Just back from our Parent Child retreat in central Australia where I witnessed the most wonderful connection between a parent and a child. It was a grey kangaroo and her joey! The joey hopped down to our abode to drink from the birdbath … while I noticed the mother standing guard about 20 meters away.
She was absolutely aware of her joey but she was giving him the space to explore and push his boundaries as she calmly grazed on the spindly grasses, doing her own thing while staying present to her joeys every move.
After a good drink the little one looked around for mum and contentedly bounded back to her and they both took off into the bush.
Seeing the love and patient presence of mama kangaroo made me realise yet again how our modern world is so busy, so time poor and often so disconnected from what we yearn for most as human beings- real connection with our kids, our loved ones and with ourselves.
The next day I ran a Parent Child workshop which is all about connecting in a deeper and more authentic way with our kids. Sure enough the overriding themes the parents shared were a lack of time to really ‘be’ with their kids and wanting to have a deeper connection, where they can actually enjoy their children’s childhoods.
Childhood is such a fleeting part of life, a time when parents are so caught up in paying the bills, working to give the family a better life while somehow coping with the stress of a myriad of jobs, expectations and judgements in this busy world.
We can’t all be as free as the mama kangaroo but we can bring our awareness and our presence to our kids whenever we choose. It may not be for long periods of time but quality moments with your kids are available for even the busiest parent.
Amongst the deepest yearnings of human beings is to be seen, heard and acknowledged for who we are. This doesn’t require hours of time, or money or energy … it is simply ‘being’ with your child fully present in the moment where they feel your unconditional love, respect and connection. This more than anything you can ‘do’ develops healthy self-worth, resilience and a deep knowing that they are enough.
When your kids feel connected and acknowledged it nourishes them at the deepest level. And the magical byproduct of this for parents is that their behaviour improves because they want to follow your lead, and parenting becomes a joy.
It all begins with you, the parent.
So look at your connection with your kids, are you too busy to fully show up for them – even for a little while? Or are you with them a lot but too worried and anxious to allow them the space they may need to expand and grow?
Mama kangaroo seemed to have the perfect balance of presence, connection, allowing and trust And even though cheeky joey was drinking out of the birdbath in full view of us, she was holding firm and empathetic boundaries and her joey was thriving.