Part 1 and counting….
We’ve had some days of tantrums and typical 2 year old confusing behavior and I was set on finding a better way to help my kid and ultimately my husband and myself. No, we’re not the perfect model of a family, faaar from it actually. I still yell sometimes during a stressful deadline or friend lunch date and I even forcefully drag my kid around the house to pick up the darn legos. But here’s how we’re all working around this, what we learned- and are still learning- and I want to share it with EVERY SINGLE PARENT OUT THERE. Turns out it wasn’t so much about our kid. #dunDunDUN #itsmenotyou.
This was a good way for me to get the groove of this fantasy parenting and discipline. I recently read The Awakened Family: How to Raise Empowered, Resilient, and Conscious Children by Shefali Tsabary and I discovered that my kid’s apparent issues were, in fact, my personal issues with the way I was raised. We project our childhood and issues on our children. Our children are our mirrors and with them we see our anxieties, fears that drive us nuts.
Also, be ready to go against all things you think you know about parenting. This book talks about the myths, modern misconceptions and cultures of parenthood that set parents to fail and what happens when we react- with this information- against our kids. It also provides, in turn, tools to learn a new way. Empathy, non-jugdmental emotional connection, empowerment and self control are some of the subjects that will take its effect as soon as you read this book. I promise, my view of my relationship with my son changed from controller to steward of his path. I look at my son’s actions differently. I’m going from reprimand to connection and try to understand his reasons. He is his own person, not mine, and I’m here to learn his ways and guide him to make sure he knows it too.
From the book:
Affirmations To Raise Oneself
-I fully accept that parenting is about raising myself, not my child.
-I realize that the onus for change lies solely with me, not my child
-I am aware that my struggles are reflections of inner conflicts
-I will transform each challenge into a question that asks, “What does this say about me?”
Getting real time feedback and discussing these practices of conscious discipline are invaluable and most effective. The conscious discipline bootcamp is the best combination of all these steps. This interactive bootcamp with an expert (and parent himself) gives you tools to communicate in times of distress (aka tantrums). The program fosters connection, safety, problem solving and fulfilling discipline strategies that are backed by science and proven to be effective. Coming up in Nov 11 and 18 in Miami. (Also please check out this video I made for the bootcamp, critique is welcome!)
Breathing and Watching.
This is mostly for me, you, parental unit and child caretaker. No this isn’t some guru shit or a cute instagram slogan #justbreathe. I mean it, if you loose it, if you’re about to loose it, please breathe until your lungs can’t take any more air. Do it pissed and all, go ahead a few times and close your eyes. When we’re angry there’s tension and something about fight or flight reflexes that we can’t immediately control, read more here. But trust me, you’ll find a nanosecond to react less pissed and more coherent when you breathe (VERY deeply).
Now, guess who’s watching you breathe when you’re clearly pissed? Yo kids. I for sure learned my “pissed off manners” and “reactivity” from watching my parents deal with their own anger and probably from violent TV shows/ novelas/ cartoons. Step one to rewire this behavior for myself and create a good one for my kid is to really breathe deeply…and also to not watch violent if any TV shows.
“They [children] mimic and emulate what they see. They act on what they see…this process beginning early in life calls to mind a well-known adage: neurons that fire together wire together. What this means is that when a group of neurons are activated concurrently in a child’s central nervous system they begin to form a kind of firing unit. So when a child sees violence used as a means to solve a problem, this lesson become hard-wired in the central nervous system.– From Psychology Today”
Our kids are human beings. They deserve to be treated as how you’d treat your bestest of friends. A friend of mine told me once that the nurturer cannot be an aggressor, imagine the emotional confusion of our kids if we’re aggressive but tell them we love them? Read this on how plants grow greener and better with loving energy. Could it have the same effect in children? I believe it. I also believe that aggression and traumatic childhood experiences manifest later on as adult in the form of illnesses.
I end on a note from the book mentioned above that really touched me. A poem about our view and role as a parent and also our kids’.
Our Children, Our Awakeners
In my illusion thought I was going to raise you
To be whole, complete, and worthy,
To be educated, kind, and wise,
To be a leader, empowered and free.
I was deluded to think I knew it all,
fooled by my age and might.
I thought I had it all together,
Ready to teach, inspire, and change you.
Only now, after so many moments
Do I realize how foolish these ideas were,
How baseless and grandiose.
I now understand …
That is it you who is here to teach me,
To guide, lead, shift, and elevate,
To transform, awaken, and inspire
I now realize how I had it wrong,
Upside down and outside in,
It is you who are this perfectly designed clarion
To wake me up to my true self.
Do share info and materials on this subject, please!