I was reading a book by Richard Eyre, the author of "Don't just do something, sit there" and "Teaching your child values".
There's something he said about successful parenting which makes alot of sense.
What do kids need? They need to be listened to, to be understood, to be valued. They need parents who will take the time to show them, teach them, help them, nurture them. They need to be made our priority, even when it is inconvenient.
They need long-term commitments of quantity time rather than the quick fixes of 'quality time'.
Availability is the key to successful parenting!
The more we are there for our children, the longer they'll be there for us. What they need isn't our expertise, it's our attention.
He also says Children are like seedlings, and parents are the gardeners.
Tiny seedlings often look the same but one is an oak tree, one is a walnut tree and one is an apple tree. No amount of manipulation will transform one into another or change their inner nature. The sooner we see who and what they are, the sooner we can tailor our gardening and nurturing to help them become the best of what they actually can be.
Good gardeners know that every plant is different and caring gardeners watch each plant and knows its nature well enough to know when to water, when to fertilise and when to prune.