What advice do you have for parents of young children?
Wonder at your child, don’t worry about her/him. If you worry, your child will pick up your tension and doubt and internalize it. If they internalize your wonder, they will learn to love life and themselves. You will learn more when you wonder than when you worry. Empathy arises out of wonder, not worry. Attunement and alignment arise out of wonder, not worry. When you worry you are focused on your anxieties, not your child.
If you free yourself from worry, and build your capacity for wonder, you will see your child and their needs with real clarity. Wonder will guide you to their needs and show you how to care for them with confidence. Wonder will tell you when to hold them, when to say no, what kind of rhythm serves them. Wonder will reveal their temperament, their sensory strengths, and their need for soothing and stimulating.
Wonder will wake you up to how your child needs you to grow as a person and a parent.
If you are a worrier, wonder at your worry. Give yourself 20 minutes with a journal and wonder at the roots of your worrying? Was your mother a worrier? Did your mother fail to wonder at you? Was there not enough relaxed attention and engagement in your childhood? Explore your memories.
What is the inner work of parenting?
You are the perfect parent for your child, so you don’t need to struggle to be a perfect parent. Your child loves you, the inner you. Nurturing and cultivating your inner life is a primary task of parenting. Inner work builds the inner core of love that radiates out to your child – they glow and grow in that love.
Put some of your energy into knowing yourself and do this with intentional rhythm – make it a priority to have a weekly walk for self-reflection or a long soaking bath when you recollect on the moments of the week that were sweet. Self-knowledge is the beginning of inner freedom and the basis of inner love.
Parents need to give themselves inner intention. Attention can be superficial. Intention always goes deep.
So many parents in their 20′s and 30′s have been spending their lives finding their way in the world. Having a child may wake up the need to find their way into their souls, but they don’t know how to do this. There is no one way. There are many doors that open up to the soul.
My messages that I send out to my mailing list support self-knowledge and inner work.I invite your readers to go to www.theinneryear.blogspot.com to sign up for my messages.
My Inner Life programs, particularly Lifting the Veils, are a great way to begin the work of self-intention, of self-discovery and can be very helpful in understanding childhood from the perspective of both parent and child.
What are the veils?
The veils are the conscious and unconscious memories of experiences, relationships, and feelings, both good and bad, that have not been digested, integrated and honored. These unresolved memories are very powerful and impact our thoughts, feelings, desires, judgments, intentions and actions. Essentially these memory veils keep us from the present moment and from the present relationships. Through these veils the present appears as the past.
The veils are filled with illusions and distortions that hide the real. They idealize and dramatize taking away our ability to know the truth of our own being.
When our children are at the same age or in the same situations we were when we had a particular experience, our memories are triggered and we project the memory on to our child’s experience and react to the projection and not to the child’s experience in the real present moment. The projection veils the truth. The real difficulty is that the child will interject or internalize our memory projection as if it is their own. Here we see the root of generational challenges. Are you being just like your mother or your grandmother even though you don’t want to be? This is the result of the interjection of generational veils.
How do we lift them?
In Lifting the Veils Part One Birth to Age 7, key themes such as vacations, nature, illnesses, food and so on, are explored. We look at the archetypal range of experience and then we look at our personal memories, our feelings about them and the judgments we made about the situation. This gentle, compassionate and respectful process begins to lift the veils. You find a new, freer relationship to your own life, to your children and to your parenting.
Although one can do this work alone, doing it with a guided group, even over the internet, enriches, expands and supports the process. The company of others brings warmth and inspiration to everyone.
Lifting the Veils begins on Sunday, July 17 at Noon Eastern or Tuesday, July 19 at 8PM Eastern. To learn more here http://tiny.cc/xca6m
Thank you Lynn.