Support, not Perfection: Parent Impressions from Petrovac na Mlavi

by NDFAdmin

  • Jul 20, 2023

We are sharing with you the impressions of two parents from Petrovac na Mlavi who attended our last cycle of workshops within the “Support, not perfection” program. 

Dragana Zivotic

Our small family consists of three members, my husband, our baby and me. The youngest member of our family is eight and a half months old and his name is Tadija. Tadija is a very cheerful and smiling baby. He likes to crawl and explore everything that is novel to him. He likes to travel with mom and dad and easily adapts to new surroundings. He likes his dad’s guitar the most and when his dad plays and sings his favourite songs. He loves rattles and anything he can bang against the floor to the beat of his dad’s rhythm.

The thing about us as parents about which I am most proud is that Tadija is a part of all aspects of our lives. We didn’t change them significantly because of him, but we did include him in them, and now the two of us are living the life we had dreamed of before he came along and while we waited for him to complete us. Also, I can proudly say that dad participates completely equally in everything that has to do with Tadija and we all enjoy bathing, feeding, changing clothes, playing together, in all the charms and hardships that parenthood brings with it. Since the baby’s arrival, we have formed routines for our daily lives, which we happily follow and use to cheerfully complete all that a day with a baby entails. Considering that parenting is a really challenging journey filled with carious adventures, the two of us strive to additionally educate ourselves as parents in order to be a team, us and our son, that will overcome any obstacle on this path, more or less successfully. That is the reason why I applied to this program. The program deals with everything that parents need, it discusses many different topics that cause parents worries, and incite fear in us. Every topic carries a special significance. In addition to self-regulation strategies, the I-Message technique, a proper reward system, the TIME-IN method, techniques for overcoming fears and shyness, strategies related to children’s nutrition, I believe that the most important thing that I will take with me from all these workshops is that I am now more aware of just how equally important it is to take care of ourselves as we do our children and their feelings and needs. Because that’s the only way we’ll be the best role models for our child. Also, through the workshops and conversation with other parents and our facilitator Ivana, I strengthened my vision of parenthood and felt supported to continue to realize it, with the help of everything new learned during the program.

Dragana Zivotic and her family.

I strongly encourage all parents who wish to improve themselves, share their worries and experiences, boost their parenting confidence, and learn new parenting skills and strategies to enrol in the program. None of us are perfect, but it is important to be aware of our mistakes and work to correct them, and the least we can do for our children is to show them that we care about being the best we can be for them and ourselves. Let’s love our children, listen to them, be with them, play, let them explore the world… because “Support, not perfection” is important!

And at the very end, the most important thing:

“Everything can be postponed; except the love you give to a child!

Nikola Stanojevic

My name is Nikola and I attended this workshop together with my wife Marija and our only son Dušan.

We learned about this program via a former co-worker who had previously participated in it as well as from the Facebook post on the preschool page. After a short introduction to the program, we decided to apply for the first next cycle.

As we were in a very bad family relationship when we found out about the program (conflict with my parents, lack of support and understanding from their side at that time), which as a consequence led to the fact that the tempers for the little rascal was extremely short, so there was more noise than kisses, we didn’t think much about what could be learned, but we were guided by the thought that we can only lose if we don’t try. Finding a way to communicate with a young child and sticking with strong goals to raise a small child to be a big, nice person were the crucial components.

Nikola Stanojevic with his family.

The methods and knowledge we have acquired, the sponge, self-talk, short-term and long-term goals, as well as ways to fight stress along with the experiences of other parents provide a good foundation for further work. We started applying everything. And everything gave at least some kind of result. This alone is ample evidence that the curriculum is well-designed and that everyone will find something in it that applies to their “problem”. With the knowledge we’ve received, we’ve improved our daily lives, developed more original solutions, intelligently utilized the time we had, and started down the road to better parenting.

I have some wonderful recollections of the program, including mingling with new people and learning new things. The most significant takeaway from this class is learning that you are not as alone as it sometimes appears after participating in all 10 of its workshops with 25 other people.

Cake in a pan?! Impossible?! Oh, yes it is, and very much so.

My only complaint about the program is the length of the workshops because certain topics could have been covered in more detail, but alas. The second is perhaps more of a wish for SNP #2 – teenagers. We recognize that a continuation is required after the massacre in primary school in Belgrade and the lessons we’ve learnt from it. We, the current parents, were children in a time that no longer exists and we were brought up for a time that did not happen. The modernization of everything at any cost, all kinds of nonsense available at the click of a button on TV and the Internet, the ever-present slave-owning attitude towards employees, will not give us time for a story with the children. We must keep up with technology and the world, but we must also protect ourselves and our children for everything that awaits us.

I could tell other parents that this program is worth it. Being the best version of yourself, the one your child already adores, is a life premium!

Everything can be postponed; except the love you give to a child!

Petrovac na Mlavi, see you in October! This program is organized with the help of Generali osiguranje Serbia and their global initiative The Human Safety Net.