Listen to the audio version of this post HERE

Would you like to understand why your children sometimes behave in ways that might not be very desirable?

“Decoding” what’s underneath these behaviours can help you to meet them with more awareness and compassion.

For example,

:: fighting with siblings

:: whining

:: demanding

:: having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep

:: being uncooperative

:: being agitated

I’m so grateful to both Marion Rose (Psychospiritual Parenting) and Aletha Solter (Aware Parenting) for their ways of thinking about children and feelings and the work they’ve both shared with the world that has had such a profound impact of my life, my family, and my clients!

My approach to parenting is underpinned by the principle that feelings are fluid like water.

We feel them and then they should flow through the body to be released (through talking, laughing, crying, writing, sweating, movement etc).

The trouble is, most of us have been taught or shown that it’s not safe to express with others or even feel ourselves our painful or uncomfortable feelings from a very young age. We’ve learnt to numb, avoid and push them down instead.

When we do this is that the feelings don’t actually go away.

In fact, they accumulate in the body causing tension. Feelings can be big: related to major life events and traumas or they can be small: related to everyday stress, worry, disappointment, frustration, overwhelm, fear, sadness etc.

Think about what happens when you have something stressful going on… 

You might have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep!

You might be more agitated, impatient, reactive.

You might be more likely to snap or shout at your children..

Can you think of an example of this?

In these moments you might find your built up feelings clouding your connection to what I call your Soul Self. You feel disconnected.

Your Soul Self is your true, divine, loving nature, connected to all that is, where you operate from your heart rather than your ego.

When you feel disconnected from your true Soul Self, you might not feel very much like “yourself”.

You might do and say things that are out of alignment with your real values. And you might regret these things afterwards and judge/ shame/ guilt yourself.

On the other hand, when we are feeling connected to our true Soul Self, we radiate love, we respond rather than react, we sleep better, we are calm, cooperative, compassionate, connected.

And because our children are feeling beings just like us, the same is true for them too!

When our children have built up feelings, you’ll notice those undesirable or challenging behaviours bubble up like fighting with siblings, whining, demanding, trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, uncooperative, agitated.

Just like us, our children are feeling disconnected at these times.

Built up feelings are clouding their true Soul Self.

If we think about what is helpful for us when we feel this way, it’s easy to see that more disconnection and punishment are not really helpful here with our children.

While punishment and disconnection might stop the behaviour momentarily, they don’t help our children to get back to feeling connected to their true Soul Self and their innate willingness to respond with love, compassion, cooperation etc

I’m sure you’ve found from your own experiences, that what is more helpful when you feel disconnected is someone offering you connection and love and empathy in those times?

And of course, that’s what can help our children too.

Parents often worry that their children are changing and these challenging behaviours are new aspects of their child’s personality showing through. So I want to reassure you here that your child’s true nature is love (not the behaviours!!) and you can definitely help them to clear whatever is getting in the way of that.

It’s never too late!

I hope this understanding will help you meet these challenging behaviours with more awareness and compassion now.

And this is where my work comes into help you!

How exactly do we meet our children with more awareness and compassion when these undesirable come up?

The tools I share about include
– Recognising challenging behaviours as signs of built up feelings
– Recognising the way our children push down or hide their feelings and their patterns
– Setting limits with warmth and love
– Compassionate listening, mirroring and holding space for all feelings
– Using play to navigate challenging behaviours
– Creating emotional safety and Filling out children’s connection cups!
The second aspect to my work is looking within and meeting ourselves with more awareness and compassion because I believe when we are willing to look within that’s when our parenting really transforms!

The tools I share about include
– Compassionate listening to our own feelings
– Recognising the way we push down or hide our feelings and our patterns
– Learning to take responsibility for our reactions and triggers
– Filling our own cups and resourcing ourselves!

You can start learning about my approach for free on my Facebook page where I welcome any questions you might have.

Or for more in depth support you might like to join my online Mothers Circle. You can join from anywhere in the world and be deeply immersed in personalised, practical and compassionate support.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, join the conversation here

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Belinda Connelly

Parenting Mentor
B. Ed (Early Childhood)
Certified Lightworker Practitioner