Daniel Siegel, M.D. and Mary Hartzell, M. Ed, eloquently capture my own philosophy in Parenting From the Inside Out The focus on emotional connection first has enriched my life as a parent. My work as a parent educator is first based on improving family connections.
Parents can accept their child’s invitation to slow down and appreciate the beauty and connection that life offers each day. When parents feel pressure in their busy lives, they may often feel strained to keep up with all the details of managing family schedules.
Children need to be enjoyed and valued, not managed. We often focus on the problems of life rather than on the possibilities for enjoyment and learning available to us. When we are too busy doing things for our children, we forget how important it is to simply be with them. We can delight in the opportunity to join with our children in the amazing experience of growing together. Learning to share in the joy of living is at the heart of a rewarding parent-child relationship.pg. 11
Rearing children is an opportunity to stretch, to look beyond your current belief box. Discard beliefs, thoughts and values that cause separation and suffering for you and those around you. Invite in those that create a family of mutual support and growth.
Here are some self-reflective questions to help you uncover problem sources.
- Am I taking time to sit and listen to my child without interrupting and giving advice?
- What am I saying that is making my child stop talking to me?
- Am I trying to control my child by making him “suffer” in order to change the behavior?
- Why do I hang on to the belief in punishment?
- Am I afraid of losing my “sense of power”?
- Am I trying to change my side of the think- feel-do cycle or the child’s?
- Why do I keep the negative cycle going? What do I get out of it?
- What feelings are getting triggered from my own childhood?
- Am I clear on what rules are negotiable and nonnegotiable?
- Am i trying to figure out how my child can get their needs met in a positive way instead of taking their behavior as a personal affront?
- Do I know how my child needs to mature in order to get new freedoms from me?
- Am I looking at my child’s growth as a process that takes time?
- Am I developing the patience needed to become a compassion parent who loves unconditionally? Am I working on defusing and changing my angry reactions?
- Am I forgiving myself when I make a poor decision and try again?
©2014 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking and private parenting coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. She works with parents of 4 – 25 year-old children. Contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, cynthia@bridges2understanding,com, or 650. 679.8138 to learn more about creating the relationship you want with your children.