Listening is very hard. Our children’s intense emotions trigger in us feelings of discomfort, responsibility, guilt and sometimes anger. We often feel helpless and confused. Triggers are automatic and sudden changes in our own emotional state, and lead to behaviors that we regret later. The way we react in the “heat of the moment” during our children’s early years determine how their self-image will shape up to be.
“Conscious parenting is a relationship based on safety, trust, honesty, presence of mind, and connection”, as I wrote in my book (2020).
This type of relationship is only possible when we have the capacity to listen without interruptions, judgement or trying to fix the child.
Listening well takes practice and intention.
Here are few ideas for you to experiment with in order to become a better listener:
- remain calm; remind yourself that your child needs help; move your attention to the emotional needs of your child;
- allow your child to use their body to release strong emotions; screaming or crying are forms of emotional release;
- keep your child physically safe;
- if your child’s loud yelling is violating others’ sense of safety, take your child to a more private place (if possible); do so with gentleness so it doesn’t feel like a punishment;
- You can say:
- I am here with you now.
- Whatever scared you, it’s gone now.
- You are not alone.
- I am sorry this feels so hard.
- I am keeping you safe.
- I love you.
- I am here with you now.
All children are wired for connection. When we listen, children’s nervous system feels safe again. The process of co-regulation takes place as a result of our attunement and warm presence. That’s the healing power of listening.
Testimonials from parents in the Conscious Parent Accelerator Program:
“Thank you very much Mihaela Plugarasu! I don’t know what we would have done without you. It was wonderful to have you there! You were our guest speaker and it was amazing. A forum without you, around this topic, would not have been possible… Thank you very very much, I’m sending all my love to you! ✨”
“After one and a half years practicing what I have been learning from the program, I can say I feel like a better person as a whole, a better mother, a better wife, a better woman and human being.I know I still have a lot to learn and heal but I feel so different in a good way. Thanks again and again Mihaela Plugarasu for having this vision and sharing your knowledge with us. 🙏🙏🙏” ( W.)
“Hi Mihaela Plugarasu! Last week I finally had a meeting with my son’s new teacher. She couldn’t understand why I insisted on meeting her until she read my son’s file. She told me that when she met him for the first time this year, he was a completely normal boy, connected in class, totally integrated with his classmates, a fast writer, playing with everyone during the breaks, and even showing emotion if he was not included in some game. That’s the exact opposite of what I would get from school for at least the past 4 years. She said if she hadn’t read the file, she would have never imagined my son used to have all those symptoms and even medication. I explained what a difference it made to now have evidence that this was the result of narcissistic abuse and not ADHD or learning disabilities. I cannot thank you enough for showing me how to support my son all this time in our journey from hell into normal life.” ( G.)