How does a solid supportive relationship help our children? What happens to our children when our relationships are stressed. How do we get the support we need so we can be better parents? What are some positive parenting solutions?
I watched The Quiet Girl recently. It was a beautiful depiction of how children respond to love, how much they need it, and how it impacts their sense of self and well-being.
While specific skills like having good boundaries and being consistent are important when parenting, what is even more important is who were are and how we live our lives because our children will learn just as much from who we are as from what we do.
In order to be a grounded and well-functioning parent, a balance is required: being available to our children and practicing self-care. If you are out of balance, being there for your children will be much more challenging. On the other hand, if you don’t practice self-care – you may be there for your children, but to such an extent that nothing is left for yourself.
How do we maintain this balance? What are some positive parenting solutions?
- Have an awareness practice like meditation so you are aware of your thoughts and how they impact the quality of your life. And so you can begin to change them.
- Practice self-care. This includes making time for the things you love, whether a bath, a walk, or talking to a friend.
- Work on your relationship. Relational stressors impact our ability to be present, patient, and kind – thus affecting our ability to effectively parent. Just as children need parents who are loving, understanding, consistent, and patient, so do parents need partners who can support them in the same way. When we feel supported in our primary relationships, we are less stressed. As a result, we feel more emotionally secure. This allows us to be more attentive to our children’s needs.
- Focus on appreciation and gratitude. When we are grounded and feel appreciation and gratitude in our lives, we can more easily affirm and appreciate our children. We can more easily support them and accept them for who they are. And when we are able to be in a state of appreciation, we will feel less stressed and more positive. You can read The Practice of Gratitude is a Choice here.
- Here is a quick meditation idea: Close your eyes. Breathe for a moment. Send all of your worries and troubles away. Move into your heart. Imagine your child when they were a little baby. Remember your love for them. Now imagine them now. Know that they have their own struggles. In your heart, tell them how much you love them. Find the part of you that appreciates them. Tell them that no matter how difficult life is or how raising them to can be, you are so happy they are part of your life.
- Look for what you are learning. Often our children are our teachers. They learn from us, but we also can choose to learn from them. Perhaps you have a child who is willful or particularly sensitive or one with a disability. What can you learn from this child? Ask yourself what is being asked of you, how you are being asked to grow or stretch. Your children have something to teach you. It may be patience, persistence or greater love, self-acceptance, or standing up for yourself. Look at your child as your teacher. Ask yourself, what is this being teaching me in my life? Send gratitude for the teaching, even if it is difficult. Send gratitude to your child, who is your teacher.
Another parenting issue is how we impact our children with the unhealed parts of ourselves. So, for example, let’s say a teenage girl got pregnant and had an abortion. But because her belief system told her she was terrible, she had enormous shame about this. Years later, when she was married with children who were now teenagers, she watched them like a hawk. She installed cameras in her house and tracking devices on the cars they drove. As a result, there was no trust between her and her children. They begin to act out instead of talking with their parent about their needs, fears, and desires. Parenting from the Inside Out, written by Dan Siegel and Mary Hartzell, explores how our childhood experiences shape how we parent our children – I highly recommend it. You can find Parenting from the Inside Out on Amazon here.
Parents need many of the same things that children need.
- Love and affection and feeling valued
- Understanding and empathy
- Consistency and structure
- Patience and flexibility
- Positive communication
- A sense of meaning or fulfillment
WeConcile helps us with our primary relationships, which help us with our lives, work, and parenting. WeConcile provides a mobile app to help people solve their relational problems and feel closer to their partners. Using relational science, couples increase their relational intelligence and learn to build trust, intimacy, and connection with each other. And this is another step in positive parenting solutions
Find the WeConcile App here.
Here is a link to My Mother’s Passing – a blog post I wrote about my relationship with my mother in my personal blog – Jennifer’s Blog.
You can find other articles about relationships on the WeConcile Blog.
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