The most important challenge we face today is parenting. It is only recently when I attended a workshop by Ms Gloria Burrett, Integrative Child Psychotherapist, I got an insight into this topic which I am sharing with you what was my take away from the workshop.
The punchline that hit me hard was that “sometimes better parenting starts with improving ourselves.” and it is so true, I always thought something is wrong with my child but what I realise now is that no that “something” is wrong with me. I am the one who needs to correct and connect.
We keep tagging our children and never miss a chance to tell them that “you are a bad child – you are a good child“, but we don’t realise how much they hate this. They want us to “value their work”, not to focus on what they “are”.
In this era of technology where you would miss few breaths but not a chance to glance at your phone to be sure that you have not missed out on any SMS/WhatsApp message/email you miss out on the core value of engaging with your child and that’s where everything goes wrong. And then when our children do things to seek our attention, we go overboard with anger, and then we make the child feel miserable and guilty, but guilt is not a good thing, we should always ensure that our children don’t get into the guilt mode for no fault of theirs.
What is important here is that we should make our children feel that we value their presence. What we keep doing unknowingly in this process is to make them dependent by doing things for them and making them at ease, and giving extra comfort; instead, we need to teach them responsibility, ownership. We need to use their little brains to make them bigger. We want them to use their own mind, and for this, all the effort starts at home, and in school.
I also learned, that children have a safety wall, a defence circle around them and they open and close up depending on the situation and that is the reason that makes them listen but not connect. How do you repair this act of them? What matters is to connect. 90% connection and 10% guidance is what makes 100% parenting.
Today we are in an age of comparison. When others compare us, we compare everyone around us, and in this process, we don’t spare our children too, this adds on to their burden and stresses them unnecessarily and unknowingly we as adults seed this ultimately putting them down as this is a very delicate age as bullying age of cruelty starts now.
One should not forget that 6 to 10 is a very sensitive age; it is the age when children want to feel confident and how do we do this? By stop comparing, as parents, we focus on the outcome, but we should focus on the effort, everything except the outcome. Inclusive thinking is very important.
When they step into the age of 6 or 7, they start having questions in their mind, queries like mom do you love me still? Mom, am I pretty? Mom, do I make you proud? Question start coming in from your children when social rules have it ingrained into them. When they start to understand, and they use these skills to challenge you.
Mindfulness is something we as adults need to practice and make part of our daily chores. As when you are stressed your children become a caring parent, and you become helpless children. If you don’t have a slowing down button, we become vulnerable. Ask yourself, Can I slow down? What stops me from slowing down? Gloria says, if we don’t have pause button inside you and if you don’t know how to connect to this button you cannot be a parent.
Remember that your child will trigger you to all limits, and you will be tested to become extremely angry. Take three calm, deep breaths and slow down before you react., this is your magic button. Use your ears more than your mouth when you are with your young ones, listen to your child. The concept of mirror micron is the best example. Its simple logic, if I want my child to be calm, I should be calm first what I want my child to sound like, what should I sound like to them?
Take time to ask questions, an excellent way to do this is by writing down questions you think they have in their minds. Think, is your anxiety coming from what does this child think, ask yourself how many times your child laughed today? Laughing releases anxiety.
So what is to be always remembered is “90% connection and 10% guidance is what makes parenting 100%. “
Happy parenting friends!