Exhaustion is no stranger to a parent. Often, we carry out our daily tasks on autopilot doing our best to survive as we put out fires, get things done and live by the demands of an agenda. This leaves little room for introspection and actually watching how we interact with others as we interact with them.
So how can we raise awesome kids and stay calm? This is the million-dollar question.
The answer lies in your willingness to embrace your humanity and love yourself enough
to do whatever it takes to re-route some of your beliefs and thought patterns so you can
tap into your deepest strengths.
That is where conscious parenting comes into play. As a conscious parent you know that the calmer you are the more secure your children will feel. Our children don’t act out because they want to make us crazy and we don’t react because we are bad parents. There is a fundamental dynamic in conscious parenting that supports discovering the truth within a challenge. The more we learn to awaken in the moment, the faster we are able to see what is really going on behind a challenge and step back from it.
We are all relating to stories most of our waking lives. An obstacle arises in our lives;
a child is rude, someone cuts you off on the freeway and the result of these random
events provides fertile ground for the story-making machine of the mind. An emotion is
triggered by the story we believe is taking place and we jump on it, riding the rocket that
insists something outside of ourselves has caused us pain. The truth lies in the realization
that the story that is taking place in our life situation is triggering a pain inside of us that
has gone unheard and unresolved.
The same thing happens when a child pushes a parent to the edge, right where the trigger
for that pain lies. The typical result usually ends in anger, frustration, punishment, regret
or guilt. A conscious parent is aware of the trigger, learns to detach from it (through
practice), and re-focuses on what is driving the child’s unacceptable behavior.
When you learn what is driving behavior, you tend to take it less personally and you can
deal with it in authentic ways using language that indicates you are still the captain of the
ship but you are also strong enough to be the anchor during your child’s storm.
Children who feel connected and heard, especially when they have no idea what strategy
to use when a BIG emotion comes over them, learn to trust. A child who trusts you is a
child who will listen to you.
8 critical points to shift from reaction to response
1) Examine your reactions. Is there a pattern? What is the strongest feeling showing
up? Where is it really coming from? What needs to be released? What belief is
attached to that reaction?
2) When you listen to your child, don’t think about how you will respond, listen from
a place of stillness and see from your child’s perspective. This does not mean that
you must agree, this means that you are fully present as you listen.
3) Hold family meetings and ask your children what would they change if they
could? Work together to create solutions to challenges then post them up. When
consequences need to be carried out there is no “I told you so”. Since the family
rules were agreed upon, you are not the bad guy, it just is what it is.
4) Come up with a game plan with your child(ren). When either of you is falling into
reactive behavior, have a secret code to remind each other how you both agreed to
handle it – work as a team.
5) Record, on video, a few hours of life as you interact with your family. As you
watch the replay, you begin to see yourself with more clarity. This is how you want
to observe yourself when you are IN an experience.
6) Take long, deep breaths – this WILL help you focus. With each breath, empty your
mind and focus intently on the air moving in and moving out. Do not allow your
mind to keep you in drama.
7) To really know your child, get into his world and watch how it shifts and changes
as he evolves. Don’t decide who he is, watch who he is becoming.
8) Help your kids practice making decisions, don’t be the superhero with all the
Remember to speak slowly and calmly. Give your child time to process your request.
Be very aware of your body language and your tone of voice. Your child will feel you
before he even begins to hear you.
You are the brightest star in your child’s sky. When you shine from the love that you are, you inspire a world of possibility for your child to dream up. Stay true to the compass of your heart and don’t allow the noise of your mind to overtake you. You are far more powerful than you may realize and that power awakens fully as you take your place as a calm and conscious leader.You are raising the adults of our world, never forget how deeply cherished you are.
With deep appreciation for your journey,