In my view parenting in the 21st century has changed and its less about the authoritarian style of leadership and more about collaboration and cooperation. The family is a team and as one of the team leaders the more I understand them and get them to understand us (parents) and our vision, the better. The visit to the cinema this weekend with four of my children surprisingly proved to be an excellent team building event.
Lesson one – Democracy – Let the children debate and conclude, don’t always tell them what to do. The process of selecting the movie was first of all a debate between us. Who should watch it and whether it’s age appropriate for all the children given that it is rated PG13. The next debate was who sits where. Since there were no free seats where all five of us could all sit together we had to sit in pairs and one alone. It was interesting to see how the children self select which sibling they sit with. Interesting dynamics.
Lesson two – Quality Time. Normally since a movie is on average 2 hours I use the kids time in the cinema to set up parallel meetings or to do errands given my busy mother wife schedule. This time around I decided to sit in the cinema for the two hours.
Children appreciate that you are busy but they need your time too. They enjoyed my company in the cinema even when I thought I would rather spend the two hour trying to ‘make ends meet’ or look for money as we commonly say.
Lesson three – Rest is important. For these two hours I shut out the busy world and entered the beautiful scenery of Lion King. It was not only refreshing but also made me appreciate even more the beauty in Africa and our animals, and how much more we should be doing in the tourism sector in Uganda. Those hours to rest and disappear in the lion kingdom gave me an energy boost which as mothers God knows we need.
Lesson four – Generations need to find common ground. Lion King stimulated so much discussion. At the end of the movie from the 7 year old, 10 year old and the teenagers we were singing our favourite songs, discussing the characters, discussing the animals and where we think the scenes were shot from. They all want to see the Wilder beast migration so I guess Serengeti is on our bucket list. They were excited as well to know that there was a Ugandan actress. Now I have people dreaming about Hollywood.
It was a good movie and a weekend well spent. The team is now energized and motivated for all the tasks that lie ahead this week.
I won’t spoil your excitement by telling you about the movie, just encourage you to watch it with family and take time to rest, recuperate and enjoy each others company.