Babies! Nobody can ever prepare you for how a new baby can rock the very foundation of your world!  It’s a veritable maze of sleeping, eating, pooping, EVERYBODY has an opinion on do this… do that…  you search the internet, read books, magazines and in desperate times resort to Facebook for answers.  Seldom the solutions given, work for your particular bundle of joy.

Enter the 3 year old… ah proverbial bliss…As a parent you start feeling, if not fully, but certainly partly human again! This bliss continues for the next 6 years or so.  We have our little ups and downs but generally speaking our little cherubs are full of life, we marvel at their curiosity, and their ability to find joy in the very simplest of thing.  The word ‘WHY’ seems to start and END every conversation.

Pleasantly lulled into the fact that I had this parenting thing waxed… enter the 11 Year Old Daughter!

Well my sweet, curious, joyful child was no longer.  As parents, YOU now generally start and end every conversation with WHY!

Those same friends and family that eagerly shared their sagely babyhood advice, are right there along with you, experiencing the same perplexities of tween & teenagedom.  The only ones finding any humour in any of it are your OWN PARENTS. Who at any given opportunity snigger “It’s pay-back time.”  It was at this time of my parenting career that I came across a wonderful book. It is a book of simple but solid wisdom, which we would all do well to remember.

The Four Agreements: by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Agreement 1 – Be impeccable with your word

Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Agreement 2 – Don’t take anything personally

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Agreement 3 – Don’t make assumptions

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Agreement 4 – Always do your best

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

So inspired by this wonderfully simple ancient Toltec wisdom.  I went so far as to paste it on the wall in our bathroom!  I am pleased to report that the 12 year old declared it “cool” and it now serves as a great ‘go to’ reference when navigating the world of a 12 year old.  I further upped my cool status by downloading ‘Ed Sheeran’ onto my playlists. Good Bye Duran Duran… Hello Ed!! Maybe we’ll all survive this journey after all and have some fun along the way!

‘Til next time.

Contributed by Louise Steer of Clamber Club Sports – Durban North
Tel: 083 659 4636