A few years ago I read a book called the Celestine prophecy. It changed my entire outlook on life and made me realize what a profound effect we can have on people in simple day to day interactions. There is the notion that one smile can change someone’s whole day. I believe in this wholeheartedly. Holding a door, giving a compliment, exchanging a joke… With a friend, a stranger or a loved one… The positive energy radiates and effects everyone involved. The basic idea in this book is that everyone has an aura and is energy based. Negative interactions will take your energy away and drain you. Positive interactions will boost your aura. There is a strong tie to nature and becoming enlightened to draw energy from the beauty in the world. This all seems like common sense, but sadly, it is often overlooked. People start bullying to take others energy for themselves or ignore people out of fear and lose out on what could have been a life changing experience. I could go on about the amazing points that this book touches on but I want to drill down on what it and my experiences have taught me about parenting.
As parents, we can bully, yell, threaten and demean when we are frustrated. I’ve done it.. I’m not proud of it, but with three young ones, I will be the first to admit I have lost my cool more than once. The guilt is awful and brings me down. My aura dies a little and exhausts me even more than chasing three kids around does. If that’s how I feel, I can only imagine how my babies feel. I should be the #1 person in their life making them feel good and bringing their aura to its maximum potential. The more I get upset, the more they cry and rebel. Kids are built to challenge but the question is, how do we take the challenge and turn it around into something positive? I have not perfected this, but during really great days with my little ones, I can reflect on what went right and try to replicate it. I’ll list a few ways I have learned to boost good feelings between myself and my children and between them:
1. Affection, smiles, cuddles – during busy days, I try to pause to hug each and tell them I love them. Especially during cranky days – sit on the ground and just hug it out. Having them hug each other is not only freakin adorable but also helps!
2. Go outside – just walk in the grass, stop and look at bugs and plants. Lay in the grass and look at clouds and airplanes. The world is a beautiful place and its good to teach children to appreciate it and what it can do for us. Watching them show each other new discoveries is amazing.
3. Be the bigger person and teach your little ones to do the same – if someone hits, don’t hit back to show them it hurts and don’t let siblings and friends do this to each other. There is no place for revenge and getting even on any level. Be firm and calm. I’ve found comforting the one that was hit and ignoring the nasty deed is the most effective.
4. Eat, sleep and stay centered yourself – a tired, hungry and overwhelmed person is not a good parent. Take a break if you need one and make a little time for activities that keep you sane. When you exude positive energy, your children pick up on it and are much better behaved little people.
5. Let them feel in control when it’s safe to do so – little things like letting them put something away for me when I could do it 10x faster or letting Olivia drink out of a real glass when I know she could very well shatter it… When they feel like you trust them, it brings them up. The other day, I realized, I could cook an entire meal successfully, just by explaining everything I was doing and why. It took a lot longer, but all three were captivated all because I was giving up some of my control by letting them in.
6. Lastly and most importantly: Let their mistakes go and play up their successes – the best example I have for this is during one dance class when Olivia was having a meltdown. I was embarrassed and tried to guilt her into getting up and performing. I got upset and brought her down by giving ultimatums. Obviously, nothing good came of this. Parenting Fail. The following week, all I did was praise her. Everything she did I gave her smiles and thumbs up and told her how awesome she was. I took her to get a balloon and cookie after class. A few weeks of this and she was on stage all smiles and full of confidence. Now it crosses over into all of her activities. She finds my face and gives me the thumbs up and often reiterates her strengths and successes. I see her excelling and in return my efforts have boosted my own aura. If you tell anyone they can’t do something or are making a mistake by trying, you are just reflecting your own fear of failure onto them and it directly effects their confidence.
At the end of the day, guide with love and patience and the rest will come. Thanks for reading – We are heading into terrible twos with the twins and I needed this to keep perspective. 🙂