The Gifts we can afford to give our Children
are the very gifts we cannot afford not to give them
A gift of love
Through life’s experiences and her love for children, Patti Blamire has written a book and developed workshops for purposeful parenting.
Why do I feel so excited and motivated to offer our ABC Workshops?
Well, it is all About Building Character!
I truly believe that it IS easier to build strong children, than to repair broken adults.
And it is not that difficult to raise children who are honest, self-disciplined and grateful…or any of the other positive character traits that will help them to live happy, successful and fulfilled adult lives.
What does it take from us as parents to encourage these positive traits in our children? It takes some time to think about which traits we would respect, as well as which ones would serve them into their future. It takes a little more time for us to consider how we can help them to learn these skills, then it takes our commitment and patience to continuously guide them towards these life-enriching gifts.
No one brings this to our attention when we are new parents; we cannot go to university to learn how to parent, so mostly we parent by default…each day just happens without much thought about how this child will turn out as an adult. A child learns from us…he copies what we do and what we say…good and bad.
For example…if we are in the habit of expressing gratitude; if we guide her to sincerely thank granny for that gift, and if we encourage him to work towards that cherished something, rather than letting each whim just land in his lap, then we will be guiding them to be grateful and appreciative children.
And that is a true gift to them. They will not grow up feeling entitled. They will not expect handouts, they will have learnt to first put into life, before taking out. They will appreciate what they have and make plans to work towards their goals. That is just one of the gifts we can offer our children.
In our ABC Parenting Workshops, we take time to think about many of these gifts… these character traits, and then look at how we can facilitate them. Can you see why I am excited? Each one of us has the opportunity (and responsibility) to raise well-balanced children. These children will live happy, contented and fulfilled lives. These fortunate, well-balanced adults, with their strong characters, will make positive contributions to society.
Lastly… the positive attributes that they have learnt as children, they will pass on and encourage in their own children – so your work now will affect generations to come. Changing the world one child at a time! What a challenging, but exciting role we have as parents! Let’s put our heads together to discover the joy and fulfilment of Purposeful Parenting.
How these workshops came to be
It happened on a somewhat ordinary Sunday morning…
She turned to me and asked: ‘Do you have children?’
We were a group of women having a last cup of tea after attending a life coaching workshop. Most of them were young moms and they were discussing their parenting concerns. I was listening.
‘Yes’, I replied to my pretty blonde neighbour, ‘but they are getting older than me’. It took a moment for her to find my humour and she laughed. ‘But seriously. What did you do when your children behaved this way?’
I considered her question… and slowly replied: ‘Well…you know…it is not only about how it’s annoying and inconveniencing you today…the question one has to ask oneself is… If I don’t deal effectively with this behaviour now, how will it affect who my child will ultimately become as an adult?’
I watched as she absorbed my words and then, she blurted out loudly to our fellow tea drinkers: ‘OMW, just listen to this!’ and she repeated what I had just said. My shell didn’t feel big enough for me to crawl into.
They chatted animatedly about this point for a few minutes, and then blondie turned to me again and said: ‘OMG, thank you so much for that! We need super grannies like you!’
As I drove home, her words danced excitedly through my mind; then thoughts on raising children started fighting to be first to receive my attention.
I couldn’t get home fast enough. I needed to give these thoughts their rightful place on paper. They tumbled and fell onto my notebook. I was as excited as they were, and I knew that something valuable was being born – the tentative heartbeat of a workshop on Purposeful Parenting.
My ‘Obvious Next Step’ impatiently slapped me around the ears, saying: ‘Duh! Your book, The Gifts we can Afford to give our Children, has been published, and we have had to wait with crossed legs for you to wake up and acknowledge this pregnancy.’
And so our Purposeful Parenting workshops were born – ABC Parenting – About Building Character.
Let’s do that! Let’s raise our children to have strong, positive and meaningful character traits.
About the book
What does it take to become a teacher, a doctor, an accountant or a plumber? It takes a few years of study and/or apprenticeship. Being educated for our chosen career path gives one the knowledge and confidence to succeed in that vocation.
What does it take to become a parent…usually little more than a few shared moments of pleasure? Which education system prepares us for our role as parents? Being a mom or a dad is the most important career assignment we will ever be given and yet we receive little or no preparation for this life-long task.
Today most parents would like to give their children even more than what they had as children; we want them to have a happy and comfortable childhood, as well as success, fulfillment and continued happiness in their adult lives.
Have you thought of how you would go about assisting your child to achieve these milestones in life?
This book, ‘The Gifts we can Afford to give our Children’ offers food for thought on subjects such as:
The Gift of Creativity – how to help your child find the creative potential within himself
The Gift of Honesty and Integrity – the value of living a truth-filled life
The Gift of Humour – enjoying the lighter side of life together as a family.
It also looks at recognising the Light of Love within ourselves and our children.
It proposes a deeper, more satisfying and creative approach to raising children…a conscious and thoughtful way of exploring parenthood.
The Gifts we can afford to give our Children
I really miss my children. There are times when I long to be able to go back in time and rather than quickly finishing that job, just do something enjoyable together that we might or might not still remember to this day. We did do that, but I wish to have done it more and, perhaps, with a little more focus.
You may have heard many an older parent saying, “Where did those years go?” It sounds like an old cliché, but it is nonetheless truer than you can imagine.
When one is bobbing chin-deep in parenthood, one cannot see the end of this period in one’s life. When you look toward the day that your child leaves school—in, say, ten years’ time—it appears on some very distant horizon. It does not seem to be very real at all, not part of your foreseeable reality. And this is true at the time, but suddenly you hear your own child saying, “Mom! Dad! Great news! You are going to be grandparents.” I am not exaggerating. And interestingly enough, one hardly feels any different as a person from those days when you were a young parent yourself, and yet twenty-five years have just whizzed by.
When they have grown up and out, we can always love them, and sometimes we can have fun with them, and now and again we can cuddle them, but this will all be on their terms and in their time.
Very simply, what I am saying is this: try to be the best parent you know how to be now, and never miss an opportunity to truly enjoy your children. Appreciate them for the God-given gifts that they are.
Have loads of fun with them, hug them, and cuddle them and treasure them—now.
To be a parent is to be on a journey towards a far-reaching destination. The road you travel may have bumps, potholes, and detours, but more than that, it will be filled with joy, adventure, and companionship. Plan ahead and always be ready to go back to your “map” and reassess your route.
Love them, love them, and love them some more.
May the road rise up to meet you as you adventure into parenthood.
May the wind be at your back as you run with them hand in hand.
May the sun shine warm upon your faces, as together you bask in the delights of their childhood.
And may the rain fall softly on your faces as you explore the wonders of the land.
And till this journey is over,
May God hold you and your children gently in the palm of His hand.
—Patti’s rendition of an Irish blessing
Patti Blamire was born and lived in Cape Town, South Africa with her husband Trevor and their three children until the late 1980’s. For ten years during this time she ran a playschool for pre-school children. The family’s next adventure took them to live on their farm on the Garden Route, on the east coast of South Africa. They lived and worked there happily for twenty-one years until Patti’s life was turned up-side-down by Trevor’s sudden death in 2011. After spending almost two years living in Salisbury, England, she has now returned home to Cape Town. She is qualified and practicing in Cape Town as a Body Stress Release Practitioner and Life Skills Coach. She travels regularly to see her three children and four grandchildren who live in South Africa, England and Malawi – she says: ‘My family is the Light of my life.’