Does the music industry affect our children? Does technology mean that parents no longer have the upper hand in nurturing their children? Just some of the topics touched upon in Angie’s first official public speaking engagement.
I’ve never really taken the brake pedal off or lifted the pause button when it came to public speaking. I’ve been told it should be easy because of my work, but at work I sit in an empty room -just me, the monitors, the headphones and the mic.
Compèring an event or being interviewed is more straightforward: bring the artist on, take the artist off it’s easy, and in an interview situation just answer the questions. Singing is even easier: intro your song, sing it and finish it in the hope that there’ll be some applause and walk off stage. So standing in a room finding enough words to fill 45 minutes whilst people are staring at me made me a little nervous. What if my hair isn’t looking right? What if my stomach looks big? What if my bum looks big?
These were statements I had to remove from my mind when I finally accepted a speaking engagement to empower a group of women at Woodmansterne Baptist Church in Surrey. Me, empower women?
It was a great experience, which started with me sharing my faith and beliefs as to how I get through each and every day: Where I draw my strength, positive quotes and literature that gets me back on track when I start to change direction and it doesn’t feel too comfortable.
I found that once I relaxed, the room relaxed and a conversation started to flow. The main nucleus of this conversation took the route of focusing on the family and parenting. We live in times where parenting skills are being compromised and challenged.
Our children’s minds are being influenced by outside role models at a much higher level than the previous generations. Now, I love technology with a passion; I have an iPhone which syncs to my iPad and the majority of my life is organised between these two gadgets, and I use them for work as labour saving devices.
However, the focus on technology for our young children and teenagers takes a different angle and the general feeling of parents was that we no longer have the upper hand in nurturing our children. The chore has become “heavy” and this heaviness creates a wide berth between parent and child which appears to be getting wider. Language barriers are higher; if children need answers to questions they simply ask Google, their new BFF! There are even opportunities to create friendships(!) online.
The conversation then turned to the music business and at this point I go cold – but – I take pride in the fact that Magic FM targets a demographic and time where you’ll never hear an offensive song and you certainly won’t hear any offensive statements. But not everyone listens to Magic.
Enter Mylie Cyrus and Beyoncé. The heat is now on and the temperature has risen; RIP Hannah Montana and Destiny’s Child. My speaking engagement has now become a debate: Does the music industry influence our children? How can we as parents encourage them to listen to a balance of music? Is there a body of people positioned in designated places to ensure that our children “worship” modern day performing artists?
There were many more questions some of which I could answer, I couldn’t. What I do know is that we are searching – searching for the route to becoming better, caring parents who are in control.
Whether through positive thinking, spirituality or affirmations, what I did take away from my speaking engagement is this: faith, belief and strength in a higher power are the key. There is definitely “something” bigger, better and more powerful than human beings.
I am deliberately not going to categorise any form of religion or faith here because Feeling Fab is about feeling good, feeling fabulous and your designated path is your choice. Regardless of your route, however, we all want to be the best parents we can be. It’s our parenting that sets the foundation for the next generation regardless of what our children currently choose to listen to.
If we truly believe in ourselves and draw on the strength of what keeps us going, our parenting challenges should be reduced. So I reiterate that faith, belief and strength are key.
Image: Angie with Debbie Gye and Jackie Phillips