Parenting on Purpose

Parenting on Purpose

Do Children Need To Learn About Self-Love?

posted by srballantine

 

Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

Everyone is born with the belief that they’re the center of the Universe. You come equipped with a healthy dose of self-love, as love is all we really are. If this is the case, why is it that so many children as they are growing up, find it difficult to love themselves?

Over time, you learn that the world does not actually revolve around you. Everyone is focused on their own desires and life paths. It may seem that what you want is near the bottom of the list of what is important to anyone else, including your family members.

You are constantly surrounded by negative messages when you turn on the television and often by the world at large. Some are directly aimed at you, perhaps by someone who is stressed and just didn’t think before speaking. Others may be throwing the negativity around intentionally, looking to hurt feelings and ruin the vibrations of others. On top of that, you have the messages that are sent out to the world in general, ready to be absorbed by anyone willing to take on the burden, and not having practiced how not to.

There you may be, ready to be influenced by all of this energy that doesn’t feel good, so it’s important to know how to become immune to this phenomena. Children may become very practiced at repeating and absorbing what doesn’t feel good in the world. Over time, children will come to value themselves less.

This is why it is so important for parents to teach their children about loving themselves. This is something that is taught best by example. You must demonstrate to your children that it’s okay to value themselves and know that their desires are important. Showing them that taking care of yourself must come first so you can be an inspiration to others. This means you must practice self-love for yourself. Checking in with your Internal Guidance System will help you to recognize how it feels when you’re in alignment and acting out of love, as well as how it feels when you’re doing things you think we should, which often doesn’t feel good.

Your children will watch this behavior in you and see that you have given yourself permission to focus on what feels good to you. They will recognize that this does not make them feel less loved, but in fact you are more available to be open and loving. As they get older, they will be the first ones to remind you that you’re more fun to be around when you’re taking care of yourself.

The second step to teaching children about self-love is to show them they are loved and lovable. Of course you love your children, but you’re human. Sometimes you get tired, stressed, overwhelmed, and you don’t remember that your kids are sponges looking to absorb whatever you send their way. Show them that being human means experiencing all emotions, but never diminishes your love.

Maya Angelou instructed people to ask themselves, “Does my face light up when my child enters the room?”

This is what she was talking about. Your children can feel when you’re delighted to see them. This knowledge that they are loved raises their self-image and gives them the best foundation for a happy, loving life.

Your thoughts are welcome.
© 2014. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.

 

Tips For More Playfulness In Your Parenting

posted by srballantine

 

Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

Do you wish you felt more playful with your kids? Are your daily activities using up the time you used to have, so you think you can no longer be playful? Are you feeling too serious about life?

Our world can sometimes feel like a serious place. By serious I mean intense situations or circumstances that we want to excel at, but come with a certain amount of stress. We take our jobs, homes and relationships seriously; and our parenting can feel very serious too, with everything we want to put into them. Schedules are created because we have many responsibilities and our kids may adhere to strict schedules as well. Where did all our playfulness go? Those feelings of being carefree in the moment with them seem to be gone. It was so easy when they were little and playfulness felt so natural.

As kids grow and become independent, the playfulness we used to share with them is often replaced with other things, but it doesn’t have to stay this way. We can maintain a playful attitude with our kids no matter what age they are. Playfulness is a form of communication, which can greatly reduce the stress often felt in the teen years.

How can you maintain the playfulness with your kids as they grow? Being playful with them can mean you are being good-natured, sharing in silly and funny moments, being fully present with what is happening. It is a light feeling that has the potential for so much joy.

Playfulness starts with your attitude and here are some tips to help you feel and ultimately be more playful first with yourself and then with your kids.

1~ Intention is your most powerful tool. Start with the simple intention of adding playfulness into your day. Being open to playfulness will send those opportunities your way.

2~ Make fun a priority in your day and with your kids. Everything you need to accomplish can be done with an attitude of fun. Make your tasks fun even if you are only doing them so you can get out and have some fun with your children. This helps create a more fun-loving attitude.

3~ Smile more and mean it. As we smile at the world and most especially at our kids, we feel better. A simple smile will help remind our kids that they are loved and their parent is fully present with them.

4~ Tap into your Internal Guidance System. As you ask you will receive, so ask yourself “what will help me feel more playful right now?” Listen for your response and don’t argue with it, trust it.

5~Be open to silliness. Allow what flows through you to express itself with your children, without feeling you have to sensor your responses. You don’t have to be the voice of reason and seriousness all the time.

6~Encourage playfulness with your kids. As you see them being or becoming too serious, encourage a lighter attitude, knowing all is well.

7~ Your To Do list can wait. All those things that are calling you to accomplish can wait a little while. As your children observe you being easier about life and everything there is to accomplish, they will have an easier less stressed attitude too.

8~ Stay organized. Being organized helps you feel more relaxed and when you’re relaxed you can be more playful.

Remember that life is supposed to be fun, no matter how much you have to do. We can make all of our tasks fun by changing what we say to ourselves. Balance is key to our happiness and that of our children. Feeling playful starts with a choice to be playful. Have an attitude of fun with yourself and your kids and the playfulness you seek will be there in full force.

In what ways are you playful?

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Said WHAT is On The Windshield?

posted by srballantine
Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

The fact that your actions have consequences is a concept that young children don’t always understand. When they are babies, the world revolves around them. Their desires and needs are more important than anyone else’s, and because they’re so important, they come to believe that they can do whatever makes them feel good in the moment, which is as it should be. They don’t have the capacity to recognize that their behavior impacts others.

To some people, this may sound good. After all, you’re on this earth to experience joy. Being happy is important and you know that you must be happy and keep your vibration up if you’re going to attract good things into your life.

Why is it important that children learn about consequences? How can you teach them to take certain actions without bringing down their vibration? Even more importantly, how do you demonstrate that modifying their behavior doesn’t mean they should ignore their own needs and desires?

Because it is essential in society that we recognize and respect other people, it’s important for kids to learn how their actions might impact others. This doesn’t mean that you want to raise your children to be doormats, but you want them to be able to identify their needs and desires, while carefully considering how their actions may impact the people around them.

You want them to know the difference and to understand when some of their desires may have a negative effect on others. You should also show them how modifying their behavior doesn’t necessarily mean that their desires won’t be met.

This is what you do when you teach children to share. You’re teaching your kids to recognize that other people have feelings, needs, and desires, too. Kids begin to learn that the consequences of not sharing their toys may mean feeling the displeasure of their parents and also their friends.

Every day, we are all faced with making decisions. You’ll have a better chance of being truly happy with the outcome when you can see far enough ahead to predict what the consequences may be. This is a skill that you acquire with practice, coaching, and maturity.

Adults know that if they drink too much alcohol, they might do something they regret while impaired or have one painful headache the next morning. By knowing the consequences before taking action, you can choose to modify your behavior.

Some people will decide they can live with the headache, but they will have a designated driver or call a cab so they don’t risk having an accident. Some people will choose not to drink at all because they don’t like the potential consequences, and after checking with their Internal Guidance System, they decide that not drinking is the right path for them. Many others will fall somewhere in between these two outlooks by enjoying a cocktail or two, but only enough to be social or to relax. They won’t drink enough to become impaired.

That’s an adult example of why it’s important to understand consequences, but not necessarily how you want to teach the lesson to your children.

A more kid-friendly way to demonstrate the consequences of an action is with a simple houseplant. When you nurture the plant, giving it the water and sunlight that it needs, the plant will flourish. If you don’t feel like watering the plant because you’re too busy playing, the plant may survive for a few days, but will begin to wilt and ultimately die.

With a simple example, kids learn about taking on a responsibility and what happens if they shirk that responsibility. Does it require modifying their behavior? A little bit, but only for a short time. It doesn’t preclude them from going out to play. Instead, it’s just a short delay.

Many types of consequence occur in your everyday life, which you can use to help your children to understand this message. You close the windows in the car to keep the weather and bugs out. You walk the dog so it doesn’t soil the carpet. You refrigerate some foods so that they don’t spoil, and so on.

Sometimes, you learn that considering the consequences of an intended action are worth it. You like parking in the shade of trees to keep your car cool. And you feel pleasure in hearing birds sing.

But if you want to hear the birds sing, sometimes, you just have to accept a little birdie business on the windshield.

Your comments are welcome.
© 2014. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.

The Importance of Eye Contact With Kids

posted by srballantine
Bigstock Photos

Bigstock Photos

How many times have you most probably said to our kids, “look at me when I’m talking to you?” Why do you suppose you say this? Maybe you want to know they are hearing and paying attention to what you’re saying. It’s more challenging to ignore someone when they are looking at you. We want to be heard by our kids and understood as well.

Life is busy in our modern families with tasks and to do’s, which can overshadow our chances for good communication. In our effort to be everywhere the kids need to be and have family dinners etc. we may be moving through our family time with little chance for true connection because of all the activity. Eye contact with our kids is vital for this connection.

 Why is eye contact with our children so important?

~Eye contact can facilitate communication and understanding and we want to be able to communicate on many different levels with our kids.

~ “Eyes are the windows to the soul.” Looking into your child’s eyes gives you access to a more profound level of communicating. For example, when you are accessing a deeper level, it may come across to you as a feeling or intuition.

~ You can more easily identify with how they’re feeling, as emotion is hard to hide from the eyes. When you have an idea of how they feel you can more readily choose how to support them. For example, your child is saying one thing but their eyes say something else.

~ It’s an exchange of energy and you can choose what energy you send to them. For example, if your child is angry you can help soothe the situation by showing the calm, love and ease in your eyes.

~ Your kids will know they have your attention when you look into their eyes.

~ There is a potential for compromise when this connection is initiated. For example, your child will see and feel that you want to reach an agreement by what you are showing them with your gaze.

~ You have the opportunity to really “see” your kids, as it’s a deliberate way of observing how they are reacting and feeling. For example, as you have eye contact, you can readily observe their body language etc.

Conscious parenting involves being deliberate in what we project toward our kids.

Your children will be affected in a profound way by how you look at them. What they see in your eyes can be so much more powerful than what you are saying. Help your children feel the power of your love and support with the loving energy than you exude from your eyes into theirs.

Your comments are welcome.

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

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