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Parenting on Purpose

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All parents have experienced the joy of dealing with moody kids. Whether it is because something went wrong at school, they didn’t get enough sleep, they had an argument with their BFF, or that their hormones are raging, bad moods happen, even to the most joy-filled kids.

Of course it helps if you have had previous conversations with your kids about their moods how it affects them in the future, not just “in the moment.” Bad moods affect the flow of wellbeing which keeps things in our lives from flowing smoothly.
Our moods send out waves of energy into the world. Experiences that match the vibration of those waves will come back to us. That is why it is so important that we focus on our moods, and move out of moods that do not serve us, as quickly as we are able to.

A good way to help your child understand this concept is to have them visualize a smooth pond or lake. See how calm the water is? Now pick up a rock and gently toss it into the pond. Watch how the ripples form and move in a pattern of ever expanding rings until they reach something like a boat, the pier, or island that interferes with their movement.

Then see how the ripples change as they are affected by the item they came into contact with, and begin to come back toward you.

Similarly, our emotions send out waves that keep expanding, until they bounce off something that affects their energy and begin to come back to us.

Let’s imagine another rock. It is about the same size as the first, but instead of gently tossing the rock, you throw it into the water as hard as you possibly can. See how much bigger the ripples are? Notice that they move out more quickly?

When we feel intensely about something, those feelings have more energy. The vibrations we send out are more intense, just like the second rock at the pond.

Like all analogies, this one has its limits. The pond illustrates the difference in intensity of our feelings, not the specific feelings. We cannot see a difference in the pond if the rock is thrown in anger or if it is like an exultant slam-dunk that wins the state championship.

Your child can use this visualization to help understand the intensity of their feelings, and why it is important to learn to shift their mood, and energy, especially if they are sending out intensely negative waves into his “pond.”

Kids are not the only ones who suffer from moods. We know that, but it can be helpful to be sure to let our kids know that adults can be moody, too. The happiest of adults can have their moods affected. You can inspire your child by showing them tools you use to shift your own mood.

Writer-director Richard Curtis, who is known for his romantic comedies, confessed recently that he tends to get “the grumps.” As ironic as it seems, his grumpy moods are especially notable when he is writing uplifting movies!

Curtis is wise enough to recognize that he will not be able to get the successful script he is looking for while in a down mood, so he works to cheer himself up. His favorite way of doing that is to listen to happy pop music.

We all have to learn ways to help lift our spirits. Most of us will have several that work, but a particular favorite that we know we can count on to do the trick, like Curtis’ pop music. You can encourage your kids to try different techniques, especially if you have noticed that something has helped perk them up in the past. Ask them to focus on what they love doing. A change in focus is the key to changing one’s mood. Do they love:

~ music
~ playing a sport
~ reading
~ riding their bike
~ swimming
~ playing with a pet

The activity chosen is not important, choosing a shift in focus toward what makes them feel good is.

But don’t be surprised if they reject your attempts to lift them out of their funk. You can’t make the change in mood for your child. You can only encourage a shift in their own mood. You may provide a variety of tools and opportunities, but ultimately the choice will be the responsibility of your child.

Please feel free to comment.
© 2014. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.

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