Big question isn’t it? Is it something that you’ve thought of? I know when I was first a parent I hadn’t really put much thought into it.
I am Bethan, a Psychotherapist specialising in Parent Support and am amazed and in awe of the parents who come to me who have really thought about their parenting. For me it wasn’t until I had reached the depths of my parenting struggles that I had to forge out who I was in all of it and where did I want myself, and my children, to end up.
So most parents I meet want there kids to be ok in life – I mean, that’s pretty standard isn’t it? But it’s really important that parents take the time to work out this more specifically as doing this helps to keep the parents actions, behaviours and their emotions on track. Hang on while I explain this a bit more.
I met with parents this week who were finding their sons anger and behaviour destructive. They wanted to develop their skills to help him manage his emotions in a different way as they felt he was old enough to. Then when we explored things they asked me about feeding him still at the table. My opinion was that he was old enough to feed himself (almost 4), to which they replied “oh, but he is our baby”. Can you see the mis-match? So on one hand they’d like a child who can manage their emotions, yet on another a child who is still their baby.
And I know that parenting really is much of the time about this grey area. And my opinion is that boundaries are so important, but that those boundaries can also be flexible and adapt to situations as they arise.
I think that sometimes parents can get caught up in the minutiae of the parenting, when it is the over-all relationship that is the important one. Does it have to be all or nothing, or can a parent show that they see, hear and validate their child by being flexible within themselves?
This is where the parenting intention is so important – what is your intention for your child? Do you want them to grow up with the skills to manage their lives, regulate their emotions (as much as any of us can), form relationships and enjoy life? If so, do your actions match what your intention is?
And this is where we realise that parenting really isn’t much about children, it’s really about the parents. And as I write about here, all parents are parenting from their inner default mode – until a decision is taken to change what’s not working.
My experience is that so much of parenting can take place through fear and anxiety and this is the bit that doesn’t work. It’s not your fault, as it’s our brains default in any given situation. But with the skills, practice and intention close to the heart, it’s possible to parent in the way that you’d like to and offer your best to your child and yourself.
If you are interested in finding your parenting best, come and join us in the Calm & Confident Collective – your exclusive parenting membership with the resources, information, support and motivation to find freedom in you.
And make sure you’ve downloaded your copy of 5 Steps to Calmer Parenting, a great way to start to map out your change.