Parenting ourselves, food for thought!
You can read all the positive parenting books in the world but if you aren’t controlling your own behaviour, you can hardly expect your little people to control theirs.
Children model our behaviour; they no doubt see you as their role model. If we want our children to be kind, gentle, compassionate and respectful we must reflect this behaviour.
I believe parenting is more about controlling ourselves and being mindful of our own behaviour rather than our children’s.
We must be what we want our children to be which involves growing up emotionally, requiring a lot of work from ourselves as parents. Many of us are stuck in childhood, and are healing from certain aspects sometimes this reflects in being unable to handle our emotions. If we don’t manage our emotions we can’t teach our children to manage theirs!
To identify our negative behaviours with our children, we can start by identifying our triggers. Looking at why your child’s behaviour triggers you so deeply gives a great opportunity to heal from something from long ago.
Below are a few questions and prompts that have brought a lot of clarity to specific triggers I have faced with the children
- As a child, did you feel that what you had to say mattered? Did you feel your feelings and ideas were important?
- What were your caregivers’ reactions when you showed intense emotions, such as fear, anger or frustration?
- What are the behaviours that you display, that you don’t want your child to pick up?
- Is your child expressing an undesirable trait that reminds you of something in yourself you find hard to face?
- How did your early caregivers interact with you when you manifested this undesirable trait or behaviour?
- What are you grieving as a result of your child having this particular characteristic?
Looking beneath the surface of our children’s behaviours that trigger deep feelings in our hearts and minds is hard work but it gives us an opportunity to heal and grow as people. Our children are our greatest teachers; parenting is a mirror in which we get to see the best of ourselves and the worst.
The journey of parenting can begin with us being conscious enough to identify and see our own patterns, heal our own stories, love and accept ourselves completely.
Has your childhood or upbringing influenced your style of parenting?