Mittwoch, 6. August 2014

Part II.: my personal tips for having the best time of your life with toddlers: the “right” upbringing”

First read part 1.

First some basics: :

with this post I assume that mature, responsible people read this.
None who neglect their children, who go through with “their thing” regardless of them, or who park their child somewhere for hours just to live their egotism.
I assume that those who read this are truly parents from the heart (or will be) – and are eager to do the best for their child.

1. And what is the best for your child?

YOU are.

Simply YOU!

Your ways, your laughter, your creativity, your energy, your presence, your unburdened being – that’s what’s the very best for your child.


Better not think about the “right” upbringing.

What does this even mean, right?
And what’s wrong?
This book says one thing, and in a couple of years one will say another thing, and then everything is different yet again and you are just left insecure and confused.

The best and most important thing you can give to your children is:


Whatever you ARE and radiate is what will influence your children the most.

Not so much what you do or say (!).
Yes, they will take that in and either think it’s good or bad – but whatever you are will leave a lasting impression forever!

Of course it’s a good thing to learn to tidy your room regularly.

But it is even much more important to learn to be happy independent of circumstances!
Of course it’s great to be able to put on your clothes by yourself.
But it is even much better to be strong and self-assured.

Do you understand:
In our everyday life with toddlers we are sometimes so disheartened or overwhelmed, because we ponder way to much about small and utterly unimportant things.
Things, for example, that don’t run so smoothly right now.
The kid screams.
The kid wets the bed.
The kid throws you smart answers. The kid doesn’t want to go to kindergarten.
The kid doesn’t like veggies. . 
The kid doesn’t have any friends.
The kid has the wrong friends.
The kid doesn’t want to cuddle.
The kid only wants to cuddle.
The kid, the kid, the kid.

Two things happen here:

1. The kid, the kid, the kid. The center of your universe. Arghhh.
2. You completely lose sight of the fact that in the long run these things won’t make a difference at all – because they will actually disappear into thin air at some point, just like that.
Go ahead, trust me on this one!
In a year’s time from now you won’t even remember that there were any problems in this area!

Much more important:

If you want your children to become strong and self-assured people:

be strong for yourself, no matter which difficulties might pile up.

If you want them to be full of love and live their lives joyfully:

let love flow everywhere and be happy even under adverse circumstances.
At first just for yourself.
And not always with the thought in the back of your mind: “how is my child doing right now?”

If you want your children to love their bodies and live their lives without feelings of inferiority:

love your own body first and foremost!
"Joanna, I tell my kids often that they are beautiful. However, I don’t think I’m that beautiful myself.”
It turns out that you will TELL them, but what they RECEIVE is inferiority and rejection. Let’s not fool ourselves.

If you allow depressing thoughts to enter your head over and over again (reading depressing books, listening to depressing songs), yet you want your children to be happy people, stop it – no matter what you say or do and no matter how often you smile: what they receive is sadness.

If you keep wondering about “what the others think of me”, you can keep drumming “it doesn’t matter what the others think of you” into your child as often as you like.

It won’t have any effect.

"Joanna, I am wonderfully able to encourage and motivate others – just not myself.”

You are NOT able to encourage and motivate others AT ALL – all you can do is blabber.
Your children will tell you to your face THAT you blabber when they are teenagers the latest.

It is much more important who you ARE, than what you SAY or DO.
It's all about energy, do you remember? 
This is not supposed to discourage you, however – on the contrary!

This is even a beautiful message!
Enjoy your life, take joy in yourself and appreciate yourself, have as much fun and joy in your everyday life as possible!
Always make sure YOU are alright!
YOU are to become strong, you are supposed to enjoy your life, you are to be clear, relaxed and full of happiness and trust.
You are supposed to have – totally independent of your child’s mood – the best day, the best summer, the best life!
Whatever radiates from you, will then be so strong that it will carry along everyone around you – your kids included.
Oh, I love it!
"What, if it doesn’t happen this way?”
You want my honest opinion?
Then it’s not your problem.
It’s not your task to shape a person’s life completely!
Not everything is your “fault” and you are not responsible for everything.
Simple as that!
If you really think that (because: ”you can go wrong in so many ways…”) – I’m not in the least surprised that your everyday life is often tiring and complicated and you lack drive, lightness and creativity.
These often need open space – and not such a heavy boulder of responsibility and pressure.

"So what happens, if my child runs into serious trouble?”

Well, it happens.
Not exactly that often, but it happens.

The best thing you can do in such a case:

be so full of joy and optimism and lightness as you can be (i.e. your normal state).
Which means don’t also suffer, also ponder, also worry, and also be devastated.
You will greatly reinforce these things in your child – all it needs, though, is an atmosphere that says “all will be well”.
I mean don’t blabber “all will be well”, but: see above.
You have limitless trust in God – and this is for sure independent of any circumstances.
Trust, when everything is running smoothly, is not trust, it’s only living in the visible world, everyone can do that ;).
Trust not as an emergency measure (“now all that’s left to do is trust in God, sigh…”) – but as something that defines you!
And I mean always, no matter whether everything is great right now, or maybe not so much.

2. I am convinced that one of the biggest problems about raising children has a name:

(basically fear – but most of the times it shows up as insecurity.)
Unsure, whether you are enough. .
Unsure, whether you spend enough time with your child.
Unsure, whether you raise it properly.
Unsure, whether the child gets everything it needs/is not too spoiled/is not too neglected.
Unsure, whether you are meeting its needs.
Unsure, whether the child is coping in the current situation (possible a challenging one).

Before I start dishing out a lot of advice:


This ONE TIME believe me and – if only a tiny little feeling of insecurity/self-doubt surfaces – TRASH it!

Everything’s fine, your child is fine, you don’t have to meet every need perfectly and be the star in all areas, the child can handle difficulties sometimes, too:


It’s very simple:

as soon as the feeling/thought of insecurity shows up again (it will perhaps feel still familiar, but as of now you consider it absolutely disgusting and inacceptable), you won’t let it happen!
You’ll be standing there all relaxed and, if need be, you’ll say to yourself in a loud voice (in the bathroom, or something):
"Joanna said I am not insecure. So I am SURE.” – and then you’ll just ignore the whole thing completely, OK?

Somebody wrote to me recently: :

"Joanna, I hope that I’ll become just as good of a mother as you are.”

This is a nice compliment, but the point is:

I never reflect on whether I am a good mother (or a good friend, Or partner. Or blogger. Or…) – I am simply in a good mood independent of any role.
Just myself: full of joy, fulfilled with love and lightness.
If I’m not (which admittedly doesn’t happen all that often) – I go back to consciously focusing on what is most important.
"So on your children.”


On the love inside of me!

So don’t reflect on whether you “are a good mother”.

Just be happy – everything else will follow automatically.

3. Another thing that’s dear to my heart:

Many of you told me:

"Since I’ve become a mother I feel fulfilled/found myself/my mission/my vocation. And now I am happy.” 

I know what you mean by that, but:

a child (or another person, partner, etc.) can NEVER EVER be a vocation.
I am entering dangerous territory here (and I have no idea whether even one of you will understand), but I am convinced:
it isn’t beneficial for anyone – least of all for the children or the mother.

You will have your children but for a short few years – yes, they are a gift – and yes, you can learn an awful lot from them, and it is wonderful, and blablabla – but after a (very short!) time they’re gone. 

Then what?

Then you’ll be left without a vocation, or what?
Then you lose yourself again? – when you had “found yourself”, because of the child?
Parenthood is a task with a TIME LIMIT.
And it is over sometime, I PROMISE.
And it’s about a HUMAN BEING, not a project that you are supposed to complete as successfully as possible.
Raising toddlers is NOT dancing around the holy grail (=the child).
Being a parent is not a religion (even if it is absolutely turned into one).
And it is not an accomplishment that you achieve.

So turn this period of time into the most wonderful one you ever had – but in a way that you turn EVERY period of time into the most wonderful one – just out of respect of yourself. And DO NOT make your child your purpose in life, your focal point (even if it requires 13 hours a day – don’t do it even then!), your project and do not let your thoughts revolve around it constantly.

You see, in the evening you will honestly be able to say “I had a great day today.” – even if the child was basically in a bad mood all day and only got into trouble ;). And this is only possible, if you don’t define yourself via being a mother – and if you don’t instantly analyze the offspring’s behavior and refer it back to you.

I this “me and my wee family” thing, neither my “greatest happiness”, nor my “one and only”.

No person can occupy this space, as you would (unconsciously and often unaware) manipulate and smother him.
This is too big a burden for anybody and WAY too big for a child.

I’d much rather take you to freedom with me, enlarge your focus, make your horizon limitless, so that you may fly with me and feel love inside of you every moment of your life!

After that it is really totally negligible, whether you get your housework done 100%, whether you “support” your children properly, or react with infinite patience and love every time, or whether you actually nag here and there.
The atmosphere at home surely counts for 99% - the rest isn’t completely unimportant, but you can pick that up later, too ;).
I take this pressure of “do I do everything right?” away from you today, once and for all!

Yes, you do a whole lot of things right, and some things wrong, but that’s not what counts at all.

And that’s OK, or else you’ll become one of those arrogant moms that “did everything right” and therefore look down upon the others.
you are not proud either that you are so “relaxed and easy-going” – and look down upon others.
You simply don’t look down on others AT ALL, none of your business anyway – you are here to inspire and to love and not to judge and condemn anyone!

Don’t ponder about the right upbringing. .

Don’t ponder at all.


The most beautiful and strongest life that you were given!
Because YOU are actually the one and only responsible for that.



I have written something similar HERE
 that will also encourage you greatly.
THIS HERE is also inspiring.
Just gobble it up and enjoy – it will change you.

p.s. This subject strikes a chord in so many that I get tons of mails.

Private, moving, extensive mails.
Mails full of sweet words, with the request for advice, a meeting, coaching – some even want to spend a few days at home with me.
Many thinks for your trust.

I am very happy to be able to encourage and inspire you with the help of my blog – but due to time restrictions I cannot offer contact by mail, or counseling, individual advice or coaching.

Thank you for your understanding!

This post was translated by Ginnell Studio.

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