Aware Parenting is for parents too:
A core principle of Aware Parenting is prioritising getting support and care for ourselves as parents in order to be able to support and care for our children. And when our behavior is going off track and we are shouting or feel like we are losing our way, it is a cue that WE need loving support and can start by slowing down and finding ways to give ourselves connection and empathic listening.
And those same 3 reasons for our children’s challenging behavior are also the cause of ours – thoughts, unmet needs or painful feelings. We can learn how to support ourselves at those times and come back to our loving, centered, calm space more and more often, to be the parents that we want to be.
Perhaps what we are thinking or our beliefs or what information we have is causing us to feel angry or frustrated or powerless. If so, sharing these thoughts with a listening partner or in a journal or having a session with an Aware Parenting instructor helps to give us clarity and transforms how we feel, so we return to feeling centered and calm again.
So often as parents we have unmet needs which can easily send us off track. Sleep, support, ease, harmony, rest, empathy, community etc etc. This is particularly true in our culture where so few of us receive the support and help we need. These unmet needs will cause our bodies to feel stressed and agitated and makes it so much harder to parent our children with love and patience and presence. So, once we have identified what needs we are not meeting, we can use that awareness to start taking steps towards addressing that. Perhaps it might be having a massage, asking for help from family or friends so we can have a rest, starting a listening partnership where we swap empathic listening with someone else, spending some time outside in nature barefoot on the ground, finding a moment to do some meditation or yoga. These things all help us to feel restored and re-energised so we can come to parenting feeling more resourced.
Sometimes we have strong feelings, often from the past that were not expressed and healed at the time, that are coming up again to be heard. We might feel intense rage, sadness, grief, despair, jealousy etc etc. So, just as we can lovingly listen to our children’s feelings, we can also bring some loving attention, curiosity and compassion to our feelings, and then deep healing and transformation result. Again, this might be with a listening partner or in a journal or with the support of an AwP instructor or therapist to explore our feelings and to let them go.
Aware parenting can reconnect us to the joy of parenting.
So, when parenting feels really challenging and tough, Aware Parenting gives us clarity as to why our children are behaving the way they are and why we are feeling so stretched. It gives us the tools to support our children and ourselves with loving awareness and connection so that we are all able to return, more and more often, to feeling relaxed and reconnected and to find joy again in our parenting journey.