Parenting in Consciousness
Parenting in Consciousness
In January, we were going through a major transition in our house. Hazel turned 5, Christmas dropped way too many presents into our tiny house, and grandma flew back home after one month of constant attention-giving for our littles..
Acting out became Hazel’s new (ok, revisited) go-to. The last 6 months since we switched her schools had been, well, rather glorious. She was happy, confident, and our relationship seemed pretty smooth considering her strong-willed, passionate and persistent personality.
But now, she was screaming at me. She was hitting her sister. She was pissed. And I couldn’t figure out why. She refused all our dinners (even chicken fried rice from Trader Joe’s…what kid doesn’t like that?) And everything felt like a fight with her. The girl was driving me effing nuts, and I was really starting to lose my shit.
We reverted to taking away toys she cherished from Christmas. The American Girl doll went to the shed. The jeep for the American Girl got tossed into the closet. I was giving her time outs, scolding her rather frequently, and pretty much, being the exact kind of parent I didn’t want to be. But I was LOST. I seriously had no idea how to handle this new stage. I had heard the strong willed kiddos got easier at age 5, and here I was losing my mind and hurting our relationship.
So after about four weeks of chaos, I finally blew up at my whole family in the midst of that same mental breakdown I spoke of last month.
And now, here’s what I am most ashamed of: I totally shamed my kid.
After yelling at her, then my husband, I looked back at her and said, “Do you see this? Because YOU are being so difficult, your dad and I are fighting!”
Yea…that happened. I am not proud of it. Don’t worry, I did loads of repair work on that one and spent the next four hours shedding a lake of tears.
When I came home that day from a solo hike, I looked at my husband and I said, “ I have got to find a way to go deeper with Hazel. Somehow, I have to find it from within.”
And, I did. I decided to put my ego aside and really connect with her. I needed to meet her where she was at this very moment and see what she really needed, which was (and still is) deliberate attention. I needed to do some soul searching on why her behavior was so triggering for me, and some deep inner healing to go with it. If you haven’t heard, this is the root Conscious Parenting. The root of conscious relationships in general is to put one’s ego aside and truly begin to see why we are triggered by our relationships. We ask questions like “What can I learn from this?” Instead of, “Why is my child being like this?" etc.
When it comes to parenting, we have subconscious beliefs, past wounds and traumas, and our own idea of the parent/child relationship based on our own upbringing that can inhibit our family flow.
In this case, I focused first on giving her attention. I began to lay with her before she slept for a just a few minutes each night. I made an effort to put my to-do list aside while Magnolia napped a few times to just be with Hazel and play My Little Pony Candyland. (Do you want to be Rainbow dash or Pinky Pie?!) And recently, I took Hazel on a special mom and daughter overnight where we searched for sea glass and ate at cafes, American Girl doll in tow.
For my own inner work, I committed to a nightly healing meditation for 40 days, started journaling, and took time to really feel into my own little 4-5 year old self.
We are flowing much better now, the two of us. So dear mama, let me remind you that in the midst of the chaos of children acting out, what they really need is YOU. Your presence, your connection, your unconditional love and periodic, focused attention. And when that gets hard, or feels restrictive and pokes at your ego, surrender, seek your truth, and feel into the resistance. This is where patterns are broken and generational wounds are healed.
“ I have got to find a way to go deeper with Hazel. Somehow, I have to find it from within.”