Just back from a few magical days of bush regeneration near Wollumbin (Mt Warning), and my job was weeding! Back breaking, hand aching, boring and bland … but so incredibly satisfying to feel the tug of those unwanted, unwelcome roots being removed from the pristine rainforest soil.
It reminded me of parenting!
Without realising it we plant the weeds of our inner fears, our frustrations, anger, low self-worth and vulnerability into our children. For the first seven years or so kids don’t have filters and they take it all on board … the good, the bad and the ugly!
Kids dont know what to do with mum’s anger or dad’s impatience and they can misguidedly believe it is their fault, that they are just not up to scratch, and other unhealthy beliefs that hold them back from being their true shining potential.
It is our job as parents to be the role model for our kids. To guide them through the positive fun times as well as the challenging and painful times. But it is at these times that parenting can be fraught with tension and anxiety, and our reactions laced with anger, fear or overt control.
The tragedy of all this, for both parent and child, is that kids can take on board our unresolved emotional baggage that we unknowingly dump onto them through our own unconscious patterns and programming that we got as kids i n exactly the same way.
This then turns into the insidious weeds that can pollute our children’s thoughts, behaviours and obscure their shining potential.
But it is never too late to consciously change the way you relate to your kids and especially to your SELF. To clear away whatever is lurking deep down inside of you that may get triggered by your child, so you can reconnect in the heart space with this little one that you love so dearly.
Diving into our old unconscious drives is big work but it is powerful and can transform the relationship you have with your child and with your SELF!
3 steps to take when your kids are driving you nuts
1– The first step is the willingness to ‘get real’ and be accountable for your reactions, your anger, frustration and fears. Sure your child may have triggered these things in you but you wouldn’t be triggered if these same aspects didn’t reside as unresolved emotional weeds deep down inside of you. In other words your child didn’t put these reactions of anger or impatience inside of you … these feelings are already there. Your child is merely the trigger to react with that old knee jerk reaction whenever your buttons are pushed!
2 – When you catch yourself acting out again … Pause and Breath … bringing all your awareness back to you, rather than pouncing on your child. Three deep breaths can work wonders and bring you back to a place of presence where the logical left brain takes the reins back from that reptilian monster that has hijacked your brain. We tend to breath in more when we are stressed so make sure the out breath is nice and slowwww.
3 – If that doesn’t bring you back to a place of balance then allow yourself to really feel your feelings without dumping them all over your child. It may mean going into another room as the fullness of emotion can be very scary for kids. But if you are willing to sit in the fire of even your worst emotion, (without going into the story of what happened, without blaming, or being a victim) but simply feeling the pure raw emotion, science and sages say that within 30-90 seconds the wave of emotion will pass, leaving you clear, grounded and able to respond healthily to the needs of the moment.
Reconnecting with ourselves when we have been triggered is not light work and it is not for the faint-hearted. It takes practice, perseverance and humility. Our kids ‘generously’ offer us lots of practice and this is why parenting has been called one of the greatest spiritual practices of all!
If you would like any help in this area, contact me at email@example.com/contact