I was a newly single parent of a 2-year-old, starting a new job and moving to a new town.
Needless to say...I was overwhelmed.
But I was starting a new chapter and the change was good.
I just massively changed my life and didn’t realize what skills were necessary to process it.
I kept up with my professional and parental responsibilities.
I cooked, cleaned, packed organic high nutrient lunches and made sure my son had every toy he ever wanted.
(Yeah I thought that was a good idea at the time...oops)
I made sure he brushed his teeth, took a multivitamin and signed-up for multiple sports.
The mistake was not realizing I was in my head nearly 99% of the time.
I wasn’t emotionally available for my son and I certainly wasn’t present.
I was always thinking about what needed to be done for tomorrow or how I could have prevented mistakes in the past.
I have since learned from Dr Gabor Mate that not being there for our children creates trauma.
Trauma doesn’t necessarily have to be the awful things we typically think of...it can be as simple as not being present for our kids.
A loving parent can still be emotionally absent.
The greatest present we can give our kids is our presence.
Our presence is what gives them happiness.
When we consciously choose to be with our kids we are sending them the message “I welcome you in my presence and I am overjoyed to be in your presence.”
Our paying attention to them has the ability to shift and shape their personalities.
Playtime is invaluable.
Play is preparation for life and this preparation needs to happen in the safety of the protection of the parents.
Even at 2 months old, non-verbal communication is just as important as food. Eye contact is like candy in the eyes of the child.
Healthy attachment with nurturing adults is critical.
Because a child's brain can’t handle an attachment void when it's old enough or capable it will fill the void with attachments to piers.
Their piers become their model of how to walk, talk and live.
They become the template.
This causes them to push away from their parents.
Because the values of the peer group vary from the values of the parents, the child's brain cannot reconcile the difference so they are forced to choose that which provides the opportunity for a fulfilling attachment.
Have you been feeling increasingly frustrated with your parenting efforts? This might be why...
When we feel we lost the power to parent it can be very frustrating.
When in reality the power to parent doesn’t come from our title or relationship to our children but from their desire to belong to us.
When our child does not have a desire to belong to us the problems begins to compound.
As we lose the authority to parent we become more authoritarian.
The more authoritarian we become….
the more pressure we put on them…
the more they resist...
And what you resist persists.
So they are labeled with ADHD or Oppositional Defiance Disorder.
We call them bad and naughty kids.
When all they are doing is acting out their attachment dynamics...or lack thereof...
So if we want our children to listen to us, we need to bond with them.
Be present with them and demonstrate to them why they would want to belong to us.
The remedy is surprisingly the opposite of discipline.
The remedy is a nurturing relationship with mutually responsive adults. This is the crazy part…
This means that anything we do to undermine the relationship with the child will actually undermine the child's mental wellbeing and development.
Because it will make the kids insecure.
And kids who live in insecurity are in defensive flight or fight mode.
...and in this mode, they can’t learn anything…
This was the big ah-ha for me!!!
My son has ADHD and struggles to learn new habits or socially appropriate behaviors.
Could this be the reason?
I was told his brain is not capable of delivering the happy chemicals and so medication would have to support that function.
Garbor Mate, my new found wealth of information, says that we release happy chemicals through love, connection and engagement.
Happiness is the greatest gift we can give our children and I was empowered to give it.
Happiness and fulfillment are what keep us from addiction.
When I asked myself…
What do I do with this information?
The answer was clear.
Not only was I going to put the phone down, listen, make eye contact, engage and respond with
thoughtful and thought-provoking responses.
I started a business that helps kids learn how to express their needs and identify ways of meeting them.
And so Value & Intention Based education was born.
I became a Success Mentor for young adults!
A child’s needs are valid and their responses to a lack of needs fulfilled are the keys to turning things around. This has become my specialty.
The next challenge is to figure out how to make time for all 4 kids and my husband…but I’ll have to save that for another day.
So I have to ask…
Do you agree/disagree? And tell me WHY?