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Parenting is in the UK news again today highlighting the Importance of Parenting.

Naturally I believe parents have a crucial role in raising happy, confident, well behaved kids able to fulfill their true potential.

Children raised with positive, confident parents who have high expectations and aspirations, inspire their children to try in Life, expect the best from Life and “have a go in Life.”

Parents have a very important role to play in their child’s life as they are their primary role models.

But …… they are not the only influence on children. Teachers, grandparents, older family members, religious  leaders, sporting heroes, local youth leaders,  and people of influence in a child’s life also play a very important role in passing on values and beliefs.

Beliefs are the assumptions that we make about ourselves, about others in the world and about how we expect things to be and they can either lift us up to greater things or hold us back.

 Beliefs are about how we think things really are, what we think is really true and what we therefore expect as likely consequences that will follow from our behaviour.

Beliefs give us a basis for our decision-making in an uncertain and ambiguous world.

So if you were told at 12 (like I was) that I was hopeless at Maths by my Maths teacher at school, I held that that belief  for about 35 years until I went and trained with Pau McKenna , Dr Richard Bandler and Tony Robbins and looked at that limiting belief and smashed it as it wasn’t true and it no longer served me as a woman in her 40’s !

That’s the power of beliefs.

But children are receiving either positive beliefs about themselves or negative beliefs, and it is that which fascinates me most about today’s comments by Frank Field.

Children from poorer backgrounds may be receiving more limiting beliefs about themselves, about their role in the world and about what they can and can’t do, be, or have.

Happy, confident, successful people believe in themselves and they are able to bend not break when Life throws them challenges, as it inevitably will.

They take 100% responsibility for their decisions, their life and their happiness and ability to steer their lives in the direction that they want it to go – regardless of the obstacles, road blocks or pot holes.

I have noticed in my work as a Parenting Coach that parents come on my workshops, come for 1-2-1coaching  or buy my Parenting Made Easy CDs   because they lack confidence in what they are doing and they need some new ideas, fresh strategies or different techniques to help them – not because they are broken, troubled or in need of counselling.

Parent Coaching isn’t like that and anyone who has been reading my daily blogs for the last 3 years or has ever read any of my articles, knows that I often just ask great questions to help people find their own answers.

My role is to champion parents, not blame, criticise or judge them.

I hold out a helping hand not point a finger.

I move parents forward in their relationships without over analysing their past – that’s like trying to move forward looking in the rear view mirror and doesn’t get you anywhere.

I empower parents to be the best they can be.

Parents need support from time to time as kids don’t come with a handbook!

Bringing up kids is hard work, challenging, exhausting and overwhelming at times and we all need a few new ideas or ways forward when we get stuck.

Earlier in the year  I was invited up to The House of Commons to meet Iain Duncan Smith from The Centre of Social Justice   in my role as a School Home Support Ambassador for the wonderful charity.

Bridging the gap between home and school, having positive role models and inspiring parents to be confident, positive and the best they can be, can only have a positive influence on their children.

But for me it’s REALLY important to make the classes FUN, ENTERTAINING and ENJOYABLE!

Parents don’t want to be lectured or patronised.

My vision has long been to have a Tony Robbins type of event with music, laughter and learning….. it’s been on my Dream Board in my office for 5 years, and if I could I’d buy the Tudor Barn next door to me that’s up for sale at the moment,  and start my Sue Atkins Foundation tomorrow if I could get the funding to run exciting, fun and educational parenting classes here in the Surrey countryside where families could all come to learn how to build bridges not walls between each other, and learn how to communicate, discipline and enjoy their family life.

But until then I’ll keep championing parents around the UK as I believe we all love our children and are doing our best for them but like everything in life we all need a bit of inspiration and ideas from time to time.

Just grab a cup of coffee and ponder the beliefs you hold about yourself:

“Not very good with technology, not very good with money, not very academic, not very musical, not very patient, not very confident,  not ….. not …. not….”


Is that really TRUE?

Perhaps it’s time to leave behind some of those limiting beliefs that you may have been given by your parents, teachers or grandma as you are unconsciously passing some of them on to your children………

What limiting beliefs are you passing on to your kids?

“People like us don’t live in posh houses like that….people like us don’t speak like that….. people like us can’t be successful doctors, lawyers or entrepreneurs…….”

Or maybe you are passing on:

“You are great at dancing, great at making friends, great at organising , you are great because you always have a go and get back up to have another try, you are great because you  simply choose to learn from your mistakes instead of  blaming yourself for getting things wrong sometimes.”

Just imagine you have  camcorder on your shoulder this week and notice what beliefs you are passing on to your kids, and if you don’t like what you discover – don’t beat yourself up just make a small change that will make a BIG difference over time to your child’s view of themselves.

What you believe about yourself can keep you locked behind your fears or thrust you forward into living your dreams.

I wrote my “Living The Dream” CD for teenagers to inspire them to be the best they can be so take a look at it here. Maybe it’s time to pop this famous quote up on your fridge to help you remember!

“Change your thinking, change your life,” said Ernest Holmes.

 (There’s lots more free posters on my website here.)

Here is the article from the Daily Telegraph

 “Frank Field, a Labour MP who studied social mobility for the Coalition, concluded that parenting plays a significant role in determining whether children born to poor parents grow up to be poor.

He recommended that public money and resources be focussed much more tightly on helping children from poor families in their early years.

A new Cabinet-level ministerial post should be created to oversee new early years interventions. Children should also be closely monitored and their mental, physical and emotional development registered and reported, he said.

Mr Field, a former Labour welfare minister, concluded that parental attention and ambitions for children can matter even more for poor children than those in wealthy homes.

“Poor parenting exists across the income distribution, but tends to have less of an impact on better off children where other factors provide greater protection against poor outcomes,” he said.

Parenting courses should be “offered as routine to new parents”, the report recommended. Such courses “should be seen as something normal to do, rather than remedial, or something only for low income families.”

Children’s Centres and home visitors should encourage parents to come to parenting courses “as a matter of course” during a child’s first three years.

And councils should ensure that all new parents have early access to a parenting course, the report found. Health visitors should offers “to sign them up as a matter of routine, initially targeting this on those most likely to benefit.”

As well as new parents, children themselves should be taught “parenting and life skills” in preparation for having children themselves, Mr Field said.

Lessons should begin at primary school and culminate with a “a cross-curricular qualification in parenting at GCSE level”.

To measure the success of new measures to help poor children, the report recommended Government departments compiled new “Life Chances Indicators” measuring children’s cognitive, physical and emotional development at the ages of three and five.

Mr Field also suggested reform of the education system, which he said should be split into three parts, starting with the Foundation Years, covering the period between conception and five years old.”

What are your thoughts?

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About the author

Sue Atkins is a Parenting Expert who offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children. She is also the author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the  famous black and yellow series published worldwide and the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and her parenting articles are published all over the world.

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Sue Atkins the Parenting Expert
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