Parent power
Parent power
Parent24 Editor, Scott Dunlop

Every now and then I come across a story which stops me in my tracks. Fills me with a sense of shame, but then inspires me- You see, I complain just as much as the next person about feeling tired, having to cook meals which the kids refuse to eat or trying to keep bickering children from sniping at each other. Then I hear about people who are parenting in extremely difficult circumstances and still managing to enjoy it, and I feel bad, then encouraged, then excited, all at once.

I’m aware that each person has different capabilities and strengths, so I’m not trying to make you feel guilty, but look at these parents and hopefully you’ll feel the same way.

I was scanning through Twitter while lazing in bed with coffee on Sunday, and a friend posted an astounding picture: A local father carrying his disabled son through an Iron Man competition. I get tired just playing foosball with my kids, and here’s Kevin Garwood participating in a competition which most of us would stand no chance at succeeding in: swimming, cycling and running, all while carrying his son, Nicholas, who has cerebral palsy. Kevin and Nicholas are Iron Men, for sure- they take part in triathlons and live life to the fullest. As Nicholas’ mom, Cheryl, says on their website:

Sport has enriched our lives tremendously. Parents of special needs children should not impose limits on themselves and hide their children away".

You have to love that!

Each family comes with their own set of challenges. There are financial problems, relationship issues, learning disabilities and tragedies and, one of the least acknowledged, the immense pressure we parents feel just to make it through the day. We need others to inspire us, encourage us and cheer us on. Parenting in a vacuum is terribly hard.

I’m not suggesting we use the misfortunes of others to make ourselves feel better, but, rather, that we draw inspiration from parents who are not merely survivors, but victors.

Respect to each one of you who stares a challenge in the face and then, with the determination that comes with wanting the best for your child, prepares to do battle.

Tell us about something which you’ve found inspiring as a parent at, and you could win a R250 voucher.


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