Do you ever feel like you can problem solve almost every area of your life, but when it comes to parenting feel like you don’t have a clue what you are doing? Just when you get over one hurdle, or developmental stage or think you have it figured out, the game changes. Then before you know it, adolescence sneaks up on you, and next comes raising a teenager which is a whole other story. I think the most stressful time, even with the sleepless nights and endless feeding and diaper changes of the infant stage, was raising my teenage son. I have often felt like I have no idea how to handle certain aspects of balancing setting limits with allowing him to spread his wings and make some of his own choices. And I probably made some mistakes with him, and will continue to make mistakes with my children as long as I live. But the one thing I have always used as my parenting inner- guidance system is to ask myself at the end of the day- did I do my best to love?
In my practice working with clients, I have the advantage of learning and observing what the after effects of unconscious parenting can be in adult life. I work with people as they grapple and unravel the messages they received, and things their parents used to say, and how they were treated as children and I am starting to observe a real pattern of certain parenting behaviors during my work with people, that seem to create the most damage into adulthood. I will cover 3 big toxic parenting beliefs, and follow with a conscious parenting alternative to each in this blog.
The truth in parenting is that as much as we love our children to the depths of our soul, we are often operating from our fear place in our discipline and parenting – fear of what might happen if a certain behavior continues, fear of what kind of person our child will be if we let certain behaviors slide, fear of what other people might think, fear they will make the same mistakes as we feel we made, and so on. I think many parents are in the same boat, we are all just winging it trying to do the best we can, taking it day by day. What works for one child likely won’t work for your others . It is an art that we master as we go along.
There is a lot of parenting advice out there, and an overwhelming amount of parenting books at our fingertips, and as a parent of 3 children I know I have felt really overwhelmed and confused much of the time as to what really is the most important thing to focus on when it comes to parenting. I have read countless parenting books over the course of my 17 years of parenting, and much of the advice out there really didn’t resonate with me. The crying it out method tortured my soul, time outs made me feel like I was abandoning my child, and the reward charts and systems just never seemed to stick. I will share with you what I feel are universal principles we can all practice no matter what the age and stage in this article. I hope you can take away at least one piece of new information and inspiration and use it for the good of your family. Here are 3 areas to focus on to get you started on a more holistic approach to parenting:
1) Toxic Parenting belief: ” Children should be seen not heard” ” my child should do as I say not what I do, “children need to do as they are told even if it feels wrong to them” ” I know better about what my child need than he does”
Know your core values- and the ones you want to instill in your child For me the most important core values I want to instill in my children are my guiding post to how I parent them. I want to raise them to be thinkers, feelers, and believers. To know that their thoughts are powerful and that their body ‘speaks’ to them through physical sensations and feelings. I teach them about intuition, and listening to their body when it comes to being in certain situations, and when they eat certain foods – I will often say “how does it feel in your body?” and they are already learning how to discern what to eat even when I am not with them. At birthday parties they will often tell me they only ate a few bites of cake because it started to make the feel sick. Or that they ate extra vegetables with their pizza lunch. I teach them that it is all about balance and being mindful of what they put in their bodies. And I am also very careful to practice what I teach. They see me living in this way, so we always have an open dialogue about it.
2) Toxic Parenting Belief: “My child should stop crying and fussing when I tell her to”, “I have to toughen my child up so he/she is not such a wimp”, “My child shouldn’t be upset”, “children cry just to get attention”
Kids who are told that they shouldn’t feel the way that they do, or that “there is nothing to be upset about” or “you’re OK: when they are upset, will carry this toxic belief into adulthood. Believing that it isn’t healthy to feel the full range of our emotions is what often leads us to dis-ease of the mind and body. Suppressed emotions can manifest into depression, which is literally ‘depressed emotion’.
Teach your children that it is healthy to feel their feelings (including boys!)
Teaching our children from an early age, that it is healthy and necessary to feel their emotions, to cry and to express their feelings, worries or concerns to someone they trust, and to listen to their heart when they are torn about making a certain decisions, is a life skill that will serve them greatly for the rest of their lives.
If my girls are ever unsure about something, which friends party to go to, whether they want to stay at home or go camping with Dad, or what dance class they want to take, I will ask them “what does your heart say”? and they always get an answer.
All the mental chatter or anxiety they are expressing often melts away almost instantly when I ask them this one question. Try it next time your child is confused or unsure about a decision.
It never helps to say “You are making too big a deal about this” to a child, because to them it is a big deal, and they are upset for their own valid reason. Even if we don’t understand why, it is toxic to invalidate and shut down a child’s emotional experience.
This can be especially true when parenting boys, the belief that we need to toughen them up by shutting them down when they are crying or emotional. They will likely grow up to be shut down adult men who are not comfortable with emotion or intimacy later on, if this is a consistent message they receive in childhood.
Teach them that they know what is best for them, and let them make decisions about some things (but not about the non-negotiable ones) and allow them to practice listening to their ‘gut feelings’.
If we were all taught this simple skill as children- to listen to our body, heart and soul, just imagine how different the world would be!
3) “my child must believe what I believe”, “there is only one God”
Teach them how to experience a Spiritual Connection that feels right for them
I think it is important to resist pushing my beliefs on my children, but when they ask me about God, I tell them what I believe. That “God” means love, and it is something that is within all of us, not a bearded man that lives up in the clouds. We read Buddhist teachings, and have Wayne Dyer and Louise Hay books written for children which we read regularly. And it comes up in conversations at times, but I don’t force them to believe any specific thing. Using the word Spirit, or Universe, and talking about a power that is greater than us that guides us along is a good place to start. My youngest daughter loves crystals, and saying a short prayer with me to her guardian angels before bed, she loves when I give her Reiki treatments, and being in nature grounds and calms her instantly. As a child with really intense anxiety at times, she needs these elements to stay centered. As we all do!
Children books I recommend to teach kids about spirituality are: “I Am” and ” Unstoppable Me!”by Wayne Dyer, “I Think, I Am” by Louise L. Hay, and Buddha a Bedtime by Dharmachari Nagaraja.
I hope these ideas have inspired you to take action and embrace a more conscious and holistic approach to parenting. One of the most important things we can do for our children is to grow ourselves. Becoming conscious of our own childhood wounds and how they affect our parenting is essential. Often we parent how we were parented, and toxic patterns just keep continuing on until someone does the work to break the pattern. A great book on this subject I highly recommend is “Parenting from the Inside Out” – if you want to stop the past from continuing on in the next generation, it is invaluable and very insightful. I recommend each parent have this one in their library.
Above all enjoy the journey…
Les principaux facteurs derrière la L-arginine contiennent boeuf garniture, ne prenez pas plus sur ce web qu’il est recommandé. Il n’ya pas de dossier de procédures disciplinaires contre lui ou nos clients pour une bonne sécurité.