Thursday 14 March 2013

Babyhood – The Film by Kate Jangra

Many of you who follow this blog will be aware by now that I try my best to parent the girls in a gentle and conscious way. I embrace parenting practices which aim to empower children, show them respect, help their confidence to grow, give them boundaries with the flexibility to push against them and not stifle their growth. I want them to know that as their parents my husband and I will do everything we can to understand where they are coming from and where possible do everything in our power to make sure they feel heard. It’s not always easy, as any parent knows. Throw a few of life’s spanners in the works and it can feel like your “ideal” is being trashed by a disrespectful universe. But isn’t it actually when life does get tough that we need to trust those core parenting beliefs and values more than ever and put them into practice? I believe so and it’s when things go off track and we have to deal with things like death, loss, illness etc that we then need to trust our parenting instincts more than ever to find a way through the darkness following the light we lit beforehand. If we’ve built the foundations correctly, this should stand us in good stead for the rocky path ahead.

As a family unit we have been through some tough times over the past few years. My PND illness with Sophia, which lasted 4 years, family fallouts and then my mother’s diagnosis with lung cancer when my youngest was just 8 weeks old, followed by her passing 6 months later. These unexpected developments completely shattered our world, but one thing that’s helped us through these times is trusting our instincts as parents, knowing that we are still striving to come from the right space with the girls and that despite where we find ourselves, we are still doing our best to respect them, show them unconditional love, and are trying to balance out everyone’s needs amongst the chaos.

Trusting your instincts is really important as a parent and it’s often the one thing we question particularly as new parents. We look to others to guide us, and the new trend seems to be to look to so called “baby experts” to tell us how to parent our children when actually if we just trusted ourselves more, we’d realise that we know more than we think. Many of us now live miles away from our family support network and are often left feeling lost and alone when we become parents. We feel overwhelmed by the whole experience and can lose faith in our instinctive abilities. That’s when a film like “Babyhood” can really empower you with the confidence you need to trust your innate parenting wisdom and immerse yourself in the joys of being a parent.

I connected with Kate Jangra in December of last year (2012) after seeing a blog post from “The Mule” which included a brief overview of “Babyhood – the film” and from the trailer I saw, I knew I wanted to see the full film. Its core message was about following our instincts, and going back to basics with our parenting. It felt good to watch and really resonated with me. I ordered myself a copy and have watched it several times over the past few months, each time getting further insight from the wealth of experts Kate spoke to whilst putting the film together; Sue Gerhardt – Psychotherapist & Author of Why Love Matters, Camila Batmanghelidjh – Director of Kids Company, Dr Suzanne Zeedyk – Developmental Psychologist, Detective Chief Superintendant John Carnochan – Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, Helena Kennedy QC, Sue Palmer – Literary Specialist and Author of Toxic Childhood, Carrie Longton - Co-founder of Mumsnet, Professor Lesley Page – Visiting Professor of Midwifery, Kings College London and Naomi Morton – Midwife, Hypnotherapist, & Hypnobirthing Practitioner.

The film is beautifully interspersed with wonderful, inspiring poetry by Holly McNish which both my husband and I found thought provoking and gave the film a raw, creative edge.

The key message from this film is about the importance of play and attachment with our children particularly in the first 1,000 days of their life – that’s just short of 3 years. The film focuses on the benefits of child-centred parenting and after reading quite a few articles recently about “cry it out” techniques and the like, this film is welcome relief to those of us striving to parent in a more peaceful, responsive way. It made me question our high-tech lives where we give everything to our children thinking that more is better. But what children really want is our time, love and presence in their lives. We are expending less and less of that on our kids at a time when the influence of the media, technology and money is taking over their lives. Our children are directed and controlled rather than feeling the freedom to just “be”, immersed in their own imaginations and creativity. The need to get back to basics is never more needed and felt than now. The one lasting message as a parent I came away with every time I watched this film was from Sue Palmer who said “We give them the roots to grow and the wings to fly and off they go”. What a beautiful message that is.

This film comes highly recommended and it would make a wonderful addition to any new mother or father’s toolbox to empower them along their parenting journey.

Babyhood is being screened in association with Juno magazine and Born on Wednesday 20 March 2013 in Bristol. Tickets are £4 each and can be booked via this link:

If you would like your own copy of Babyhood, then Kate is selling them at £10 each and you can buy one by emailing her direct at:

You can also connect with Kate and find out more about Babyhood – the film from the website: via their Facebook page:


I hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read. Do let me know your thoughts below in the comments section. It’s always nice to hear from you x. 

And as always you can also find me on my Facebook page: and Twitter: @SophiasChoiceUK. Until next time xx


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