This is a question Bridget asked me today:
"If you could look into a crystal ball, what would you want for your children and how can you lay the foundations in parenting?"
One of my favourite questions is what do I want, yet we have to remind ourselves to ask it...What do I want.....?
For my children I want:
A courageous individual who can laugh at themselves and continue to show up
Someone who can connect to their pain, turn towards it and love even harder
Someone who has enough self-belief to be selfish and self-motivated, enough humility to know they are not defined by what they achieve and enough honesty to be dark and know their wholeness
A human who feels connected in their body and beautiful in their skin
A relationship with their family that catapults them into seeking, but always brings them home to loving arms, warm hearts and deep conversations
The ability to think outside the box, to challenge the status quo and to ask why
Of course, whatever I want for them is in some way what I am seeking for myself, which is funny when we think of our life like this. We are all looking for and seeking the very things we perceive were or are missing for us.
It's why we're the perfect parents for our children, because our own wounds will lead us to actively seek the 'remedy' to fill the void (the pain) we feel - what we want for them will be part of our own genius. We have already travelled the path they are on or will be on, we've already done the hard yards, learnt the lessons and gained the very wisdom they need distilled down to them to get through their life's challenges and towards your desired outcome.
It is always why it can be so darn painful to parent because our children are hardwired to push our buttons, which 'forces' us into growth and (hopefully) the right toolkit to find our way through with ever greater wisdom, genius and abundance in this area of life.
So when you look at what I want for my children, you can see my own values at play:
Which speak to my own voids within each of these areas. What I want for my children is essentially the essence of what I perceive was missing for me and that my heart aches to achieve.
The next part of Bridget's question was "...how can you lay the foundations in parenting?", which I find inspiring.
How do you lay the foundations of emotional intelligence, of wholeness (acceptance of light and dark), of stepping towards pain (not avoiding it), of the art of communication and resilience?
- We listen, we hold space for raw unedited emotions, we acknowledge the painful and uncomfortable by bringing them out of the darkness and discussing whats going on for each of us.
- We allow rage and anger and we find ways to MOVE them. They are only toxic when they stagnate like a bog with no flowing water.
- We invite in vulnerability and slow softness. We teach our children the quiet side of abundance.
- We give language to their feelings, we connect these words to their body sensations, we learn baby-steps to self-awareness and we help them carve out a toolkit to move these emotions through their body.
- We hold the space for them to experience and struggle with challenge in their lives. We don't solve it for them, we trust they have everything they need inside them to find their way through with a stronger sense of self and a clearer intuition.
How do you lay the foundations of body connectedness, awareness, governance and love?
- You provide opportunities for them to experience their body outside of what it looks like and enjoy it! Massage, movement, playing, dancing etc.
- You marvel at how amazing their body is when it heals, when it communicates to them through sensation.
- You bring their awareness back to their body, especially when they are lost in their head.
- You teach them how to tune into their body, how to breathe to where it feels tight, how to ask what their body is saying to them and listen for the answer.
- You teach them that their body is sacred, it is precious, no part less so than another. It is their right and their 'job' to stand up for their body, to protect it, to keep it safe.
- You teach them how to know what they desire, what they want, how to listen for what they need and how ask for it.
- You help them know the deep truth that pleasure is their birth rite. They were born of pleasure and into pleasure, they are literally made of love. This is their barometer for discovering in this world - if it feels pleasure-full seek it out, if at any time it stops being pleasurable, stop, and it is always ok to stop at anytime, anywhere.
How do you lay the foundations of self worth, self belief, creative thinking and enough tenacity to stick at something?
- Be crazy with them! Show them what it is to live loud and proud, with a sprinkle of "the subtle art of not giving a fuck". Be you, be real, be authentic - all easier said than done, but they're watching you and learning.
- Celebrate their quirks and offer them tools for continuing to show up even when it hurts.
- Recognise their genius and talk to them about what you see them really loving and excelling at.
- Offer boundaries and know you are worth the time, effort and energy involved in maintaining them. Talk about respect, honouring yourself and listening to your needs.
- Discuss the universal principals of challenge and support, the importance of finding your way through something not around it, how our genius expands when we are willing to keep going and the rewards are even sweeter (then actually allow them the time and space to experience challenge).
- When the going gets tough, don't look to remove the 'problem' (the person, situation etc), instead ask what your child needs to step up into their power and how you can help resource them to move through it.
- Continue to ask, why? Watch documentaries, have difficult discussions.
- Celebrate the milestones of change - when you know they've been working really hard on something, when its been a continuous conversation in your family and then they actually display it, point it out! Let them know the effect it had on you, how you felt in response to witnessing them achieving this.
- When they creatively find a way around your rules, occasionally hold onto a sense of humour about it and recognise the creative genius involved in working that situation (and everyone in it) out and figuring out how to get their needs met.
- Be willing to have negotiations. On everything.
- Encourage them to pursue what lights them on fire, what illuminates their soul and makes their heart beat a little harder and a little faster.
If you want to step up with us to resource yourself to learn about the parenting you never received and have the toolkits to providing the vision you have for your family, join us on Monday 16 October for Aligned Parenting.
It's just $149 for two weeks of content and coaching with us, including a LIVE Webinar, private Facebook group, and a further 6 weeks access to the course content to revise at your leisure as well as immediate access to our members only Facebook group.
Julie Tenner is Co-founder of Nourishing The Mother and is The Pleasure Nutritionist. Julie is a Naturopath, specialising in women’s and children's health, with specific focus on awakening women to their full potential – health for the mind, body and soul – creating lasting life change for you and your family by “coming home” to your magnificence.