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It's been on my mind lately that there has to be a better way when it comes to disciplining our children.
The thing is, we can forget at times that they can't control their emotions. Sometimes, I see my daughter getting so worked up, so out of control, so up in emotion-ville that I don't actually know what to do.
What do I do most of the time? I go kind of crazy with her.
And I'll tell you what works - definitely not that.
Tantrums can be a sign that a child feels out of control or unheard and that's one thing I know for sure. Now, I'm definitely not the perfect parent but one thing that I do try to do is check in with myself when things are getting a little bit crazy and even remember to check in with myself when things are going well so I can document what works with our family.
When Bo is having a meltdown, I know that I need to love on her and listen to her. I know that she needs time together instead of time out. Not praise. Not making it okay to have a tantrum but just sitting with her and listening and understanding her, not trying to tell her what to do.
I think that's the biggest issue we face as parents. When our children are not acting the way our expectations require, we discipline, we shut them down, we tell them that their opinion doesn't matter right now and we're right and they are wrong. They should be acting how we want them to. Rarely do I see someone control a tantrum otherwise, unless there's fear or bribery around it.
One thing that I know to be true is that when Bo can't control her emotions, me sitting with her, listening and understanding what she's going through, makes such a difference to her state and mine because, not only does she get to calm down but, I get to be present with myself and with her.
This is creating amazing habits for our children in the future. I mean, monkey see, money do. I know that I am guilty of getting bored and going into the kitchen and picking around at what I can find and I've seen my daughter do that too. I knew from the beginning, that it was a habit that she might pick up so I know that now I've got to be more mindful of that.
I can't discipline her for doing what it is that I do, we have to check in together and make changes that are sustainable for the growth of us both.
Another thing that I know helps when it comes to tantrums and children not being able to get out of that disruptive state is to start being creative.
I remember one night, being at a friend's house for dinner and her daughter was getting really worked up about something. I can't remember what it was but it was some issue that really was affecting her. I could see that she couldn't control her emotions and I could also see that things were really starting to get out of hand.
So, while we were sitting at the dinner table, I looked out the window, jumped up quickly and shouted, "Oh my goodness, I just saw a purple dragon fly past the window!" All of a sudden, my friend's child was amerced in what it was that I was seeing. She ran to the window, smiling, looking around, I went with her and I told her that it must have flown away but I was explaining to her what the purple dragon looked like and she was taken out of her hectic state and put into one of curiosity and excitement.
The tantrum was forgotten and all was well.
I encourage you, when you think about disciplining your children, to just check in with yourself as to where your intention is at? Is your intention to turn your child into the child that you believe they should be, to act the way that you believe they need to act? Or is your intention to listen, be with them and guide them as they develop into the person that they need to be to live the best life that they need to live?
If you loved reading this, it would mean the world if you would hit the share button below and share this with the parents in your life. And if you have any great tips for conscious parenting, I would love to read them in the comments below!
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There is sadness in the world.
I hate to break it to you, but there is.
Recently I started to feel guilt over how incredible my life is and how good I feel. I am a privileged, straight, white female living in a very safe place with near zero health issues to impact my way of life.
GUILT GUILT GUILT
There have been no gigantic obstacles that tell me how I can or can’t live. I’m free to do mostly what I want how I want (within the law of course) and I have boundless opportunities in this world.
GUILT GUILT GUILT
And then I started catching glimpses of the news. I haven’t watched the news in a few years because MOST of it is stuff that doesn’t effect me and is none of my business. If I need to know about what’s going on I’ll do my own research. But sometimes, Hugh has it on to keep up to date with things that are important for him to see and know.
I realised that there is so much hurt in this world. From the brief 30 minute segment that I caught parts of, I saw the hurt. Crime, murder, suffering. Then they think it’s a good idea to let you know that some baby whales were born yesterday as though our minds are completely wiped of all the pain we saw prior.
I sat on this guilt for a few days. I journaled about it. I cried for people in pain.
There are things I can do to help, there are things we can all do. And we should. But I wanted to write this so we could all start small. Because Hugh always tells me that charity starts in the home. Being a good human, a good parent, friend, lover and community member is so important to the big picture.
I was getting caught up in feeling small. I was getting caught up in what I couldn’t do for the people in pain.
So I decided to start playing full out in the things that I could.
:: I can smile at everyone I pass on my morning walk. Because I know when I’ve been feeling low, a smile from a stranger is that little reminder that happiness exists.
:: I can help people. Even in the small ways, like the cliched carrying an elderly persons groceries to their car. Or telling another mother that they’re doing an awesome job when I see their toddler on the floor in the grocery store crying. Or picking up rubbish on the street, even if it’s not mine, even if it seems gross. I can wash my hands after.
:: I can raise kind girls. This part is a little more difficult to navigate, but I’ll do my best so that more happiness spreads through the world because of them.
:: I can speak up about the things that I believe in. Like gay marriage. Like gender equality. Not in a way that makes me feel loud and important, but in a way that lets people who don’t have the opportunities that I do know that I’m there for them in love in whatever way I can be. The way that makes just one other person feel loved and cared for.
:: I can work on myself so that I can be of service to others in the best way possible.
And I know, in the grand scheme of things, these little acts don’t mean a lot. But that feeling of support that someone might feel from something you or I do could be the difference for them in that day.
Adding lots more light, more love and more happiness in the smallest of ways is going to make us better as a whole. Sending love to the guy who cut you off instead of throwing your middle finger in the air. You don’t know his situation, you don’t know if he’s hurting. The more we can treat each other like the best version of themselves, the more OUR world grows.
That gives us more energy, more power, to make difference in the world.
In what small way can you make a difference in the world?
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