I always think of parenting as an opportunity for personal growth. We are confronted with big emotional triggers from our own childhood that can come up during conflicts with our kids. We have expectations about how we should be treated and that is often not the case.
While we are grappling with our own emotional turmoil, it’s important to take care of ourselves. This way we can be more available to live in the moment with our children and parent with intention.
The ability to take care of and nurture ourselves is also an important Independent Living Skill to guide our children to develop.
Nurturing ourselves and our children can seem unimportant at times. You may get so caught up in setting rules and making your kids “do” what they “need” to do,(structure), that you may be less focused on their emotional development,(nurture.) I think of nurture and structure as a scale that works best if it is balanced.
As children develop, they have many big feelings to manage. Learning how to nurture oneself to better handle these emotions is very important for a healthy life.
How do you nurture yourself? Role modeling your self-care and nurturing shows your children how valuable and important this is.
My daughter learned from me how important physical exercise is. She came to my gym as an infant and was cared for in the nursery. This continual experience taught her that exercise is a good way to take care of oneself. When she was off to college and came home to visit, she would come to my weight training class with me. She marveled at how I could lift heavier weights than she could. She has her own gym now and recently told me how she remembers this experience and how she now lifts weights heavier than mine!
Our whole family would go on hikes together even though she complained. We discovered that making her the tour guide where she could be in charge made her a much happier hiker. We used to go to Pinecrest Lake and hike around the entire lake. It’s a pretty long hike but again, we put her in front. She has since taken her husband on this hike and she remembered much of the landscape.
From these experiences, you can see how closely our children are watching us and learning from us. So, put your own self-care and nurturing as a priority.
Demonstrating a way to self-reflect is also important. I have a twice-daily spiritual practice (chanting) that she has seen (heard) me do since she was born. She has seen my positive behavior due to this practice and has embraced it herself.
I suggest that you show your own self-care in front of your children and describe the benefits you receive. I hear from many parents that kids are sitting too much which is a big concern for their physical and emotional wellbeing. Gently have conversations with your kids about how they can care for themselves. Perhaps they will go for a hike with you and lead the way. Don’t give up!
Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to download “The 7 Most Common Phrases Parents Say That Stop Kids From Listening”! You’ll also receive my weekly emails where you will learn how to transform annoying conflict into loving cooperation in your home.
Cynthia is available for private coaching sessions so you can quickly get the answers you need and make those much need changes right away. Click HERE for a complimentary 45-minute Fast-Track Clarity Session to learn what you can do now to create more harmony in your home.
Copyright 2022 – Cynthia Klein, Family Happiness Expert – Coach, speaker, and author of Ally Parenting: A Non-Adversarial Approach to Transform Conflict Into Cooperation. Learn more about Cynthia’s services and contact her at her website, https://bridges2understanding.com. Contact Cynthia for permission to reproduce any information from this article.