Riffing with David Baker

I had a great conversation on the podcast this week with David Baker. He’s one of those friends who

makes me laugh

makes me think

He takes parenting seriously. But he doesn’t take himself very seriously.

Here’s an excerpt ...with a deep thought

I asked him what’s a courageous thing he’s done as a Dad.

“I’m a courageous Dada,” he reminded me as a guest on the courageous Mumma!

“I think where I’ve taken courage is not just what I want to do but it’s what I’ve decided not to do:

I’m not going to shape my lives around my children.

It needs courage every day to say​

  • ‘You’re not the ones leading on this

  • I love you

  • But there are some priorities

  • like my marriage is important

  • My faith is important

  • I’m not going to idolise you'

I could really become a slave to what they want,

what they think of me,

what I want to be for them.

There’s courage in saying,

'There’s got to be more than just

living for my children' ”

“That is daring,” I answer, “because it means sometimes we have to give them what they need, not what they want.

I hear this expression a lot:

‘I just want them to be happy.’

Is that my highest goal?

If we chase that. We’re doing our children an injustice because sometimes the needs of the team are greater than the needs of the individual.

A popular expression at the moment is this:

In any one moment, a parent is as happy as their unhappiest child.

Would you agree with that?

“No, I’d feel very weak in that – giving someone else responsibility for how I’m feeling and becoming victim to whatever is going on around me.

We have four children, so at any given moment there can be all sorts of levels of frustration, angst.

I need to know

  • there are places and spaces I can go to fill my tank

  • I can get some breathing

space and re-centre myself

  • I’ve got to be able to resource myself

If that’s always rooted in how comfortable my children are or how happy they or how much bliss there is in the home, that’s shaky ground.

That’s shallow. It’s not strong enough

The tides change too much at any age of our children for me to feel safe under that expression.”

I love that!

It’s challenging

It’s courageous

And Ultimately, that self-respect we give ourselves will have many benefits. Not least, in the long run it will enable them to respect themselves.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with David, come across and join us here It's packed with great tips and tools for parenting .

If you love the idea of growing strong, gentle children with great self esteem, I think you'll love Parenting For Life. Check it out here


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