Expanding in love through parenting
If you are anything like me, you strive to be the best parent you can and give you child the best chances to be a well adjusted adult. Speaking for myself, I try to find the balance between giving my children what they need and giving myself what I need. I am aware that this dance will also teach them about meeting their own needs as adults while helping them feel secure and loved now.
As I went through my first years parenting, I made all the mistakes with my first child: a boy full of joy and energy, multifaceted, who keeps me busy and challenges me with his strong will and strong personality, much like myself I must say. I catch myself trying to contain his energy and at times shape him into this quiet and behaved boy, unaware that I am containing the best part of him and interfering with who he is in his essence and with his ways of exploring life.
I am very aware that as a result, my second child, another gorgeous, creative and sensitive boy, can become a “pleaser” to compensate for his brother’s strong will.
As someone on a quest to improve and expand in love and abundance I felt that I should share this insight about how I reduce the amount of friction I have with my children, the anger directed to them and avoid the gutting feeling that comes from blowing up on my children from time to time.
On those occasions I handle things poorly I later feel that this is not who I am in my essence and wish I would have handled it differently. I know many of us fear that we are weakening our bond with our children and dread being a poor role model.
Besides operating from a place of poor “programming” due to our role models and the socio-cultural environment that we grew up, our behaviours are ways we find to meet our six basic human needs: variety, certainty, significance, connection/love, growth and contribution.
In my coaching studies I learned that the need for significance (feeling important, being the authority, being respected, being right) can be contradictory to the need for love and connection. Significance can result in control issues, whereas love, both loving and being loved, requires a more accepting and forgiving approach. It also requires us to speak more openly about our feelings and clearly communicate our needs to the people we love.
Keeping this premise top of my mind reminds me to evaluate whether my anger and frustration is a result of my need to control and feel important or a valid reason, like being ignored by the tenth time or unacceptable misbehaviour. It prevents me from having a full blown tantrum and displaying poor self-control and it helps me communicate my needs, the specific behaviour that is at the heart of the problem and how it makes me feel (disrespected or disregarded).
As I become more aware of how I want to feel on a regular basis, even the smallest tantrum makes me feel a huge discord and reminds me that we can stop sweating the small stuff and connect with our children, expand in love and teach them to do the same.
Doing so with our children is a great way to practice doing the same with our partners, work colleagues and communicate in more positive ways. Ways that deepen our connections and more positively meet our need for significance.
Marcia is a strategic intervention coach and an exercise specialist/movement therapist. She is passionate about helping her clients enhance performance in all areas of life. Her mission is to empower others to achieve a stronger and healthier body and mind. She currently lives in Australia with her two boys and enjoys connecting with nature, spending time with family and friends, samba drumming and travelling.