, the “Three Day Nanny”, had her own child at 41 years old and is struggling (just like every other mum). I applaud her for talking about it openly and re-iterating to the world that it’s tough for everyone. No one is alone in the struggles of new motherhood, not even one of the “experts.”

But what exactly makes them experts? Is it the fact that they have looked after many children? Their methods work? Gut instinct? Or is it easier to discipline and help raise a child when they are not yours? Before I got pregnant, I had grand ideals about what my child was going to be like and how I was going to raise him/her.

  1. No TV time until they’re 2.
  2. I will always speak calmly and gently.
  3. I will not leave my child to cry it out.
  4. I will never raise my hand on my child.
  5. I won’t need to use bribery methods to get him/her to do what I want.
  6. Tanturms? My child won’t really have them because I’ll be able to talk to him/her.
  7. I will breastfeed.
  8. My child will be polite.
  9. I will not spoil my child by buying him/her too many toys.
  10. All their food will be organic.
  11. I will not give my child processed food/McDonalds.
  12. My child won’t eat chocolate/sweets/ice cream until they are much older.

I can tell you that I couldn’t/can’t stick to many of these! It’s very easy when you’re not a parent to sit around and think about the kind of parent you will be. But the reality of it is that you have no idea what your little cherub is going to be like. You can have grand visions of “the perfect child” but they don’t really exist. Each child is different, each parent is different and in my opinion, every parent is a parenting expert, of their own children.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Children and religion

I was chatting to a friend recently about religion and whether children should have a choice in what religion they are raised. If you ask most Indian parents, they will tell you children don’t have a choice. Pretty much every one I knew growing up was raised as a Hindu, celebrating Diwali and Janmashtmi, being vegetarian on certain days of the week to honour a particular God. I was raised that way myself (by my mum). However, I was also exposed to lots of other religions as my dad chose to experiment to find the right fit for himself. Adding on to that, I went to a Bahai boarding school in India where we had no choice but to learn all the Bahai prayers and then I went to a Christian boarding school in Dublin where I had no choice but to attend Chapel every morning. When it comes to religion, I have all my bases covered.

And yet, I choose not to raise S in a religious manner. I know this is a bit of a a controversial topic so if you think you might take offence, read this awesome post instead.

I look around me and I see far too many people who claim to be religious harbouring feelings of hate, jealousy and greed, etc. I witnessed someone place his hand on a picture of his guru and lie through his teeth. I know of someone else who will prostrate on the ground in front of an idol and yet ignore and ostracize friends. I see human beings killing other human beings all in the name of God and it saddens me. I’m sure when religions were founded, there was meaning to them. There was honour and respect. People respected religion. But we changed as a world and we took our religious texts and we twisted them. So really, I don’t have a problem with religion. I take issue with what we’ve made of religion in the 21st century.

Instead, I’d like to raise S to understand about the laws of karma. To know that what comes around, goes around. To be kind and compassionate. To put himself in other people’s shoes. To understand that words hurt and once said, they can’t be taken back. To act in a manner that he can live with. To have a conscience! To listen to his gut, his inner voice. To reflect and learn from his mistakes.

We all have moments of weakness, moments of anger, moments of frustration. I want him to be able to handle those moments with grace and dignity. With his head held high.

I want him to have gratitude for all that he has and I want him to have faith. Faith in himself. Faith that whatever circumstances he’s put through, there’s a lesson to be learnt.

Essentially I just want him to…

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