Growing Up With Siblings of Colour. My ‘Understanding’ Is Not Their Experience.

Larissa Dann

If you are white, like me, you may be questioning your understanding of white privilege.

I am – yet the children in my family, with whom I grew up, were of colour.

Should Children And Parents Be Friends? (My answer might surprise you.)

 

Imagine this. Your 14-year-old daughter is standing next to you, wiping up the dishes you’ve washed. You are discussing the general hum drum of life.

Out of the blue, she asks, “Am I your friend?”

Wow.

“Am I your friend?”

What would you say?

Hints on Maintaining a Harmonious Household

 

“Mum. I’m not choosing to be here, living with my family. I should be in England – that’s where my stuff is, where I’m paying rent. I should be working and beginning my life there now that I’ve finished studying.”

Preparing To Say Goodbye Even As I Hug Hello

 

My daughter and I pull up in the five-minute waiting zone outside the bus station. She relays her brother’s text messages to me.

“Bus is running late. I’m hungry”.

I sit gazing through the windscreen. I have not seen my man-son for eighteen months. I remember my swollen eyes as I hugged his taught frame goodbye at the airport, and cannot believe this was over a year ago. I wonder why I am so calm. Where is my feeling of anticipation, of excitement? Oh, could it be because Christmas is in three days, and I am overwhelmed with work, planning, and general busyness? No time to feel!

When I Realised That Being A Parent To An Adult Is Different To Being A Parent Of A Child

 

The glass doors glide silently open. Wearing a dark, pin-striped pencil skirt and stiletto-heeled shoes, I step nervously into the hushed court entrance. My parents, wary and apprehensive, flank me.

I am in shock. I cannot believe where life has brought me. Mum and Dad - my champions - are just as stunned. Borne of the stoic generation, they keep their feelings in check.

Learning to Take The Back Seat As A Parent

 

Three of us are in the car – my young adult son, my learner-driver teenager, and me.

“I’ll supervise”, says my son, and my daughter nods, grinning at him in collusion and trust.

“OK Mum. I’m looking after things, remember?” says my boy. And I see the curve of my daughter’s cheek as she laughs in agreement.

As My Child Moves To Adulthood, Am I Treasuring The Moments? (a short read)

Larissa Dann

Here we are at the beach, my teen and me, taking photos at her request. With my daughter’s permission, I am posting not because of the picture, but because of her.

She is racing to adulthood, and I am barely keeping up.

Grandparents And Grandchildren: Observations From A Parent In-Between.

 

He fumbles open the car door, leans down to grab his stick, then steps precariously across the gutter. She glides to the door, closes it, and peers at me through the smudged glass with a look that she knows I will understand.

“I will look after him, but I’m a bit worried . . .” are the words I translate from her eyes.

“Without Rewards or Punishment, What Motivates You?” Young People Raised Gently Answer Parents’ Questions.

Larissa Dann

“Bringing up children without rewards or punishment, and no smacking? They’ll be spoilt brats that are entitled and selfish!” So said my mother and her friends when I declared that this was the way I would be bringing up my son, twenty-four years ago. A second child later, and it’s time to reflect.

Just how did this parenting approach impact on my children, and importantly, our relationship, as they matured through childhood, the teen years, and on to adulthood?

What better way to find out, than to ask the young people themselves?

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