• Emma

Being the expert of your own family


Us parents deal with so many experts throughout our children’s lives it can be easy to think we don’t really know anything when it comes to the big decisions. In one way this is true, experts have studied for many years and probably seen a lot of families in similar situations, that they do have valuable insights to offer. However, in our day to day running of our families, we face and respond to a whole range of challenges.


These challenges often come up unexpectedly and in the moment, requiring a quick fix or ingenious solution and we all manage them, often without even noticing we are doing it. For more persistent difficulties, we may need to apply a bit more proactive thought, but in many cases our solutions get us through and we move on to the next thing without giving ourselves much credit for the effort we’ve made to overcoming.


It can be extremely rewarding then, when we share our experiences with other parents, to have our solutions recognised as valid responses to problems others may face. When another parent takes something of value from our solutions we discover that what we have come up with can be useful to others. Alternatively, hearing others’ solutions can give us insights into our current unsolved problems and we get to consider different points of view to bring home to our own family.


At Dream your Future, we believe the connections parents make in our drop-in groups to be vitally important for a number of reasons. One of which is the mutual affirmation that the way we parent is absolutely good enough. It is through sharing our wisdom with one another that we have or own efforts validated and learn from others’ insights.


Perhaps you have experienced this yourself. Listening to someone else’s story, with your own circumstances in the back of your mind, and something they say strikes a chord and gets you thinking about your own situation in a completely new way. It is these chance moments that infuse our thought processes with creativity and allow us to move forward with a new confidence. In these moments we are the expert of our own family. As an expert we hear someone else’s story, and mull over and adapt what we hear to our own situation in a way that fits perfectly with our own lived experience of our family.


Instead of being given advice by an external expert, where insight is generated artificially, we are given the freedom to make connections to others’ stories to what we know about our children and the relationship dynamics of our own family. For this reason we ask parents to not give advice to one another, but instead allow each person to be the expert of their own situation.


Visit here for more information about our weekly support group for parents.

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