- Understand why your child is acting out
- Learn to unhook during power struggles
- Stay connected to your child during tantrums and blowups
- Develop strategies for handling mealtimes, bedtimes, school, and other transitions
- Heal your own pain while parenting your child
Are you enjoying your child?
I am passionate about parenting mindfully. Not only parenting my own child, but helping other parents to be more present with their children. Connecting to your children can be one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of one’s life. Few people go into parenting with the idea that they are going to struggle and revisit their own unresolved childhood issues. So it can be with great surprise and pain that parents often find themselves wrestling with contradictory feelings toward their child. Children can often bring up every emotion for a parent like fear, confusion, resentment, exhaustion, embarrassment, and anger. It may be that the feeling of needing another kind of child to love visits you from time to time, when things feel particularly bad or hopeless. Sometimes, that feeling can, if unexamined, turn from a short-lived impulse into a steady current of disappointment, and a yearning for something you think you don’t have. But if you look again, you may find that, after all, you can know and love the children who you are meant to love.
Throughout the therapeutic process, you can learn to choose your responses and not be controlled by emotional reactions that are so often not directly connected to your child. Often these responses are overreactions driven more by one’s own emotional state than by what is actually occurring in the present moment. Parents are in a great dance with their children, one affecting the other. When our internal experience keeps us from connecting with our children, their experience of our intense emotion may trigger intense feelings in them. This leads to a break of connection while leaving everyone feeling alone and unhappy. Children’s behavior may then become the focus of the parent’s attention while preventing further repair.
Through our work together, you can learn to have a joyous relationship with your child. This requires a mindful awareness of one’s own internal state as well as being open to understanding and respecting your child’s state of mind. When a parent is unaware of his or her own leftover issues and the emotional reactions that come from them, it could profoundly impair any opportunity for joining in an attuned way. Children in particular can be vulnerable to parent’s unresolved issues. This very painful response can set up a challenging pattern between you and your child that can follow into every stage of his or her life. Being a parent is an opportunity to re-parent yourself by making sense of your own early experiences. Your children as well as yourself can come to live a more vital and enriched life.