Loving Kindness: Your Key to Successful Parenting & Healthy Children
Firstly before starting this blog I want to mention the book Childhood Disrupted by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. A must for anyone with an interested in the Mind/Body connection and the origin of pain and illness plus good parenting.
Most of this blog is written as a result of reading that book.
Our childhood is probably the most significant period of our life and if you want to work out why as an adult you may be suffering with chronic pain, poor mental or physical health and even a lack of ‘success’ take a look back at your childhood. If i tell you the amount of loving kindness you experienced as a child will directly influence those factors in adulthood you might see a connection.
Before I continue I want to tell you about a 55yo patient I saw recently who suffers from Ataxia which is a co-ordination disorder. Just out of interest I asked her what her childhood was like. She laughed nervously a couple of time before telling me that her father teased her mercilessly and her mother over-protected her. Hmmn Interesting!
Anyway the purpose of this blog is to give you some ammunition to make the world a happier and healthier place via these 14 tips to better parenting:-
- Manage your own baggage. Don’t pass it on; don’t share it; be less reactive; get yourself sorted out!
- Don’t overprotect from adversity. A little builds resilience. Develop your own Emotional Intelligence; Don’t try to toughen them up! Avoid bullying, teasing, criticizing, or humiliating them.
- Instill the 4 “Ss” in your child; Seen: Safe; Soothed & Secure. Listen & acknowledge them. Don’t scare them. Support them through their difficulties. Develop their sense of well-being & self-esteem.
- Use eye-contact. Give them your full attention and re-assurance.
- If you ‘lose it’ apologise immediately. Take 15 deep breaths & say sorry.
- Validate and normalise all your child’s emotions. ” You sound….” “I hear you”. “You feel…. about…”
- Amplify good feelings. Praise them and highlight positive experiences.
- Stop; Look; Go. Develop an attitude for gratitude and appreciation for everything in your environment.
- Name difficult emotions. “I see you are angry, frightened, upset” separate themselves from their feelings to prevent overwhelm.
- Recognise the power of the 20 sec hug! Promote secure attachment.
- Make ‘ what is happening’ a safe and open conversation. AVOID SECRETS as these make a child feel inadequate and guilty. Bring’troubles’ into the open and tell them it is nothing to do with them.
- Re-frame stories of Inter-generational trauma. Discuss hardships that parents had when viewing present behaviour.
- Every child need a Reliable Adult or Mentor. This develops resilience. Community is beneficial ie neighbours, friends, GP, teachers etc to provide UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
- Bring Mindfulness into schools. Be aware of Performance Stress. Home life adversity (45% divorce rate). Mindfulness helps with mental health; improves grades; lowers stress; improves well-being; reduces depression and increases resilience.
If you’d like to discuss ways to over come childhood adversity and thus improve health and reduce pain please get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org