Conscious Parenting and Play – From Havoc to Harmony at Home
Exploring why our children behave inappropriately and how to deal with
unwanted behavior effectively.
After working with families for 30 years, it seems that becoming a parent can be a daunting task for most of us. Some seem to cope better than others, but some days we all might feel like it’s becoming too much. You might find yourself wishing there was a manual to deal with your toddler as he or she is rolling around in the aisle of the supermarket screaming, while people look at you disapprovingly.
You feel the anger and embarrassment rise, while you desperately wish you could just reach into your handbag and pull out a manual that will tell you exactly what to do. You need a strategy that you can trust will work, because you no longer want to live with panic, frustration, and helplessness.
This is exactly what this blog is going to attempt to do for you. While we learn how to do things at school or college, and gain experience working and specializing in our field, NOTHING seems to prepare us for the challenges of parenthood, especially if our child is not listening, following instructions, or interacting appropriately.
Why is it sometimes so difficult to know what to do in order to deal with the behavior of our child?
Even though we share traits as human beings and specific DNA as members of the same gene pool, we are all unique spiritual beings. We cannot therefore base our strategy on our unique personality as this leads to too many inconsistencies.
What works for one family or child does not necessarily work for another, no matter how similar the issues seem at first glance. Due to the uniqueness and individuality of each person a recipe or generic approach misses the mark too. We cannot rely on what we learn in books, conventional theories and schools of thought. We have to look deeper to find a common denominator that also honours each person and family's uniqueness.
That common denominator is, that even though we are unique, we are all learning life lessons individually and within our families. We share this journey and evolve and grow together. We can look at the family unit as a soul group within which we learn. Your family unit will provide you with the first opportunities to explore your life lesson. We are not always consciously aware that we are actually learning together as a family. Parents and children often get stuck in repetitive patterns as they are blinded by the pain and discomfort they are experiencing. All the attention tends to be placed on the child with the "problem". A good place for you to start as a parent is to turn within.
We will look at simple, basic techniques from many different therapies and fine-tune their actual step-by-step implementation. This blog will help you change your perception of how you view yourself, your children and how to manage their behaviour. Once you are more confident in dealing with your child’s behaviour on a daily basis you will no longer waste your energy on trying to control the situation. When we feel out of control, we feel unsafe too and tend to overreact as our defence mechanisms flare-up.
Parenting is about more than managing or controlling your children and their behaviour. Simply put, we learn from our children, as much as they learn from us. It is important to understand and accept that you are learning very important life lessons together as individuals and as a family. Once you manage the children better you will have a lot more energy available for yourself. You will enjoy your children more because a lot of the symptomatic behaviour will resolve. The life lesson that you need to learn together will become clearer to you and you will have the energy to guide your children on their life journey, leading them on the path of self-discovery and development…well, sometimes they lead us.
There is no "one size fits all" approach.
Your journey on earth is unique and the whole point is for us to express our unique selves. The more contrast and diversity there are on earth, the faster we learn and evolve.
We should not all try to be the same and fit into the neat little boxes, society as a whole and education creates for our children and for us.
How we deal with our children and ourselves is one of the fundamental aspects of life. We are all very invested in our family lives and when we have havoc at home it can leave us feeling like a total failure. Many families do indeed break under the strain, marriages dissolve and many children grow up to become wounded parents themselves, perpetuating a cycle of being lost and disconnected.
Having one plan, based on the understanding the true nature of your child is better than having two parents with two different plans.
If more than one person is involved with the management of the child, like a mother, father, extended family members, nanny and or teacher, it is important that everyone follow the same underlying energetic principles and behavior management techniques. This creates consistency between environments and the people in the child’s life and makes the behavior management far more effective. Consistency creates a sense of security.
As a healthy and balanced adult, you should be in control of yourself and get your child’s cooperation. Children should feel in control of themselves too, in a safe and consistent environment that you create for them.
Your child might seem to be fighting for control and seem to be resisting you at every turn. It might seem they want to be in control of the environment and you. But children do not want to be in control, they want to feel stimulated, safe, stable and secure. When they are feeling threatened or their energy needs are not being met, they will use their behavior in a bit to make a connection. What might look on the surface like and unsatisfiable need for attention is always a bit for connection.
Children are looking to us to provide them with consistency and security.
They will test the boundaries and limits in the environment. The resistance you observe in children when they bump up against the boundary (rules, expectations, and demands placed on them to behave appropriately) is not a sign that the boundary is wrong. Realistic, gentle and firm boundaries are essential in behaviour management. When you implement them consistently your child will quickly see that the boundary is real, because it is always CONSISTENTLY there.
Initially, there is some testing in the form of resistance and questioning of the boundaries and limits. The consistency creates security, which enables the children to eventually let go and trust the process. Implementing behavior techniques consistently will help everyone be on the same page, including improving inappropriate behaviour at school. The process always starts with us, as parents, at home.
The behavior management techniques and strategies will help you step into your parental role with greater self-awareness and an understanding of the underlying cause/s of the behavioral symptoms.
We have to embrace the fact that our children and we are learning very important life lessons together within the family that help us all grow and evolve on many levels. We hold the key to each other’s learning. This is what we refer to when we use the word “PROCESS”.
We know that we are not just physical beings with bodies; we are energetic beings too and on this non-physical level of existence we are intimately connected to each other in an energetic field.
Families form a powerful energetic field because of the bond between the members in the field. Our family field is therefore providing us with a platform to learn these very important lessons on.
The consistent application of these techniques will help you step into your child’s life as their guide and free you from the behavioral symptoms that may be keeping you stuck in destructive role-plays.
The constant struggle for control, leads to more discomfort, as children often resist our efforts.
The unwanted behaviours are however not really the problem, but rather are behaviour symptoms. Symptoms are signals and signs of the energy in the family and child being out of balance. When an energy system is out of balance there will always be symptoms to alert us to the fact. Our focus should therefore be on the family unit as an energetic field within which we are connected and deeply affecting each member. The more balanced the family unit is, the more harmony there will be in the home. The more unbalanced the family unit is as an energy system, the more havoc, pain, discomfort and conflict will manifest to call our attention to the healing that needs to take place.
The inappropriate behaviours are never the problem, because behaviour is symptomatic.
The inappropriate behaviors are never the problem because behavior is symptomatic. We use consistent behavior strategies to deal with the behavior effectively because the inconsistency and ineffective ways of dealing with unwanted behavior adds another layer of issues and complications to the problem. The behavior symptoms mask the real issues.
Without a deeper understanding the unwanted behaviours continue to escalate until we are forced to face the situation.
You simply cannot get away from the discomfort that inappropriate behavior creates for the whole family.
Due to the intense discomfort and pain we experience when we feel our children and ourselves are out of control, we are forced to pay attention to the situation. Often in life we can escape or try to avoid our own learning, but when it comes to our children, we have to face our fears and unexplored parts of our self that we have managed to avoid over the years.
Our children stop us and force us to pay attention.
The behavior symptoms and inevitable power struggle create a win-lose or lose-lose situation. You want to be in a win-win situation by working through the discomfort, learning lessons and moving to the next phase of development. Power struggles have consequences because even when you feel as a parent that you are winning, it can come at the cost of your connection to your child. Remember that behavior is a symptom, like any other symptom and not actually the problem, although it might feel like it.
When you wake up in the morning with a headache you might think to pop a painkiller. As soon as you try to escape the pain in that moment you miss the opportunity to investigate the true cause further and learn about the real problem. You might have a headache because of a strained muscle in your neck. If you take a muscle relaxant you might not have a headache but will miss another opportunity to get to the real cause of the problem, which could be a pinched nerve.
A massage might provide temporally relief from the headache, but that nagging symptom will inevitably return, because at the bottom of it is stress.
If you can pinpoint the reason for the stress, if you can see what you are supposed to learn and change how you respond to life’s challenges that cause you stress in the first place …you will never have that headache again. Now you have healed yourself, and there is no need for a headache. Everything has its purpose.
The inappropriate behaviours are never the problem, because behaviour is symptomatic. We use consistent behaviour strategies to deal with the behaviour effectively, because the inconsistency and ineffective ways of dealing with unwanted behaviour adds another layer of issues and complications to the problem. The behaviour symptoms mask the real issues.
When you are not able to deal with your child’s behaviour effectively it is a constant irritation and a drain on you. Inevitably those symptoms become another problem in itself. Remember that the problem behaviours and your struggles with it are there for a reason. You are meant to learn something here. Don’t wish it away or wish for a way out. If the behaviour just goes away magically, it makes us more comfortable temporarily, but it also takes away the motivation to make the real changes that are needed.
The problem will tend to pop up somewhere else in future.
There are many reasons why children misbehave.
Some reasons relate to the unresolved life lessons and the role-plays we develop with our children when we deal with them ineffectively.
Children often misbehave when their energy is low because they are sick, tired or looking for attention.
We will focus in the blog on the behaviour that manipulates us unintentionally for attention. When we pay attention to anything, we actually give it energy. Energy flows where attention goes.
Think of yourself as the socket and your child as the plug. You can feel how and when they plug into your energy system for attention. After an especially difficult day it is more obvious as you feel totally drained of your energy. You might think, “Thank goodness they are asleep now”. We are physical bodies as well as energetic systems. Children understand this instinctively. They get a lot of their energy by forcing us to pay attention to them by either being “good” to get attention and energy in the form of approval when they “please” us. OR they do not particularly care if the attention or energy from us is positive or negative. These are the children that have figured out that by being “bad” they force us to PAY more attention and they gain more energy. Children are not manipulating us for energy consciously; this is all happening on a subconscious energetic level due to patterns, programs and pain from the past.
We can make things easier by balancing our energy on a physical level by following the four basic principles for health: Nutrition, sleep, water and exercise on the compass of health. We exchange energy with other people, so your child’s behaviour is simply a way to get energy from you in the form of attention. When we manage our children’s behaviour in a positive and conscious way, we make them responsible for their own choices and we teach them positive ways of getting the energy that they need and not to become dependent on energy they get through misbehaving. Misbehaving is purely a behavioural tactic to get attention, or energy.
It is mostly a subconscious process and not a deliberate process. The real reason why children misbehave is because they have learned that it is the most effective and efficient way for them to get the energy they need. Children do not always care if they are getting positive or negative attention from us. Energy is energy and they will use the most effective strategies to gain the most power to feel “better” in the moment. It is often learned behaviour that can be unlearned with the correct consistent techniques.
We need an army of loving conscious parents to raise confident and conscious kids,
to leave a legacy of a Future or Freedom, free from Fear.
When we pair Consciousness with Parenting we Revolutionize how we Relate.
From Havoc to
Harmony at Home
Inner Connection's extensive online course for conscious parents
Module 1: Mirror, mirror, on the Wall, who is responsible for it all?
Module 2: Meeting my child where they are at on all levels
Module 3: Getting a Yes
Module 4: What to do when you get a NO!
Parents can finish the course at their own pace - it is an Evolutionary Parenting Process and Programme that will affect deep change and help them overcome their current challenges. I am always here to offer additional support and private sessions should they require it.
Mariette at Inner connection has so much knowledge and wisdom to share. Mariette has a holistic approach to behaviour that has helped me in both my roles as a parent and in a classroom environment.
Mariette has helped me set clear boundaries with my daughter whilst maintaining a gentle approach.
Parenting can seem challenging at times and when I have been challenged Mariette has given me tools and techniques that are simple to implement but really work.
Working with Inner Connection has made me more empowered going through the wonderful journey of motherhood.
I would highly recommend the services to all Mother's and teachers.
Thank you Inner Connection, the work you do is inspiring and life changing.