Conscious Parenting Reminders for the difficult periods during Toddler Stages………
1) Remember what's true about how you want to raise your child. (For example, do you want them to be afraid of you? Do you want them to have patience? Most of the messages we send are non-verbal. We need to remind ourselves of the longterm messages we want to convey.
2) Children are energy sponges and they usually are responding to our energy and feelings before we’ve even identified them. When they are acting out - it is sometimes a direct result of what we are experiencing whether we are aware of it or not.
3) Their experience of life is very different than ours. Try to see things from their perspective. Its impossible for them to see it from ours.
4) Yes, they are smart and understand – No, they are not trying to manipulate you. If you perceive your child as trying to "manipulate" you will not be able to appreciate their desire to try and figure out alternative ways to get their needs met. Its an artform :)!
5) Scaring them into being obedience is easy – the difficulty is getting them to cooperate. Do you really want them to be afraid?
6) You can only give them options if you have the energy and patience to deal with their decision-making process. If you cant handle their process for learning to choose – It may not be a good time to give them too many choices.
7) Distract – Distract – Distract. It is the ultimate tantrum preventer. If you can master this you will avoid many unnecessary headaches.
8) What works to discipline your child today may not work tomorrow – be prepared to ADJUST not to REACT.
9) Kids don’t “perform” well. This is not a stage rehearsal for them – It's real life – Sometimes they are just not in the mood to show off their typical good manners (or lack thereof) :).
10) Consider how their diet may be affecting their moods – many kids have glucose, gluten or dairy intolerances that affect them emotionally. Obviously on a more general note if your kid is not eating regularly he or she is bound to be emotionally erratic – Consider healthy snacks like nuts – raisins – or protein shakes to replace missed snacks or meal times. Be prepared to turn the American eating routine on its head. If your child doesn't like eggs for breakfast try chicken nuggets, rice and beans, mac and cheese, etc., etc.. Do not compromise the meal time because the child doesn't like the foods being served.
Obviously there are parents for whom conscious parenting is an instinctual process and who will read this as validation that they are on the right track. For the rest of us this will be a constant process of choosing - reminding ourselves to stay on this new path and explore an unchartered terrain. Hopefully, it will keep us from repeating patterns that although familiar and habitual will eventually prove harmful or self-defeating.
Let us be willing to teach and guide without inflicting fear or unnecessary consequences. I know first hand that to allow a child to win a particular battle without fearing that one will lose the ‘war” can be an everyday challenge. It takes an enormous amount of effort to parent consciously and it is absolutely worth it in the long haul.
For more support in this area please check out Amazon Books on Conscious Parenting or find a support group near you.
Wellness Coaching can assist parents in clearing negative emotional baggage from the past and reducing stress so they can get on with the business of consciously raising their children.
Please free to contact me for more information.