The world of childhood presents an infinite amount of challenges for parents! Once you have something figured out, the kids grow and present us with some new obstacles we couldn’t have even imagined! It‘s hard to find any inner peace in this constantly shifting and changing world of childhood, not to mention a feeling that “I got this!”
The problem is that we expect the peace and harmony to come from outside of ourselves whereas, it really is a state we can create within.
Here are my three secrets to peaceful parenting, that I believe will make a huge difference in how you experience being a parent.
My first invitation is to boycott perfectionism. It’s this desire to have things just right and making them look good that‘s exhausting. This society idolizes perfectionism which is a big problem because in its core, perfectionism is shame covered up in a pretty package. When you unveil perfectionism as shame, which is fear of failure, fear of not looking good and fear of making mistakes, you can now recover from its crippling effects. We need to address issues in their core in order to resolve them.
The other important thing to understand about perfectionism is where you learned it from. Most likely it is a pattern from your childhood in which you felt approved, accepted and loved when you behaved well, or got good grades in school. Sadly so many of us recovering perfectionists are victims of such conditional love.
In order for you to let go of the idea that people will only love you when you are “good” and “perfect”, you need to feel the discomfort that comes from being imperfect and realize that people closest to you love you just the way you are. You will never know this unless you surrender.
We are conditioned to an idea that being busy and doing a lot is admirable. The idea of the busy bee mom who is practically creating miracles by what she does is widely popularized.
My invitation for you is to slow down and inquire, where is the “doing” getting you? What truly is the value in it? Is it really helping you?
One of the biggest problems I see parents having is mindlessly going-going-going, and reacting without ever stopping to think “what’s the point in it all.”
Your child lives in the world of BEing present. They feel their feelings of anger, joy, sadness and fear and then get over it the next moment. We have a lot to learn from them which is why I am asking you to slow down and enter the world of “BEingness” with your child. It’s a wonderful magical world where time stands still, the mind is full of possibilities and the heart is full of love and joy.
I know your next question…how do I do this?
By literally slowing down!
Slow and deepen your breath, slow your moments, become mindful and aware of your surroundings through your senses without judging them, and most importantly notice your own body and the sensations you are experiencing. Just become present to what you are feeling and sensing without judging what exists.
The bottom line in creating time for yourself is that you get to value yourself so much so that carving out time for yourself becomes important because you are important.
I know life is busy and there are many reasons that make it seem impossible to carve out time. I’m inviting you to see the value in taking care of yourself by getting creative and resourceful in how to make this happen. Open up your mind from the immediate reaction of “it’s not possible” into curiosity and possibility by asking, “how can I make this happen?”
This may involve you asking for help and support which in and of itself can be uncomfortable for some of us. We often come up with stories that stop us from asking for help like, “I don’t want to be a bother” or “They don’t have the time.” These stories get in the way of us receiving love and support. We end up feeling exhausted, lonely and isolated. We feel like a martyr with building resentment. Do you see the self-fulfilling prophecy in this scenario?
Also, when we don’t reach out for help, we inadvertently rob other people of the opportunity to be generous, and loving. We take away their freedom of choice and we hold them and ourselves small.
I do hope something in this article resonated with you so you are able to shift from running yourself into the ground to thriving as a parent.
Love & Peace,
P.S. If you would like 1:1 support for how to implement these three steps, you can book a complimentary 30 minute call with me.
Paula Kettula is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working with children and families for over 20 years. Paula holds a master’s degree in social work from San Diego State University. She also has a diploma in Montessori education from Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). In addition, Paula is a certified yoga teacher (RYT-200) and is trained in EMDR, Sandplay Therapy, Play Therapy and Transformational Leadership. Paula has developed a unique approach to parenting based on a powerful transformational leadership framework. She is owner of Porta Verum Psychotherapy Services in San Diego, CA. They offer in person and virtual services.
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