“What’s wrong with her?!”
Stated an incredulous 14 year old girl watching my 3 year olds’ tantrum in full swing.
At first I wasn’t sure what to say. My mind split a thousand different ways as I thought about how to answer, whilst also considering why I was feeling triggered by that statement.
After a minutes pause, I answered her whilst looking from her to my daughter.
Me: “She’s a three year old, having a tantrum and expressing some big feelings”
Teenage girl: “Well, if you just gave her what she wants, she’d stop and then she’d do what you want”
Again I was met with a monkey-mind of racing thoughts and beliefs as I sifted through how I felt, how I was going to proceed and I was hit with a few internal questions:
· How could quietly role-model for this young woman the spaciousness to hold all emotion, not just the ones someone else thinks are acceptable?
· How can I show her that all of her is okay, by showing her that there are other ways of being?
· How can I explain how the path of least resistance ultimately creates more resistance?
· How can I show her a path to bringing more empathy and less judgment into the world of women?
Me: “Perhaps. But if I did that, she wouldn’t have a chance to move those big feelings out of her body and that’s more important to me”
So I sat quietly, on the floor next to my raging 3 year old with parents and children stepping over and around us on their way to the basketball stadium; paraphrasing what she was saying, telling her that although she was screaming at me to "go away!" I think she needs me most and I’m willing to stay in case she did.
I thought about our dynamic, I thought about where I’d come from as a woman and mother. I thought about the way in which I view and sit with emotion now, compared to my younger years. I thought about all the messages we are told as young people about the ‘not so likeable’ emotions and feelings we have.
I thought about this 14 year old girl; what has she experienced to have formed the strong opinions she has by such a young age? And I felt sad.
Is this where we have come to as a society? That we don’t even want to know, little own recognise, pain and expression, vulnerability and frustration? Are we teaching our next generation to shut down or seek distraction? Are we effectively breeding-out resilience and an ability to seek our wholeness?
What we can’t be with in ourselves, we can’t be with in our children.
What we find difficult to hold space for in our children, what has us feeling triggered and raging; is all part of our wholeness.
It's all our inner child being reflected by our literal child, in order for us to pay attention to the fact that this unhealed part of ourselves exists. As long as we run from it in our children, as long as we dismiss, deny, repress or numb our children’s responses – the more we will call in situations to push these buttons for us.
Our higher self seeks wholeness and healing and we will keep hitting our heads against that same brick-wall, known as our children perfectly attuned to our sore-spots, until we find love for it.
Our children’s behaviour is never separate from our own. Even my raging 3 year old. What part of me is raging and feeling unheard? What part of me is fed up and wants some attention on my terms? Where am I stuffing down my feelings instead of expressing them? Where am I denying my anger? Why did the judgement of a 14 year old girl I don’t know and likely will never see again, sting?
Our reality is determined by the quality of the questions we ask ourselves. Our experience as mothers is also shaped by this. Spaciousness to hold what our children need, comes from knowing ourselves more intimately and by showing ourselves more self-empathy than ever before.
To explore more of your mother-child dynamic and find a new toolkit for yourself and your children, join us for our next live program - ALIGNED PARENTING - in April 2017.
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN:
Module 1 - Emotional Evolution
Learn the basics of secure attachment, respectful, emotionally-attuned parenting and the profound nature of the dynamic we have with our children to facilitate mutual growth. Understand what happens when we're 'too attached' or over-supportive of our children and what 'dis-regulated' states in our children and ourselves look and feel like and how to find balance again.
Module 2 - Mirror Magic
Your child's behaviour is never separate from your own, and the parts of them that trigger you the most, embody the greatest learnings about yourself and your childhood story. Learn how to find the wisdom in wounds your child is calling you into, so you can parent from a place of authenticity, rather than guilt, shame or blame.
Module 3 - Functional Dysfunction
The 'perfect, peaceful family' is an illusion. A family needs both 'war' and 'peace' within it to grow, just like we need to both support and challenge ourselves and our children to grow. Gain an understanding of your own unique family dynamic and find a new sense of gratitude for those who push your buttons, so you can empower yourself, and love more of your family, just as they are.
Module 4 - Play The Universe
Unlock the higher order of the 'guilts' that plague your motherhood and empower yourself with playful parenting principles to create freedom and joy in your relationships with your children. Implement tools to teach empathy and resilience in your children, and by extension, your own inner child, re-patterning your experience and transforming your reality.
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.