I read about a study on www.gozen.com that said that a whopping 75% of kids want help from their parents when they are stressed but only 22% actually reach out to their parents for help. That is a surprising bit of information, and it got me to wondering why that gap exists. I can only imagine that this is caused by not feeling deeply connected enough to their parents to turn to them for help, and fearing that their parents will overreact when they make a mistake.
We tend to carry a lot of baggage as parents. And when our kids’ behavior is not what we would consider “good” or when they make a mistake, break something, use poor judgment or do something wrong, it is easy for us to overreact. But that overreaction during those times disconnects us from our children and increases the distance between us. I used to be one of those parents. When my kids would spill or break something, I would meet them with a classic overreaction, as if that event was the end of the world. Looking back, I can see how that shamed them and made them feel bad or wrong about what they had done, and possibly even about themselves. I am happy to say that I have come a long way. Recently, my 12 year old was opening the refrigerator door, and he pulled the tray off of the fridge door. I took it completely in stride and asked him very matter-of-factly and almost jokingly, “When you are finished breaking the door, can you take your laundry upstairs?” He said that the shelf door always falls off and I agreed with him (because it does). I didn’t even look at the broken door, but later I realized that he fixed it all by himself and put it right back the way it should be. There was no drama, no shaming, and no yelling. In fact, his accident was a complete non-issue. And I am certain that would not have been the case several years ago. The more I awaken to the type of parent I want to be, the easier this way of parenting becomes. I feel the strength and depth of my relationship with each of my kids, and my heart is filled to overflowing because of it. Parenting does not need to be as difficult as we make it on ourselves. We just need to continually connect to our inner selves so that we can deeply connect with our children.
If this resonates with you and you would like to dive deeper into the topic of Conscious Parenting, please join me for my upcoming webinar on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 from 7:00pm-8:30pm EST. If you register, you can gift the webinar to a friend for free! To register, visit www.villageparentcoaching.com.