Hello, dear conscious parent!
Today I want to talk about MESSING UP & REPAIR. As parents, we “mess up” all the time, in small and big ways. We say something that we regret a second later; we yell; we correl; we fail to be present when our presence is needed.
No mountains of shame and guilt that you feel when this happens, will make your child feel “better” – because that’s your process, not his/hers (i.e. guilting & shaming yourself).
First, let’s take a look at what happens to a child (emotionally, mentally and spiritually) when the parent “messes up”:
- child is left with no voice because a child can’t withstand the anger of an adult;
- child is forced into a behavior that supposedly would correct the initial behavior, which it never does;
- child’s personal boundaries are overstepped by the very parent;
- child learns that he/she is powerless, helplessness and in despair for help;
- child realizes that he/she is not emotionally safe, and therefore can’t trust the parent with his big emotions and internal turmoil;
- child learns that love is conditional;
- child learns that he/she is alone in difficult moments;
- child learns not to ask for help;
- child learns to hide his/her authentic truth from the parent, and eventually from him/herself.
Perfect parenting doesn’t exist. So, what is a parent left to do to avoid planting these self-defeating seeds in their child? REPAIR. REPAIR. REPAIR. Repair often and quickly. Here are some ideas on how to repair:
- apologize genuinely; stop talking after “I am really sorry for….” and only LISTEN;
- lower your body to your child’s level when you speak; make eye contact;
- offer Special Time after the incident more frequently;
- be vulnerable; show humility;
- make an actual change in your mental and emotional life so you can become less reactive, more playful and more present. You need to show gradual improvements overtime. WORDS OF APOLOGIES ARE NOT ENOUGH.
If you are not in my Conscious Parent Accelerator Program yet, it will be very hard to change your default reactivity on your own: Here’s what one parent said about the program:
I just wanted to say I’m very happy I’m taking this course now. I’m learning a lot of things I didn’t know. Although I was expecting to go straight into our children, I find that the introspection you prompted at the beginning was absolutely necessary. I’m actually surprised that after years of therapy and self improvement I still find all these emotions and unresolved conflicts in me. Somehow, the fact that it’s a course and not therapy makes me wonder if now I’ll finally be able to close those chapters in my life that are still clearly open. I can see that the tools you are giving me are for life. I also like the small group discussions; I find there’s a lot to gain when others put into words things I may be struggling to describe, or that I thought I had overcome but someone expresses it more clearly now and I can see it under new light.
I can’t wait for the rest of the course!