What is this about?
The parenting webinar is a community initiative to build each other’s capacity and empower one another on the parenting journey.
This was birthed from the understanding that it takes a village to raise a child. This is a concept that I am very familiar with having been brought up in Zimbabwe. Growing up, I was raised by the community. Fast forward to my own parenting journey, the circumstances have changed. In a bid to find that community, a virtual one was created in February 2017.
I remember as a health visitor deliberating and talking about this with colleagues; the social isolation, the statistics on youth crime, gangs and changing face of society. What also struck me was how ethnic minority families were not accessing children centres for support. On a personal level, as a mom of teens, the need for support and encouragement became compelling.
The more I talked about it to family and friends, the more I realised the need. Ideas started flowing, fear also crept in as well. Fear of the unknown, being judged etc. With encouragement prayer and support from a lot of people here we are today.
As we celebrate this milestone we have covered 30 sessions out of the 52weeks as we initially ran the webinars forty nightly and then took breaks when needed e.g World cup semi- finals. Topics discussed ranged from boundary setting, managing inter-parental conflicts, understanding children’s love language, sleepovers, parenting and social care as well as the role of fathers to name a few. I have also covered some face to face sessions. I believe I have grown tremendously in understanding of self and the world around me. I thought I would share a few things with you.
Lessons learnt :
1️⃣- Start- Just do it! Do it afraid if you have to. Technical hitches do happen, prepare as much as you can and if it happens, do not lose face.
2️⃣- Enjoy- Some days it will be such great fun. Most days it will be hard from finding motivation, people to empower and simply being busy with life. Find joy anyway. Time flies when having fun. Having your vision scribbled somewhere, on a placard, note book or framed helps. It keeps you aligned and focused.
3️⃣- Engage your audience. Depending on the topic, allow people to share, suggest, ask questions. Be open minded about audience and potential client group.
4️⃣-Be on time. Being punctual is critical. Not only does it show that you are professional and serious, it demonstrates respect. Respect for your audience, their time and dedication.
5️⃣- Find people who can critically appraise what you are doing. Having feedback is key on moving forward. Encouragers are great, a critical friend is key and a keeper. Acknowledge them. Appreciate them.
6️⃣- Value- valuing yourself, your effort is also important. Don’t allow anyone to tell you otherwise.
7️⃣Back up- Yes, save, save your work, drafts and save again, especially in blogging and content preparation for the webinars. I can’t recall the number of times, my content just disappeared. That can make or break you. I learnt to get up and write again.
8️⃣Prayer- Remains the foundation and cornerstone in your building. Communicating about your vision, committing yourself and audience to God offers a place of clarity and understanding.
9️⃣Ask- ask for help and offer help when others need it. Having a support network makes all the difference. We receive what we give. By being present and available to others, it offers opportunity for reciprocity.
🔟 Losses and gains. Many people especially immediate family and friends will not get your vision. After all it’s yours. Don’t be discouraged. Familiarity does that and we are all guilty of that. You will lose familiar faces and gain more new ones. Embrace both.
1️⃣1️⃣ Conviction – Stand for what you believe and express yourself. In this journey, I am learning to speak my mind and mean what I say. I term that growth.
1️⃣2️⃣ Celebrate- celebrate both the big and small achievements. It is said ‘ do not despite the days of small beginnings’ and remember Rome was not built in a day.
Here is to the future. For what it will be, we entrust in Him. What we know is that there is grace and hope.
If you are interested in joining our growing community, you are most welcome. Our Zoom webinars are weekly on a Friday at 8pm UK time. Do get in touch ( whatsapp, messenger, facebook, instagram).