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.


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