I believe when parents feel supported and heard they are able to come to parenting more centered.
Nobody can quite prepare you for parenthood. When our kids are born we have expectations as to how our family will interact. What we certainly aren't ready for are the upsets and struggles we encounter with the people we love the most. Peace & Parenting offers everyday tools to help parents navigate the messiness of life and child rearing.
When our kids are upset, we all hope they can say; “You know I didn’t really like it when my brother was unkind to me, and that’s why I am so upset today.” Yet, it takes a highly evolved and emotionally intelligent human to know where their larger feelings of upset are coming from.
We learn so much about life and parenting by just being a kid in this world. In fact, that’s the bulk of what we learn. In my humble opinion society has a skewed view about how children “should” behave and about what the expected norms are for young people in this world.
Having your extended family be a part of helping you raise your kids can be extremely beneficial but at times challenging. If we are lucky enough to have our parents nearby, they may even be helping us on a regular basis.
Just the basic tenant of “crying” being a good thing, and upsets as a pathway to remedy psychological hurts is enough to throw any of us into pure skepticism. Couple that with cutting out punishments and rejecting rewards and the approach does not have a fighting chance with those of us who were raised with conventional parenting.
I believe there is freedom in speaking our truth about our challenging parenting experiences—almost a liberation. Making these moments part of the narrative is essential for our generation to move forward in a better way. Why? Two reasons. First, we mustn’t let others believe they are alone in their struggles. Every parent out there has days they feel defeated and alone.
This is the most common question I receive from parents, and it's extremely frustrating when I encounter this issue with my daughters. Defiance is the kind of thing that will bring you to your knees. It’s debilitating, embarrassing and mind-boggling all at the same time.
2. Use empathy, even when you think you can’t...it’s you're saving grace. If we can see things from our child’s point of view, even when you may not agree or feel that they “need” to be upset…they are having feelings and all feelings are valid and important. Conveying the idea that we understand will garner much goodwill with our children.
There is much talk about teaching our kids to self-regulate, use impulse control and learn to react calmly to adversity. This is all well and good but merely talking about it and wanting it to happen certainly doesn't ensure that our children will move through adverse situations with ease because we merely want them to.
I naturally gravitate toward peace and tranquility, so my first reaction when I hear something unsettling from my girls is to say STOP and squash any negative feelings and upsets.