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Speaking Out - Pockets Of Inspiration

The Importance Of Being A Mindful Parent

Today I wanted to share a lesson from the past, something which has kind of haunted me and affected me for many years. This does not effect me as much now as it did when I grew up but I think it is important to share in the hope someone may benefit and learn from my experience.

When I was just a little girl the same age that my daughter is now I was playing in the garden with a friend. In fact we were drawing pictures with lead pencils and had a pencil sharpener to make our pencils really pointy.

Out of the blue and for some reason which I will never understand my friend suddenly stabbed herself in the hand with her lead pencil. In reflection I think it may have been an accident. I really don’t know but my friend’s hand was bleeding and she ran home crying.

mindful parent

I went to my friends house to see if she was okay and this is when my “life changing” experience happened. My friends father came out of the house. He was a tall and stocky man and he was really angry. This man yelled and shouted at me and asked me why I had stabbed his daughter with a pencil?

I was shocked. My friend had stabbed herself, yet I was getting the blame. I tried to deny it. I argued and pleaded and said it wasn’t me. I tried to explain my friend had stabbed herself yet this big, scary man did not believe me. I was a liar he said, a nasty little girl and needed to say sorry.

I knew I had not stabbed my friend yet I was so intimidated and scared that I had no option but to admit I had stabbed my friend. I admitted to something I had not done. I said sorry because I was afraid of what this man might do to me. I was more scared than I had ever been in my life. I went home to my room and cried. I could not get my head around what had just happened. I didn’t tell anyone but was shaken up and upset.

mindful parent

As a little girl this incident had a huge impact on my life. I developed a fear of not being believed. In fact it’s something I still struggle with to this day and I often ask my husband or mother, “do you believe me”. Of course my husband believes the things I tell him, so too does my mum, it’s common sense that your family genuinely believe the things you say. Yet for me, I can sometimes be irrational and worry to the point I have to go above and beyond to prove I am telling the truth.

For example, if I were to fall down and hurt myself, it would not be enough to tell my husband I had fallen, I would need to show him my bruise as “evidence” I was telling the truth, that I had fallen. It may sound really silly but it is something I am struggling with and still working on.

I have had a number of experiences over the years which have certainly reinforced my irrational fear about not being believed, the incident with my friends father being the very first. Repeated experiences over the years such as injustices where I have been accused of things I have not done, have really contributed to me developing this irrational behaviour or mind set and it’s something I have been working on really hard for the past few years.

As an adult I realise that my friend must have been scared of her own dad and maybe she must have been too scared to tell her father that she had accidentally hurt herself.

I guess when you have parents who fly off the handle over every little thing you must live in fear and be scared. It was easier for her to tell her dad I had stabbed her than to say she had hurt herself.

However what he did to me, intimidating me and making me apologise and admit to something I did not do, that was wrong! My whole life this man has been a part of my nightmares. I have had dreams where he has accused me of things I have not done and it’s crazy how one incident can cause so much trauma and post traumatic stress, especially in my dreams.

So why am I sharing this? Well, I think as a child I did not think to talk to my parents about what had happened. As a mother I make it very clear to Sylvia that she can tell me anything and as incidents occur in her life I am able to help her little mind rationalise and understand anything that is unfair or scary or wrong.

mindful parent

For example my child was recently bullied and knowing she could speak to me about it, I was able to talk to her and discuss the fact that the children who chose to target her were actually mistreated by their own parents and whilst this is not an excuse, it gave my daughter understanding and prevented her from believing their was something wrong with her.

So how can this story benefit others? Well I think as parents and adults we need to be mindful of the things that go on in our children’s lives and maybe take time to talk each day and make sure everything is okay. It’s so easy to take care of physical needs such as food, clothing, bath and bedtime but we need to take care of our children’s emotional needs too and keep an eye out for anything they may be internalising or learning incorrectly.

I don’t like all the things I have been through in my life. I have been falsely accused of many things and it’s not something I would want anyone else to go through, however I can use my experience for good and share what I have learnt. These things are here to test us and to help us grow and clearly, although it’s taken many years and is a work in progress, my experiences have allowed me to be more mindful as a parent and I think that is something everyone can learn from.

Angela x

mindful parent

55 Comments

  1. Wow! I’m so sorry that happened to you at such an early age. How sad. The lessons you have learned and now use for good as you raise your daughter are the lemonade to life’s unwelcome lemons.

  2. Something similar happened to me when I was a kid, don’t remember how did it happen but this is something that can happen to anyone! Don’t worry, you’re raising your kid right!

    1. The memories are painful but all I can do is to move on and the do the best things by my daughter, by being the best mum I can be.

      Angela

  3. I think I would have had the same reaction. I can imagine how that would stay with you. I think we all have things that we hold on to from your past. Things we wish would have been handled differently and I am sure our parents have their regrets. But as long as we act out of love and teach our kids tolerance and patients, we will create an amazing generation for this world.

  4. Thank you for sharing your story! It definitely is a reminder to make sure our children know that they can come to us for anything and not be afraid to tell us what has happened.

  5. I’m so sorry this happened to you as a child. I think it’s so easy to forget how vulnerable we are as children and being mindful as a parent is a beautiful gift we can give to them. You sound like a wonderful mum 🙂

    1. Thanks Elizabeth. I do my best and think about how I can give my daughter the best emotional heaLTH. It is so important.

  6. Must have been so hard to be in that situation. Even now as a grown up. But it’s important to read about this kind of things so that we don’t make the same mistake again

  7. Thank you for sharing your story. I can relate in someways too. My mom was a very strict parent and I, being the eldest was her experimental guinea pig on how to raise an intelligent child. I had very little play time. It was books, books, piano lessons, and books again. I don’t regret it because i have learned to love reading, but failure scared me because I was not allowed to fail. I love my mom, but I wish she wasn’t so strict when I was growing up. When it was my turn to be a parent, I was the complete opposite. I am more conversant with my children and I allowed my kids to be kids. We can talk about anything under the sun! Now they are all grown ups and my sons still cuddle up with me on the couch, share stories and ask silly questions. Haha.

  8. It seems like some people just don’t realise how much of an impact there words can have on a child, how one small moment to them can bring forth a lifetime of wondering 🙁 .

  9. It saddens me when others are falsely accused and for many it can have an impact on the way we believe others to see us. I too always worry that people do not believe me because I have been accused many times when it was not true. I am glad that you have taught Sylvia that she can talk to you about anything x

  10. I so agree with this. I always tell my kids that I want them to be open with me. I ask them often how their day went.

    I am sorry what happened to you as a kid. That would have been tough.

  11. I love tutus and florals! These girls are so adorable! They should wear clothes like this more often lol

  12. Childhood traumas affect us into adulthood. I love that you’ve opened the door for your own daughter to share with you unconditionally – and that as her mother you will believe her no matter what.

    1. They can affect us. I had the best mother ever..I guess I just did not think to share the things that really scared me.

  13. I’m sorry that you had to experience that as a child and grow up with that fear. Children really teach us more than we ever expected. What a great post and I thank you for sharing it.

  14. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I know it must have been hard for you when you were young. The lessons that you learned will help you become an awesome parent.

  15. Being aparent is a tough and challenging job. Am telling you when my Mom finds out we are lying (during childhood days) we all receive punishment, Asian style – she command as to kneel on those mongo beans, they are so small and it does hurts, hahaha.
    And we never tried to lie again.

  16. Oh my gosh that would terrify me as a child. I can’t imagine going through that and carrying it with you through life. It’s wonderful that your daughter feels confident that she can tell you anything.

  17. Wow, what an inspirational story! This must have been so hard for you to bear as a child, but the good news is some of these experiences become great life lessons which help us educate and inspire others. Parents need to take a cue from this.

    1. That is the hope to inspire and help others. They say it is good to learn from your mistakes and experiences but better to learn from other’s!

  18. Some of the memories from your childhood whether good/bad, always stay no matter how old you become..the good part is to learn from the bad memories and assure that doesn’t happen to our kids. Nobody is perfect and can be but we can atleast try!
    Being a mother of an 18mo old myself, I realise the importance of talking..kids should always be taught to speak to parents and be given that comfort zone!

  19. I have made it clear since with my daughter’s from a very young age that they can tell me anything and I want to know the good, bad and the ugly. My mum brought me up being honest and upfront so I want my kids to be the same.

  20. That must have been an awful experience, I agree these things can really stay with us and affect us especially the more vulnerable we are. I know I was a very sensitive child and often blamed myself for things that were not in my control at all. Some things I felt very hard to tell to my parents as they had their adult things to deal with. So I always encourage mine to be open and honest and I never yell or judge them You are doing a beautiful job, she is blessed to ahem a mummy like you #BlogCrush

  21. This post is so relatable for me. I was in an abusive relationship for years and when I finally worked up the courage to leave some people (his family) didn’t believe me about the abusive and like you I know feel the need to prove absolutely everything #BlogCrush

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