If there is one word to guide us on our heart centred parenting journey, it is WITH.
This one short word conveys a powerful message about the fact that parenting is relationship based. We exist as parents because of our children and we take this journey together.
Connection is key
When we view them as people, and as companions, we won't be aiming to control or battle with them, but to connect.
Aside from the fact our 'with' will act as the foundation for our children's sense of security, self and relationship know-how, it will also make parenting far more enjoyable.
From our wee people's earliest days a 'WITH' mindset means that the care moments of feeding, bathing and changing become special times of bonding, closeness, and communication.
We'll automatically slow our pace down, give warnings, wait for responses, and talk through what is happening.
Growing with them
Toddlers need us to work with them, responding to their strong urges to explore and effect their environment. If we forget the relationship, we end up 'managing' this little person, rather than growing WITH them.
Preschoolers and young school children are spreading their wings in the world but still need us as their safe haven, sounding board and guide.
Our time WITH them gives them the confidence and skills to go it alone in our absence. As they continue to grow our connection is maintained through these together moments, ordinary or otherwise.
Spoken 'I love you's are important but it is the WITH times that ensure children truly feel loved.
They will know they are part of something, a beautiful unit of parent and child. Both parties have needs, and both parties matter.