Fri | Jul 30, 2021

Riding the tides of life

Published:Monday | June 28, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Taniesha Burke, Contributor

You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.

- Desmond Tutu

Parenting is one of the most important and self-fulfilling roles that we are afforded the opportunity to experience. It is filled with many blessings of experiencing the joys of our children moving through varying developmental, emotional and academic milestones.

Along this magnificent journey as a family we often encounter periods of challenges - financial or otherwise. It does not matter whether you are in a nuclear or single-parent family.

The pressures can become so unbearable that they can have an adverse impact on our emotional and mental well-being which, in turn, may result in broken relationships within the family.

All is not lost should we experience such tidal waves. There are several things that can be done to be at peace while we ride the waves.

Have an expert(s) as confidant

It is very beneficial to communicate with others who are experts in the areas in which we are experiencing challenges. It could be a mastermind group or just an individual. These persons are equipped with skills, experiences and foresight that may be able to assist us in solving or improving our current situation.

Take time-out

Many of us may experience guilt when we feel the urge to get a break from our children, but there is no need to feel such guilt. A few hours or day away regularly by ourselves or with our partner is very beneficial as we all need to rejuvenate and relax in order to weather the storm. It does not have to be an expensive getaway. A simple walk in the park, or on the beach or a quiet place to meditate, can be significant.

Maintain a spiritual life

Dedicate a few minutes each day to reading spiritual texts and or inspirational stories. This helps us to develop faith and thankfulness. In the end, this enables us to better enjoy what we have or are experiencing.

Get up immediately

There are times we will fail in a task, job, relationships or anything that is important to us. The most important thing we need to do is get up, brush ourselves off and ask, why have I failed? What have I learned? How can I do this differently? What are the alternatives? The longer we stay down in despair, the harder it is to bounce back.

Help others

Thinking only of ourselves and our needs will never make us truly happy, optimistic and contented. Giving and sharing, especially in our darkest moments, ignites the soul. It transforms our attitude and outlook on life. Stop thinking what about me? Instead think, how can I make someone else happy?

Enjoy where you are

If we cannot appreciate our present circumstances, it will be impossible to enjoy where we are heading. Enjoy the small blessings of life, friendships, family, health and opportunities. No matter how difficult the situation is, it could have been worse.

Taniesha is the author of the book 'Raising the Next Barack Obama: A Guide on how to Develop Core Principles For Success in Your Child'. She can be reached for comments at