Parenting on Purpose

Parenting on Purpose

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.

 

 

 

 

Positive Parenting Solutions: No Nagging Required

posted by srballantine

little schoolgirl in a messy roomWho enjoys a nagging parent? Your kids certainly don’t, and even though they might think you enjoy nagging them, you actually dislike it as much as they do. Who relishes the idea of constantly pushing kids to do their homework or to clean up their room? No one that I know, that’s for sure, it’s exhausting.

As a parent, what you should enjoy is the knowledge that you are raising your kids to become happy well-adjusted adults. You want them to make independent decisions, know right from wrong and make choices that serve their highest ideals.

Unfortunately, many parents believe that nagging their children is part of the “job description.” Fearful that their children will be lost in a mountain of dirty clothes, they nag them to pick up their room or to do the laundry. I know I did at one time.

Is there a more positive parenting solution?

Absolutely.

Whether you want your children to embrace healthy eating choices or to acquire good study habits, you can teach your children to be responsible without nagging them every day. You need to start by teaching them about their Internal Guidance System (IGS).

Fair warning! This isn’t easy for a lot of parents. It means giving up the perceived control and letting your kids decide what to do for themselves. It means there will be decisions that they make, which you would rather they didn’t. This is all part of the process of learning how to use and trust their IGS.

Of course, “controlling” another human being is really an illusion.  It generally requires a lot of nagging, which you have already admitted you don’t like. So, trust your own Internal Guidance System and learn to let go a little bit, while your children learn to trust theirs. This step is essential for their growth. You will be glad you did—and so will your children. There will be stronger sense of freedom in your relationship.

Consider some of the habits that your children have developed that you wish were different. For you, these habits may seem very negative, but they might be completely permissible or in other words, feel good to someone else. If the habit isn’t life-threatening, then you can let your kids tap into their Internal Guidance System to decide if they want to continue these habits or change them. My parenting experience showed me that kids generally grow out of all the habits we found annoying at one time.

If you decide to interfere and force them to superficially change their habits, then you aren’t doing them any favors and the behavior won’t be permanent anyway. And this can also create another habit.

First, they won’t have matured enough to make decisions and take responsibility for those decisions on their own. They may come to believe that unless someone nags them to get something done, it isn’t important. This not a precedent that future roommates, life partners, or employers will value.

Second, the enforced behavior is not really their own, so it is likely that they will not continue with the “preferred” behavior when they are out of your sight or out of your home.

When you decide to let go of your habit of nagging your children, you are providing a model for them in treating others respectfully, as adults. By teaching them to trust their IGS, you give them the tools to become the independent individual they are meant to be.

What more can a parent want for their child?

Please feel free to comment.

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Finding Balance With Our Kids And Their Technology

posted by srballantine

 

Girl Playing Game In ChairModern technology has become a normal part of our every day lives. Our children use it at school and many of our homes have the newest technology available from computers to video games.  Young children are given cell phones and tablets sometimes before first grade. We give our kids the means to keep in touch, play games and have the most convenient lives, and then we decide we want to limit the use of these devices. All in the name of balance.

Sometimes we as parents impose too much balance and sometimes not enough. How do we know when to do what? Is it ok for our kids to constantly be on the phone, have their earphones plugged in to music, use their tablets at the dinner table and play video games all night long? The biggest complaint I hear from parents is that their child never feels fully present. I can relate.

When my three kids were growing up they had all the gadgets, the phone, games etc.  I had to choose my priorities, and decide when I allowed the constant use of technology and when I didn’t. Most young kids aren’t aware of how to impose balance within what they are doing, so I felt it was up to me to guide them. Initially though, I thought we should do it my way.

I started out imposing all the rules and limitations, but the never-ending arguments became a worse frustration. There had to be a better and easier way, a compromise. I came to realize that it would serve everyone best if they came to learn the balance of technology for themselves, not just adhere to all of my rules and definitions. This decision would serve them throughout their lives by refining the use of their own Internal Guidance System.

 When letting kids make their own choices, end results aren’t always how we envision but they learn how to distinguish what serves them and what doesn’t. This helps them long-term. For example, if we let them choose whether they stay up half the night playing video games they will soon learn that there are consequences to this. Being tired and not prepared for their school day, are among them. We can encourage a certain behavior but most of us realize we can’t control it.

Some things I felt particularly strong about and would rarely compromise on. Each parent has to follow their own Internal Guidance System in choosing what they are.

Maybe our kids come home from school and we think they should immediately start their homework, but they want to play video games or watch TV.  Our kids know for themselves what it is that serves them in any given moment based on how they are feeling about a situation or activity. If they have resistance to doing their HW right away, they won’t be fully present and won’t do their best. It’s reasonable to think that they need time at home to just relax after school before they can do more work. Try letting them decide. When they are in agreement, they are more productive.

What if we tell our kids that we trust them to know for themselves when they should put their technology aside and do their projects, school work etc? I know my children felt trusted and more empowered to follow through with their responsibilities when they could do them on their own timeline. This was particularly true when they were teens. What if they don’t follow through for themselves? Sometimes they may not, but again, they will learn how to prioritize and take responsibility only if they are allowed to do so.

We have little to no control over what our children do and when, especially when they aren’t in our presence. It wasn’t easy to give up my perceived sense of control. When I learned to trust my kids and let them choose their paths and their tasks as well as learn about consequences, I knew they would become empowered young adults.

Please feel free to comment.

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attract A Pony Using The Law of Attraction

posted by srballantine

pony-with-bridleHow many little girls dream of someday having a pony? Millions. And yet, most of these little girls never get the pony. Is that proof that the Law of Attraction doesn’t work?

No, it is just demonstrating that it is not like waving a magic wand to make our dreams come true.

So while Jiminy Cricket might encourage kids to “wish upon a star,” you can coach them in how to apply the Law of Attraction to manifest their hearts’ desires.

The first step is to explain to your daughter that the Law of Attraction works on our basic vibrations.

A good visual about vibrations that works for children of any age is tossing a rock into a pond. The rock represents your child’s feelings and the ripples that are created when the rock hits the water is the vibrations their feelings send out to the Universe.

When we feel sad or angry, then we send out negative vibrations. When we feel happy or even hopeful, we send out ripples of positivity.

If your child wants a pony, then she must send out vibrations that match the joy of having a pony. If she thinks about not having a pony or is sad about not yet having a pony, then she will send out negative ripples which will keep the possibility of a pony away.

Instead, if she visualizes having the pony now and thinks about all the fun she is having with the pony, as well as the love she feels for ponies, then she might actually attract the pony into her life.

Will the pony arrive today? Probably not.

Will the pony definitely come to her? Maybe. Maybe not.

Before you and your daughter think that this thought goes against the Law of Attraction, it is important to remember that the Universe is working out the “how” that matches her emotional vibration, and it does this on its timetable, not ours.

Yes, she might get that pony, but it is unlikely to appear on your doorstep. Remember, this isn’t Fantasyland, and there is no magic wand.

Explain that there are many different scenarios that could come out of this desire. Perhaps she gets an opportunity to work at a stable and ride many different ponies while she earns the money to buy a pony.

Maybe a friend of hers gets two ponies and needs help caring for them. Or she might get a chance to work with a veterinarian because of her love for animals and be surrounded by lots of loving creatures every day.

By focusing on the feelings she associates with having a pony, your daughter opens herself up to getting a pony or other experiences that give her those feelings. At the same time it is quite possible that she will find a career that she will love.

Whether your child wants a pony, a pilot’s license, or a Ph.D., when she focuses on what it feels like to have her heart’s desire before she actually gets it, then she is applying the Law of Attraction, which will always deliver in essence or actuality that which we have asked for.

I would love your comments!

© 2014.  Sharon Ballantine.  All Rights Reserved.

 

Previous Posts

Back To School Help For Reducing Stress
  Kids today suffer far more stress and burn out than you did when you were their age. While no life is completely stress-free, too much stress is as damaging to your kids as it is to you. When your kids are stressed, it’s hard for your life to be peaceful as well. Stress is part of you

posted 2:04:40pm Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Helping Children Through Sadness
    There are times in life when you’re faced with sadness. It happens to everyone. Children are certainly not immune from experiencing unhappy events. As a parent, you can help your children c

posted 2:20:46pm Aug. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Helping Kids Know Why They Do Things
Each of us spends our lives doing things that start from our place of being motivated. We create things that enhance us, do menial tasks that structure our lives and everything in between. But are we moving through life in a deliberate way that is helping meet our goals? Are we following others or f

posted 9:56:16pm Aug. 12, 2014 | read full post »

Guiding As Opposed To Pushing Your Kids
  As a parent, you want what is best for your children. Even before they’re born, most people have some preconceived notions of what their children’s lives will be like. You may speculate about thei

posted 11:39:38pm Aug. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Birds Of A Feather...Kids Choosing Their Own Flock
Everyone has heard the phrase, "Birds of a feather flock together." Once in a while, there is a news story about the lone, odd duck hanging out with the gaggle of geese, but those stories only make the news bec

posted 3:14:44pm Aug. 06, 2014 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.