In short, we’re wired with old beliefs about the parent child dynamic that we need to confront and question before we can respond to our children with “presence” as they dump their food on the floor, punch their sibling, or do that thing that we told them not to for the hundredth time. This creates a strong toss up for me of what to present first- the language and skills or the deep dive into our stories and beliefs about ourselves the world. Right now I’m recalling how implementing the language helped me shift into presence. I found myself responding to children with so much compassion because thats what the language framed for me. When I was kinder to children- more understanding, assuming their positive intent, giving them space to make “mistakes” and learn, I found myself being kinder to me and offering that same sweetness to myself. Here’s the biggest myth we have about learning- that we should learn and master something immediately. Often our greatest passion is something we don’t have a natural talent for.
So I’m sharing the language of Mindful Parenting with you with the hopes that this language can help you heal and help you discover more sweetness for you as you stumble gracefully through the ups and downs of life.
Mindful Parenting Phrases
Is it true?
[question all your stressful thoughts]
You were hoping for ………..
[empathy first! ]
You didn’t know what else to do so you….
You can handle this. Let’s breathe
[Even when you don’t think they can handle this, they can]
I see your angry hands and angry shoulders….
[Help them get out of brain stem and back into their bodies]
It’s time to…..
[Assertive commands when there isn’t a choice]
You have two choices……….. Which is best for you?
[offering choices provides children with the structure that creates ease]
I can choose for you if you can’t choose.
I’m going to show you what to do….
[Tell and Show! We learn by doing. Set them up for success!]
How important is this to you? It’s a litte/a lot important to me…
It’s important to me… How important is this to you?
[negotiating is an art… help them feel considered]
Jedi Magic- go on a noticing rampage of the behavior you want to encourage!
[Even if they’re sitting still- I notice you’re being gentle.]
Note to self: What you focus on you get more of. Focus on what you want to have happen. We tell children who they are. Are you going to tell you child they’re a pain in the you know what OR that they’re powerful, kind, considerate, and can handle any challenge, even when they think they can’t.
Assume positive intent!
[This one needs a long blog post. It’s coming! It’s a very radical concept and it will break your brain. Prepare yourself!]