For all my mommy friends out there who struggle to relate to their children, find time for themselves, and wonder if it’ll ever get easier! Check out the article a dear friend of mine wrote. Sage advice from a mommy herself.
Note: These awesome tips can be transferred to all relationships in our lives, not just if you have children.
The 3 Keys to Enlightened Parenting
By Ulrike Selleck.
Who am I to give you parenting advice? After all, I’m not a licensed counselor.
Granted, I have a degree in Psychology, have helped hundreds of women in their life through my intuitive healing abilities, and taught hundreds of kids my voice self help tools.
But here’s what I feel really qualifies me to share my thoughts with you: Like so many of you, I’m a mother.
I raised my son in a most loving way, listened, and tuned in, – guided from within, as I call it, instead of imposing rules from the outside. I eventually helped him adjust to the divorce, and supported him through all the ups and downs of his life.
In all these many years, – and they went by in the blink of an eye – there are 3 things I am most grateful for. I want to share them with you here:
1. Be present.
Being present is the greatest gift you can give your child. Being present can be the difference between your child confiding in you way beyond the teen years, and withdrawing because she/he feels judged, or at worst, not even heard.
I still remember being so tired from nursing and playing. Here I was, bleary-eyed cooking lunch in our kitchen. As a baby and toddler he was always around me, always wanted to do what I did, and learn literally everything. (Yes, he is now an honor’s student with a double major in college).
Being present meant tuning into him without losing myself.
So, I gave him a couple of plastic bowls, oats, a spoon and measuring cups. He plopped down on the floor next to me and occupied himself for an hour. When it was time to clean up the incredible mess, I simply sat down with him and we made a game out of it. In his mind, there was no difference between moving oats from one bowl to the other, and moving it from the floor back to the bowl.
Some time during our own childhood, we became disconnected from our activities, and playing was “fun”, while cleaning up was “a chore”. If you are present, however, they will both be the same: an activity in the moment.
What does being present mean for you?
It means you take care of yourself. No matter what, make sure you get enough sleep and rest. Take that shower, go for that walk with your best girlfriend. And, at least for me, meditate! TM got me through the toughest times, whether it was that intermittent nighttime nursing, the tumultuous daily school routine, or the painful chaos of the divorce.
If you already meditate, great! If you’ve been thinking about it and would like to take action, go here: http://www.tm.org/
2. Love. Love. Love.
This is a “duh” moment. But think about it:
Feel right now the love you have for your kids. Close your eyes and settle into your body. Think of them, feel them. Be aware of your heart.
Can you feel the warmth and expansion of your heart and body? Does it feel like your body wants to hug the whole universe? Stay there for a moment and memorize that feeling. Like a musician or athlete committing to her/his muscle memory whatever the body is learning to do.
Once you memorized that feeling, see if you can train yourself to think of a situation you might find challenging, say they misbehaved, woke you up, fibbed, or threw a tantrum.
Got that scenario?
Now, close your eyes and recall that amazing, warm, loving, expansive feeling in your heart and body. Got it?
Learn to flip the switch, whenever you can. Start small, and go from there.
Your kids will thank you for it. And probably pick up on it. So that in situations which are challenging for them, they’re able to pull themselves out of any emotion overshadowing them, and instead, dive deep into love.
What makes you – and them – a more loving person? See point 1.
And for those situation when you need a little more than love, I highly recommend a program called Love and Logic. I had applied it from when my son was still a toddler, and when he was in middle school, his school sponsored classes. For more info, go here: https://www.loveandlogic.com/
3. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
Here’s the thing:
Great communication starts within yourself.
The way you talk to yourself is how you talk to everyone else. Including your kids.
Do you love yourself unconditionally? Forgive yourself quickly? Have a light-hearted approach to life and everything you do in it?
Or, do you have that little voice run circles around in your head, incessantly demanding more, being unsatisfied, criticizing yourself?
Your kids will feel how you treat yourself. If that is wonderful, they will feel it, relax, open up, and be present more. They’ll be trusting you, and as a result, trusting themselves to act and speak out of good judgement.
In an ideal world everyone practices the highest form of communication: Loving, kind, and at the very least: Non-violent. Here is an enormously valuable resource for improving communication skills: http://www.nonviolentcommunication.com/index.htm
I hope you found these tips helpful. I honor you for being a parent and taking the time to read this. Following these 3 keys will make parenting your kids less of a challenge and more of the joy you long it to be.
Ulrike Selleck, founder of AllThingsVenus.com, is a Classical Singer, Speaker, Writer, and Voice Coach.