Parenting on Purpose

Parenting on Purpose

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Parenting Tips:Teaching Children To Be Selfish

posted by srballantine

cartoon_kidsIt is important that you teach your children to be selfish. On the surface, this goes against what so many people believe you should be teaching your kids. You still want them to care about others, to be giving, and to share with others, right? So why would you want to teach your children to be selfish?

First, consider how you feel about the word “selfish.” The word has negative connotations to it because you’ve been taught to define it so narrowly. You’ve been taught that it’s more important to place your emphasis and intention on things outside yourself than to consider what is going on inside your own spirit.

When you turn your focus outward, you rely on others to feel good about yourself. Until you learn to turn your focus inward, you can never feel good about yourself regardless of what others are saying about you. You will never be enough, because there will always be someone that is displeased with what you have done or have not done.

When you turn your energy inward, you are being truly “selfish.” When you are truly selfish, you are able to feel good about yourself regardless of the opinions of others. The paradox in this is by focusing on your own needs first; you are able to actually help others more than if you focus on their needs without regarding your own.

If you give all of your energy to others and do not replace it with something that fuels you, then you become depleted and have no more to give.

You can explain this to your children by using a simple glass of water as a visual aid. Everyone knows that our bodies need water to survive and if you give away all your water, then you will dry up and die. On the other hand, if you drink from the glass, you are fresh and vibrant, which gives you the energy and mental clarity to refill the glass to share with others.

Everyone wants their lives to have meaning and purpose. You want to help others and enhance other lives as well as your own. This can only be accomplished by practicing selfishness and putting yourself first. You need to get into alignment with what gives you joy, energy, and inspiration.

When you tap into your internal guidance, you will learn what it is that fuels you. It is your job as a parent to help your children discover this. To do this, you need to demonstrate the practice yourself. If you never take time for yourself, then this is what your children will learn. No matter what words you use, they will model your behavior.

Do you already know what brings you joy? If you do, that’s great — place energy on that every day, even if it is just for a few moments.

When you’re sure what brings you joy, tap into your Internal Guidance System and let it help direct you. How you feel is your indicator. Go for the best feelings you can create. Take time to play and to put yourself first. This refueling is essential so you have the energy and joy to help others, including your children.

You can teach your children to tap into their own IGS to discover what pleases them. Give them the freedom to selfishly explore new territory and have new experiences. By flowing with what feels good and energizes them, your children will grow to become the adults they are meant to be, with the skills and joy to share with others.

Please feel free to comment!

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Do Children Have Their Own “Normal?”

posted by srballantine

 

Group of eight happy cartoon children. Teenagers. What defines “normal?” It seems to be a word that can cause us a certain amount of stress, especially if we are parents. Is normal what most kids are being, doing or having? Who decides? Normal seems to be our cultural stamp of approval, and what if our children don’t fit into this standard of measure that can so often feel arbitrary?

As we know, no two people are ever exactly alike and that certainly applies to our kids. We like to think that is what’s so special about them, that they’re unique and  individual. At the same time, we also want them to fit in with their peers, and feel comfortable in their own skin. Children first learn about self-esteem from their parents; by how accepted they feel, and through what is said to them.

How can we support our kids feeling normal while still being their unique selves?

Can we let go of the notion that our kids have to meet a certain standard? How invested are we in the notion that they are accepted as “normal”?

The process starts with the acceptance of our kids. We want them to know it’s “normal” to be whomever they choose to be. When they feel accepted and encouraged by us, it reinforces the self-esteem that is so often eroded when they start school and are subject to other’s judgments. What we say to them is a powerful tool in this process. We always have a choice in what we say to our children.

Are we reacting to what they are doing, being, or wearing? Or are we choosing what reinforces their self-esteem?

We can do this by holding the intention that we will support our kids in their individuality. Intention is very powerful as it creates the energy toward any goal. Once we define our intention, what we then say to them in support of it will feel good to us. When we feel good, we are in alignment with what we want. This is our Internal Guidance System communicating with us.

Conversely, when we speak to our kids in a way that doesn’t support our intent, we won’t feel good.

For example: Your child is studious and a bit of a book worm. He spends a great deal of time by himself doing schoolwork, and he is truly happy being this way. If your wish is that he fit the standard of “normal”, which may mean being involved in school sports, and you express and encourage your wish, then you won’t be supporting his individuality.

On the other hand, you may encourage the same child to be happy with whom he is and create what he feels motivated to create and be by supporting his want to be studious.

The important thing is to decide who we want to be as parents. Do we want to guide and encourage, or control and force our kids to fit into a mold and perhaps lose themselves in the process?

Ways to encourage your kids in feeling supported:

1)   Let them know you have no judgment regarding how they express who they are.

2)   Praise them for what they accomplish and create for themselves.

3)   Guide them in following their Internal Guidance, in doing what feels good to them.

4)   Encourage them to expand upon and try new things and activities, without being attached to whether they will or not.

5)   Model for them your individuality and demonstrate your freedom of choice.

6)   Help them express who they are from an emotional place of confidence, not fear.

Children naturally want to express who they really are, and if we allow them to do this with our love and support, then they have the opportunity to maintain a healthy self esteem that will serve to support them in their subsequent years.

Please feel free to comment.

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

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