Parenting on Purpose

Parenting on Purpose

Positive Parenting~ Encouraging Self-Care

posted by srballantine

 

 Teen girl washing her face with water, isolated on blackEver since our children’s first teeth start poking through, most of us are eager to start the process of caring for them by brushing each tooth with tender loving care.  Perhaps we delight in their daily baths as well, because what smells better than a baby after their bath?

 As they start getting older, we teach them how to brush their own teeth and later take their own baths or showers. Most kids love these tasks as they help them foster their independence. As hygiene is an important part of self-care, we want to teach them habits that will serve them. We also take our kids to the dentist and doctor for preventative care or to solve any issues. Many parents start proper nutrition habits from day one as well, hoping to teach healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.

 As our kids enter their pre-teen to teen years, proper nutrition and self-care can go completely out the window, at least for a time. No matter how well we think we’re teaching them, they may reach a point during these years where proper self-care is not a priority.  And this can be stressful for parents.

 If you have ever tried to force your child to brush their teeth, bathe or eat healthy during these years, you may have experienced how futile it can sometimes be. Here are a few tips to get you through this time with minimal angst.

~ Encourage your child to maintain proper self-care. You can remind them how good it feels (even if it was in the distant past) to have clean teeth, a clean body and a healthy diet.

~Set a good example for your teen. Maintain yourself in a clean and healthy way. Show them you care about yourself.

~You may already know it isn’t very effective to force the issue, so don’t even try. Forcing our kids to do anything they don’t want to do yields very temporary results.

~Realize and accept that at this point in their lives they simply don’t care, are being lazy and have placed what we feel is for their highest good as a low priority.

~ Know that it’s a phase and “this too shall pass.”

~Make it a choice to hold the highest vision for your child no matter what they are choosing. Remember that it is your personal perspective that is determining how you are feeling.

~Remind them that their Internal Guidance System can help direct them to their highest choices by what feels best to them.

Granted, this can be a challenging stage for both parents and teens. We want our kids to feel good and we have certain ideas about what that looks like. If we can approach this phase with more ease and less control, we stand a better chance of inspiring them to their highest choices.

Please feel free to comment.

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

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Teaching Kids The Power Of Choosing

posted by srballantine

 

dreamcatcherWhile we can teach our children that “the world is your oyster,” meaning they have the ability and freedom to do anything they want, it is also important to teach kids the power of choice. On the surface, this may sound like a contradiction — that the nature of choice is equivalent to limitation, but that is not the case at all. In fact, the act of choosing is empowering and will bring abundance into our lives.

Envision you have taken your child to an all-you-can-eat buffet. Their eyes grow wide with delight at the sight of all their favorite foods, especially the foods you never make at home—the ones that are maybe not as healthy for them. You could admonish your child and tell him he must eat some veggies before he can have dessert. You could even fill his plate for him.

You could do that, but what does that really teach your child? It teaches him that food isn’t fun, that there are limits placed on him by others, that he can’t have the good without the bad. It even teaches him that you don’t trust him to make good decisions. And these lessons will spill over far beyond the buffet table.

None of those lessons are the kind of thing I want to pass on to my child!

If we take a positive parenting approach instead, we can guide our child to choose for himself what he wants to select from the buffet.

Help your child by having him check in with his body and his Internal Guidance System (IGS) and ask: “How does it feel when I see tables filled with different foods?”

Does he feel giddy with excitement, or so overwhelmed by all the options he doesn’t know where to begin?

Have him visualize filling his plate so it is overflowing, and eating every bite. Again checking in with his IGS, how does he feel? If he can’t imagine how it would feel, you can help him remember how uncomfortable he felt after eating too much on another occasion.

Next, help him learn the power he gets by choosing. Help him visualize what he really likes the most, even if it is dessert! Guide him to take reasonable portions of the things he likes the most, with the knowledge that he has the freedom to get more if he still has room.

The first time you go to the buffet, your child may still go overboard and fill his plate to overflowing. He might even test your willingness to allow him to choose, and fill his plate with only desserts.

It can be challenging to stand back and allow this to happen, knowing that he may not feel well later. By allowing him to make what appears to be a “bad decision” you teach him wonderful lessons. He learns that he does have the power to choose, that choices have consequences, to learn from mistakes, to check in with his IGS, and to learn for himself what he prefers. Overloading on goodies and having an upset tummy later, or less quantity and feeling well enough to play later.

Now these are the kinds of lessons I want to pass on to my child!

This valuable positive parenting lesson on the power of choice will overflow to all of life’s bounty. By allowing, and even encouraging, our children to “cherry pick” the buffet line and select only the things they love the most, they get to experience feeling joyful, rather than just full!

Please feel free to comment.

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Tips On Detaching From Our Children’s Drama

posted by srballantine

 

Theater stage vector illustrationIn every person’s life, there is a certain amount of drama and emotional upset. Our children of course are no exception and each child will attract varying degrees of drama. Of my three children, one was extremely mellow, one attracted a little more drama and one loved drama. It was often a dance on how to act with whom and it required practice.

The dramas our children create require a high level of emotional energy. When they’re upset, it can take many forms and may be from the drama they created or from an upsetting life event. Whatever the origin, we want our children to feel supported.

As adults, we often must soothe ourselves when something dramatic happens that has caused us to be upset. Not the case with our kids. We are there to soothe them, which may involve hearing about their latest friendship mishap, comfort them when a pet has died and perhaps solve a personal crisis. The examples will differ but our reaction and support will only be of value to our child when it originates from one place. This is our own alignment, our connectedness to Source, our place of feeling good, which is a high vibrational frequency. The greatest impact we have on our children doesn’t come from what we say, but from how we are feeling, which is the energetic.

 How can we feel good when our child is in crisis? It isn’t easy, it takes practice, it’s absolutely possible, and it’s essential. It isn’t easy because we allow ourselves to become part of the upset either because we can’t help it, or we think our child will feel more supported. It does take practice because it may be our habit to lower our own vibration to match whatever situation we’re in. It is essential because we are only of value to those we love when we are in a higher vibrational frequency than they are.

Here are a few tips to help you when your child is in drama and upset.

1)   Take a deep breath and intend your calm.

2)   Acknowledge and express you’re sorry your child is feeling bad.

3)   Be fully present to what your child is expressing but maintain the focus on how you want them to feel, which is good. Maintain the vision of them being happy.

4)   Offer any guidance or advice you are inspired to offer, and make a deliberate choice to maintain your alignment.

5)   Remember that your goal is for your child to feel supported.

6)   Help your child find a focus that feels better, a distraction, and a better feeling thought.

Most of us have heard the saying “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Well, two low vibrations do not create a high vibration. In order to inspire our kids to a better feeling place, we must maintain our alignment when they are in crisis.

Please feel free to comment.

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Won’t Our Kids Listen?

posted by srballantine

 

Trouble Communicating with our Child Each of wants to feel heard, but how often are we actually? As a parent, we may feel like the conversations we have with our kids centers on what it is they must accomplish and in what time frame. Sound familiar? In our haste we don’t take the time to have easeful conversations.

We want our children to succeed and we take this to mean they have to keep up with their responsibilities and be timely about it. We can sound like a broken record. Over time, our kids start to selectively tune in or out of what it is we’re saying whichresults in a breakdown in communication that doesn’t serve the relationship.

In an effort to get our kids to listen more, we can stay conscious of talking to them on varied subjects, not just their “to do” list. Taking the time to ask about their interests goes such a long way with kids. Sometimes it means not saying a single word and just being present with them.
Our kids learn to listen, by how they are listened to. If we don’t stop what we’re doing, and focus on what they’re saying, the message we give them can appear to say, ”I’m not listening.” They don’t feel heard. One of the greatest gifts we can give our child is looking them in the eye when they are speaking to us, or when we’re speaking to them.

Listening is an art and to be really good at it you must practice stillness of mind, eye contact and an ease of focus toward who ever you are conversing with. We can teach our children to listen by listening to them. They’ll be more likely to become great listeners in the future and have better success in this area of their relationships.

There is also a certain level of illusion to whether our kids are actually listening to us. It’s best not to be fooled by appearances, as they often are listening but make sure it appears like they’re not. Haven’t we had the experience where we feel tuned out but at a later date our child shows us by what they’re saying that they were indeed hearing us?

As our children get older and become teens, they move toward being more independent, and this may show up as a “listening” wall that can’t be penetrated. If we can practice not being attached to a certain result and stay true to the art of listening we increase our chances of them hearing us. This is indeed a practice. In other words, when we’re talking to them and they won’t acknowledge us we can choose to be reactive or we can choose to say what we have to say with ease. There are few things that stop someone from listening to us faster than when we go into reactive mode.
Our beliefs and expectations shape all of our experiences, and being listened to is no exception. Expect that you are being heard and chances are you will be. By allowing situations to unfold without being attached to certain results you create openness and increase the probability that your child is indeed listening.

Please feel free to comment.

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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