I have been honored to meet a lot of parents of young children lately and I have been guided to write some parenting tips for the conscious parent who is fostering a bright new light in this world.
I will begin by telling you that I am not perfect. I am the mother of a 6 year old angel of a daughter and I make mistakes. Often when I journey in sacred meditations the message that comes through LOUD and CLEAR is that I need to play more. All she wants is for me to play with her. And then there is work and home work and cleaning the room and bath time....and before I realize it I have forgotten again. Luckily, I am open to the little reminders the Universe sends and I do make time to play....at least sometimes.
At this moment I gently remind myself that I am doing my best. I have gratitude for my Partner, Brad, who has made it possible for me to play and not be so stressed out as a "single mom". This is also critical to your parenting success, be gentle with YOURSELF, especially if you hope to be gentle with your little ones.
Also, remember EVERYONE has an opinion, and that is all they are, opinions. That doesn't make them right. Parenting is the ultimate educator in trusting oneself. No one knows your child like you do. Go inside and trust that you will make the right choices for your child, and you will. Listen to advice when it makes sense to you. Let all other opinions go with a polite "thank you". After all , the heart of the one giving the unwanted opinion is in "the right place."
Tip #1 - Remember they hear you. In fact, they hear everything. They hear every negative curse word and every comment you make about your overweight relative who doesn't care for himself. They form opinions based on all that they hear. They also hear you when you say that they are good, and that you love them, and that you respect them - especially when you are not talking to them, but to someone else. In the same vein, they hear when you tell someone "She is such a brat." "He is terrible at math" or what may seem harmless like "She has an evil streak in her, just like her mother." How you describe them becomes an identity and they will take that on. They hear you.
Tip #2 - Build them up. Always. Tell them when they do what is good or right or just. Talk to others about how wonderful they are. Soon you will find they believe what you say and become what you describe. This also makes punishment for wrong doing so much easier. The other day my daughter "forgot" to do her homework. Well, she really did forget, but that is not "ok". So I told her I was "disappointed". WOW. She cried. The last thing she wants is to be "disappointing", it doesn't work with her identity. Needless to say, she does her homework first thing every night.
Tip #3 - Teach Boundaries. This is my opinion, take it or leave it. Children need boundaries in order to feel safe. For example, they need to know that they are not allowed to cross the road and if they do there will be consequences. That makes them feel safe. There is no question in their mind as to should they or should they not cross the road. That makes them feel safe. I love inquisitive, exploratory children. They learn from exploring their world. So my point with boundaries is to set them up to succeed. The boundary gives them a safe zone. And boundaries extend beyond the physical of the property. When a child knows what he or she is allowed to do and what he or she is not allowed to do the child feels safe and secure and can make confident choices.
Tip #4 - Teach Truth. When a value is placed on truth children will live up to it. Truth, though, is something you have to teach. My mother always told me that I would not get into trouble as long as I told the truth. Maybe that is the reason for my heightened sense of justice. Maybe I believe "the truth will set you free". In my experience, though, having a child who honors and tells the truth is heavenly. I trust her. And she honors that trust.
Tip #5 - Remember how young they are. Especially important for the little ones, but good to remember even when they are tweens and teens. They are not your equals. They process things quite differently. They don't understand sarcasm. They do forget things. The Tooth Fairy and Santa are very real. They don't screw up on purpose. And they don't intend to upset you, so if you asks if they are trying to make you mad...they are not. And they probably have no idea how to get off that slippery slope either.
Tip #6 - You are their security. You are ultimately what defines their sense of safety. "The world is ok as long as I can see or touch or hear my mommy or daddy." That is where they operate from. That is why they find their way to your bed when they wake up and the shadow monsters are scaring them. You are like home base in baseball, if they can make it to you they are safe. As long as you exist they can breathe easy because in their mind nothing will ever happen to them as long as you are around.
Thank you for reading, I love you. Namaste.