We are our children's Wingmen

Those of us "teening and young adulating" in 1986 may remember when Tom Cruise was being reprimanded for getting ‘killed’ in simulated combat because he left his wingman (Watch movie clip here). A wingman is described as a pilot who supports another in a potentially dangerous <flying> environment. Wingman was originally a term referring to the plane flying beside and slightly behind the lead plane in an aircraft formation.  

I (Colleen) use this analogy with my kids. I’ve said to my daughter (now 12) often over the years “I am your wingman - don’t pull away, don’t shoot me down - I am the best supporter you will ever have.” 

Let us play with this analogy and infuse it with some neuroscience and emotional intelligence understanding. Assume our kids are the pilots of their own lives and we are their wingmen - supporting them through many potential mental, emotional, relational, spiritual or physical dangers.  

What is at the core of this relationship is trust and its success depends on communication.

As wingmen we want our Pilots

  • to trust us, to stay close and to be guided by us.  
  • We want our pilots to know that we have their back.  
  • We want our pilots to be able to call for us when they need us,
  • to receive our messages if we perceive a danger they do not 
  • and to carrying on flying freely knowing that we are observing at all times but not needing to interfere or intervene more than is necessary.

Trust and communication are critical components of effective relationships and yet all too often the previous paradigm of parenting breaks relationship as we Wingmen punish, shame, blame, rant, criticise or withdraw.  

All of this in the name of guiding and protecting our little Pilots?  

If we want our Pilots to fly effectively through the many challenges and opportunities that life provides, they will be far better equipped to do so if they are working with and not resisting or rebelling against their wingmen.

And so we return to the place where relationship is the ultimate goal of parenting. It builds trust in our children brain's and creates safety which is optimal to their development. 

If you are in Durban, we have a host for an Umhlanga course and we'd love to see you there.  This is the final course of 2016.  If you are keen to host us at your school or in your home in 2017 please mail us on [email protected] 

Upcoming Signature Parenting Course

Term 4, Umhlanga, Durban
Venue: Kingfisher Lodge, Mount Edgecombe
Dates: 27 October, 3, 10, 17 November
Time: 6pm - 9pm
Book: http://contemporary_parenting.signupsheet.com

We are discontinuing Sticky Feeling magnets. We have 7 sets left of the final stock.  If you'd like to get your hands on a set be sure to order now.  You can order off www.takealot.com today or if you're in Durban you may liase direct with us to purchase a set! They make great presents for teachers or as christmas gifts for families. 

The exciting news is will be introducing Feeling Bodies a revamped version of the bodies from Sticky Feeling Magnets   as part of the international brand Feeling Magnets. We'll let you know once they officially launch.

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