Parenting on Purpose

Parenting on Purpose

Parenting Without Fear

posted by srballantine

 

 Inspirational quote by ancient Greek philosopher SenecaOur own wellbeing and the wellbeing of our children is generally a top priority in each parent’s life. We want to feel like our lives are filled with joy and we want our children to be joyous.  However, we cannot feel joy and inspire it in our children if we spend time being fearful. As parents, we must first live what we hope to inspire in them. Don’t we want to inspire safety, trust and wellbeing?

What do we fear in regard to our kids? We may fear for their safety, choices in friends, their health, school performance etc. Fearing for our kids will never serve us, or them.

Each of us can move away from fear by learning to trust our life process and have faith regarding how things will turn out for us and for our kids as well.  One way we can do this is by practicing habits of thought that serve us, or in other words, feel good.  Are we allowing our wellbeing or are we sabotaging it by indulging in these fearful thoughts and expecting the worst? Our expectations will determine what we experience, so we want to learn to expect that all is well with our children and us.

We have a choice in what we give energy to in our thoughts, and a choice in redirecting these thoughts when fear seeps in.  An example of how to redirect our thoughts might be this: Your teen is late coming home from school, you don’t know where they are, and they have your car. They are rarely late and aren’t answering their cell phone.

It may be our natural inclination to default to worry, imagining the worst and getting worked up and stressed out. These thoughts will never serve us as we have no control over the outcome of the situation with our teen, and we are ruining our sense of wellbeing as well. They will arrive home to a freaked out parent that won’t be inspiring faith and trust. Chances are, we will be reactive as soon as they walk through the door.

As soon as we notice that our thoughts are going in an unwanted direction, it’s important to stop this momentum by finding thoughts that soothe us. We might say to ourselves, “ I trust that my teen is fine and will be coming home soon.” Say this over and over if necessary and gently keep any thoughts that don’t feel good at bay.

It’s important to not push against any fear we are experiencing, but to acknowledge it and release it. This is done with intent and by redirecting our focus.

We can never control the outcome where another person is concerned, but our thoughts will affect how we experience it.

When we practice wellbeing we move away from fear. Let’s teach our children trust and the practice of being in control of their essential and life-affirming sense of wellbeing.

Please feel free to comment!

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parental Guidance on Giving Up Control

posted by srballantine

girl_holding_appleAs a parent, you like to help your children. You want to see to it that they do not make the same mistakes you did, or new mistakes if you can stop them. With the best of intentions, you attempt to fix situations, thinking you can make your children’s lives better.

Today, experts believe that childhood obesity and all the terrible illnesses that stem from it are at epidemic proportions. With this news, it would seem like the natural thing to do in order to help your children is to help them with their exercise and eating habits.

Most people would probably say that you are being a good parent by pushing your kids towards healthy habits. It is ironic and may seem counterintuitive, but you may actually be causing more harm than good.

How do you feel when you are told that you cannot have something? Makes you want it more, doesn’t it? The same is true for your kids. The more you tell them “no,”  the more you limit the sweets around the house, and the more we hide or restrict chips and other snacks, the more your children will feel they can never have what they really want. This can make them feel deprived.

Rather than empowering your children to tackle their health issues, you have set them up to feel bad about themselves and actually gain weight from binge eating or eating outside of your tightly controlled environment. This does not serve them now and it certainly will not serve them in the future.

While you think you are helping your children by limiting their exposure to foods, you are attempting to control their environment and behavior. This feeling of control is only an illusion. It may feel good to you as the parent at the time, but you actually have no control.

By letting go and giving your children the control over what they choose to eat, you are actually empowering them.

At first, they may overeat and put on additional weight and you may be tempted to revert back to your unhealthy patterns of hiding the food. This is all part of their learning to listen to and trust their own bodies, as well as their Internal Guidance Systems (IGSs) to let them know when they are truly hungry as opposed to wanting to eat out of boredom or stress.

When facing a “bad habit” that your children have developed, it is important for the parent is to take a step back and check in with their own IGSs. Ask yourself — how does it feel when you are trying to control your children’s behavior? How is that attempt working out?

Then take time to consider how it feels to give up that illusion of control. Recognize that by giving up control, you are giving your children the tools they need to become the unique people they are meant to be. They need to find and follow their bliss, and that is what we are all here to do, parents and children alike.

Please feel free to comment!

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

Don’t Talk To Your Kids When You’re Mad

posted by srballantine

Teenager's ProblemAll successful relationships revolve around some form of communication. This communication may come in what we speak, or non-verbally in what we are emitting with our feelings and also in our actions. With whatever form of communication we choose, most people will be able to tell how we’re feeling.

With regards to our children and most particularly with our teens, productive communication can sometimes be a challenge. We want to talk to our kids and we want them to talk with us. So, we want to set ourselves up for a good feeling and productive exchange.

Alignment, or in other words, feeling good/happy is the key to having clear communication. When we feel good, we have access to Universal wisdom and our wellbeing. Answers come to us faster, ideas flow and results become evident. Haven’t we noticed this to be true? Therefore, why would we ever take the chance of not having the communication we want with our teens by being out of alignment when we talk to them?

Yet, we do this all the time. It can be easy to get activated when confronted with something unpleasant our teen has just said to us, or some action they’ve taken that didn’t seem wise. Most of us have probably experienced that the conversation can go from bad to worse. And we also know that there is little that will feel productive when this happens.

It never works when we act angry and it never works when we try and act like we’re not mad. Kids will always feel whatever we are feeling, so it’s important to stop any form of communication until we feel better. We don’t have control over when and if our kids will feel better regarding the disagreement at hand, but we do have control over ourselves. This means we choose when to discuss things further.

While raising my kids, this often meant that I would call a “time out” with the discussion and tell them my intent, which was that I was going to leave the room, do whatever I needed to feel better and sit down with them again when we could talk to each other and not be angry. I would tell them I was willing to come back to the table as many times as it took to have good communication. This was my priority.

My children didn’t always agree with this method, as they weren’t practiced at stopping an argument. By repeatedly not being willing to talk to them while I was angry, it didn’t take long for my kids to realize that I was serious about wanting to solve any disagreement between us, and I wouldn’t do it when there wasn’t a chance of some sort of good communication.

We didn’t find the perfect solutions every time, but we did stand the best chance of at least a compromise when we came to the table to talk to each other when we were in alignment. My children have learned that in order to stand the best chance of getting what they want in their lives, they need to be willing to do all their communicating from their place of alignment.

Please feel free to comment!

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Fostering Our Child’s Sense Of Freedom

posted by srballantine

 

bigstock-Happy-Family-Standing-On-The-H-47540716Freedom is something that people desire to have in their lives. We come into this life knowing we are free at our soul level. This freedom is meant to be experienced as the full expression to create what we want and live our highest path.

As parents, we watch our babies and our young children and we delight in their expression of freedom. They play with abandon and explore each and every experience they can find to participate in. They have no fear or boundaries that keep them from their full expression of themselves.

Ideally, as the years pass our kids should be experiencing more and more freedom as they reach adulthood to prepare them for life on their own. What happens is quite the opposite. As we experience fear for all the unforeseen things that can happen to our children, we instill in them their own sense of fear and we slowly take away their freedom. For the sake of their safety and our own peace of mind, we may instill a caution that stifles their natural sense of perfect freedom.

This is done by limiting the choices we allow our kids to make and by unknowingly giving them the message that they aren’t capable to choose for themselves.

Why do we fear our children’s freedom as opposed to fostering it? I found myself limiting my child’s freedom because I held my own ideal about them or the present situation that I felt they should adhere to.

For example: In order for me to feel secure about the “schedule,” when my daughter came home from school, I felt I needed to dictate the sequence of events regarding her homework and activities.  This limited her sense of freedom to use her own guidance on how to best use her time based on how she was feeling. If what I dictated went against her natural rhythm and desires, my request was met with resistance, which translated into her not being very happy. And there will never be value in any action that is done when we aren’t in a good feeling state. In other words, whatever I wanted her to accomplish in the time frame I wanted would not be productive for her.

Why is this true? Our own life experience will show us that when we aren’t happy we aren’t in the flow of wellbeing, which is where all of our inspiration and ideas come from. Our kids know where their own wellbeing lies and it’s not always where we think it should be or in the time frame. They gauge their wellbeing on how they’re feeling, and this translates into their productivity.

Over time I made the choice to find a new perspective regarding my child and her choices. I made the connection of knowing when and how I was most productive and I related that to my daughter. I watched her struggle with her tasks and creativity when I forced an outcome, so I made a new choice. I began allowing her to set her own schedule for completing what she needed to get done. I would often inquire on what her responsibilities were, but I left the schedule up to her. Some days she felt like diving right into her homework and projects and other days she needed to do an activity that just helped her feel more relaxed.

I noticed how much more productive she was learning to be when she was allowed to set her own time schedule and feel her own guidance. Of course there was a learning curve that we all face, which meant she didn’t always complete things on time or perhaps at all. But the natural consequences of her choices taught her that how she felt when listening to her inner guidance yielded the best results.

Please comment!

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

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