Positive Parenting Tip 5: Make Sure The Love Gets Through

Of course you love your children. That is why you are spending this time reading up on how to have a better relationship with them. You want your kids to be the best versions of themselves and to also have respect for others. What is sometimes complicated is that we often spend our energy looking out for when they aren't acting in this manner and calling them out on how they could improve their behavior. Parenting.

Just today my oldest was speaking REALLY loudly and in a not so kind tone to her younger sister who was acting like a 3 year old (she actually is 3 years old). I called her on it and in a not so nice tone myself told her to have some empathy and understanding that her sister is younger than her so she might not always pronounce words the right way or behave like a 6 year old. It was a reflex.

Step 1: Notice the behavior.

Step 2: Make comment to bring awareness to behavior.

Step 3: Shame child into empathy to end behavior. What?

It really doesn't make any sense and yet it happens all the time. It's a habit; and habits by definition are done without the energy of thought or awareness of what we're doing. Habits are GREAT when it comes to driving a car or taking a shower, but they are not ideal when are trying to consciously parent.

The great thing is that once we are aware. Once we are MINDFUL. We can go back and repair. Can we erase the emotional memory that was created? No.

We can create a new memory in which we admit our short comings and tell our kids what we really appreciate about them. How she played babies when she didn't want to this morning and when she hugged her sister when she got scared. Taking time to mention that we do notice and appreciate the times that she did show empathy and kindness.

It really is hard. When our kids are really little (and super cute and non-verbal) it is easy to love them. They don't talk back, we don't have expectations on their behavior, and we get to drag them around like little dolls because they don't have their own agenda.

As they get bigger and start to become different from YOU, they get their own sense of direction, likes and dislikes. The love gets a little more challenging. Then they get even bigger, become teens and it becomes their job to find themselves often resulting in being really different from you. It might even hurt you a bit. It might feel like there is less love than there was in the past.

This is normal. There is no less love than there was the minute you met your child for the first time. It just looks different. It is supposed to.

So whether your child is an adorable baby, a troublesome 4 year old, an easy going 10 year old or a tumultuous teen. Just make sure that at least once a day the message of, "I love you" gets through to them. Figure out (or ask them) what makes them feel loved. Is it 1-1 time? Comments of recognition? Acts of service? Gifts?

Listen and make a point in between the discipline, homework and other activities to incorporate these activities into your daily lives. Make a favorite dinner, take a road trip, write a note that takes notice of a good quality you see, give a hug, say, "I love you" and mean it.

One final thing I feel it is important to mention about this relates to the topic from last week on putting your needs first. Many of us feel that we ourselves are unworthy of love. Whether it is an old story from past relationships or low self-esteem or the belief that in order to be worthy you must be perfect. The truth is that you are deserving of love no matter where you are at in your journey; just as you are right now.

{Human Design Note} If you have your chart look to see whether you have an open G (a white square 4th from the top). One of the challenges that come up is that those with this type of energy is that they question their lovability, the beauty of this center is that you have the ability to experience others on a very deep level. The trick is knowing what is you and what is them and you can do this by paying close attention to where you feel the best. (Let me know if you want your chart to find out)

{Journal Prompt} Really get honest with yourself about how lovable you feel yourself. Do you feel deserving of self-love and love from others. What is one act of self-love that you could experiment with this week?

Take a moment to plan how you could bring more self-love into your being

Jennifer Bronsnick, MSW, LCSW is passionate about supporting moms to be resilient. As a mother of three daughters under 8 and a survivor of postpartum depression and anxiety Jennifer knows exactly how challenging motherhood can be. She also knows that there is hope for all of us and with accurate information, support and inspiration that mothers and families can thrive.

Jennifer’s years of clinical experience as a social worker and her own personal journey gives her the unique ability to guide other moms on their path to health and wellness. You can also learn more about Jennifer, the services she offers and purchase her books on maternal self-care at www.themindfulfamily.com/jennifer.