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Core values August 19, 2007

Filed under: Barefoot Books - general info,parenting articles,Tatty Bumpkin — paulabrown @ 12:38 pm

Many moons ago when I worked in a proper office, for someone else, who sent me on fancy training courses and everything, I did a few management courses. One of them was about how everything you do should emanate from your core goals and that way you would be perfectly content. I don’t remember what it had to do with managing but it did result in a few people jacking it in and taking off with surf boards around the world! One thing I did think early on in parenting was that never was this truer than with parenting…

So here are some of my core goals (note my next post will be about challenges so please don’t assume I’m some smug saint and all these work all the time!):

relevance / meaning – I have always felt, and this is just a personal thing, that the kids should understand what we do and why we do it – so what we choose to eat, where we live, what work we do (resulting in me leaving my job and starting child-related businesses that my kids not only understand but gain a lot from – see entries on Tatty Bumpkin and Barefoot Books) etc. We try to do this in an undogmatic, way, I don’t want them to think that’s the only way to do things…

anything’s possible – I’ve long been a believer of if there’s something you want to do / is needed and no one is doing it then just do it! It does mean I never get to veg and watch TV but is incredibly empowering. I was very lucky that my parents gave me a sense of anything being possible and that there were no limitations on what I could do, that I was utterly capable of anything (I did entertain a brief spell of fancying myself as a super-hero and jumping off the top of a tall fridge freezer dressed in my dad’s parachute boots and hat but otherwise entirely naked – but generally I think it was a good thing). All around us there is evidence of people getting him off their backsides and doing great stuff and there are loads of groups coming up with amazingly creative answers to (often multiple) problems.

sustainability – having long been a pursuer of all things environmental, it feels a bit like a (sometimes slightly annoying!) coming of age now that sustainability, carbon footprints etc are the words du jour. The kids are master composters and love being outside. They haven’t yet (thank goodness) started lecturing me about my car use (as my neighbour’s daughter does!) but they are pretty aware of the environment. The thing I think anyone new to all things green needs to realise is that it is a journey with no specific destination, that is to say that it’ll never be finished: I thought I was doing pretty well (we eat almost all organic, mostly wholegrain food from a food co-op, use cloth nappies, no chemicals in the home etc) but I keep finding new things (like the Mooncup, if you don’t use one, try one, they’re suprisingly good) and am still dealing with old demons like my tendency to use the car when I could probably avoid it.

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One Response to “Core values”

  1. Hi Paula – since coming back from holiday, I’ve had a chance to browse your site and it’s great to find someone who suffers the same dilemmas with a similar sense of values. Yippee, I am not on my own. I haven’t managed to be as good as you but when times get hard, I’ll know where to drop in.


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