As a parent I am very much aiming to lead by example. More Do as I do than Do as I say. Believe me there are many times this does not go to my lofty ideals, like all the times my daughter exclaims “Oh for God’s sake!!” if I ask her to do something she doesn’t want to. She does too good a job at following my example perfectly on those occasions!
At the moment I’m hoping that by showing them how important it is to us to be outside in nature, to try and support our local wildlife and to grow some of our own food, one day they will remember the importance of those things. Maybe even one day to find the joy on them that I do. Even if yesterday I almost lost my mind when out planting some new arrivals, whilst they badgered me and badgered me about going inside until I stropped and sulked and stamped my way inside with the job half finished. And today whilst me and my husband scaled precariously balanced ladders in the rain to erect new bird and bat boxes (right now is National Nest Box Week) to try and encourage more flying visitors to our home, they sat indoors watching Tintin films.
At the same time both children know how vegetables grow and have eaten sun-warmed raspberries straight from the cane. They have fed our chickens snails we’ve found on our plants, and then collected the eggs that those snails eventually become. When asked what herbs are my daughter replied “they’re plants you grow in the garden that makes cooking taste nice.” They have seen worms wiggling in the compost and can tell the difference between a honey bee and a bumble bee. They watched a blackbird take a bath in our pond this morning and have found an old warty toad hiding in the damp shadows. I think those things matter, maybe more and more now in a world where they also see me and their Dad looking at our phone screens every ten minutes.
So whilst they may learn some expert bickering skills from their parents they will hopefully also learn a little bit about saying sorry when they’re wrong and discussing what they’re upset about and finding a way to compromise.
There are so many things I could set a better example of. Of being brave, being open and friendly to new people, knowing how to say what you mean, and ask for what you want. And at the same time they set a pretty good example to me a lot of the time and slowly I’m learning to be a better person (some of the time!)
In other news our wild primroses are starting to bloom and the willow fedges are definitely alive!
Oh, and we’re on chicken pox lock down, not that you’d realise it from this blissful little picture!
Not sure I can survive half term take two, complete with house arrest! Maybe I might even be able to coax them into the garden by the end of the week…