The Evolution of Modern Parenting

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I recently read an article about The Collapse of Modern Parenting.  It was definitely an interesting read, and it gave me a lot to think about.

Modern parenting is definitely in a state of change.

Is that change a collapse? I am not so sure.

Dr. Sax, the expert that is heavily cited in this article, points to this collapse for children being “overweight, overmedicated, anxious and disrespectful of themselves and those around them.” For anyone who cares to look, these are accurate observations, but I am not so sure that what is to blame is a “collapse” of parenting.

I would take it in a slightly different direction.

I do feel that modern parenting is undergoing an evolution.  We do not want to parent our children the way that we were raised by and large.  The authoritarian parenting techniques of our childhood just don’t seem to fit with the direction we are choosing to head as individuals and as a society.  Is it a bad thing that we are choosing to dismantle hierarchies. question authority and respect our children as human beings from a very young age? I would say not.

We are coming up against some challenges though, this much is certain.

Andrea Nair, a psychotherapist and parenting educator in London, Ont.  explains it this way “We’re trying to pull off the emotion coaching but we haven’t received the training, it’s like teaching your kids to speak French while you’re learning it in the textbook.”

This much I would say is definitely true.

Our generation is working redefine everything right down to the way we parent our children.  The trouble is that we lack the skills and training that we need to pull this off with the level of mastery required to make it successful.  And we really don’t have that much tolerance for failure.  Our parenting confidence is dangerously low and this is leading to depression and anxiety in record numbers amongst our community.

Community, that’s another thing.

In an age of dual parent working families, and smart phones, we are more disconnected than ever from the flesh and blood community that historically surrounded families that we rearing children.  We had camaraderie and support when dealing with the hugely challenging role of parent. Most people present a shiny picture of their lives on Facebook, and hide their struggles.  This causes those who are struggling which, let’s face it, is most of us, to believe that we are absolutely alone in our struggles.  Hello depression and anxiety.

I propose that instead of believing that we are alone, we recognize that parenting is HARD for everyone and that we reach out.  I propose that we realize that not only are we parenting our own kids, we are recreating what it means to parent.  I further propose that we come together, talk about our struggles, share our solutions and raise parenting from collapse into evolution.

This is a much less grim picture, and we grow much stronger from hope than we do from fear and shame.

The future is ours to create.  We as parents do this through how we raise our children, and how we raise ourselves.

Keep coming back here to read more about how to raise your parenting, raise yourself, and raise your kids.  Together, we will raise the future.

And sign up for my newsletter to stay up to date on opportunities to share your journey with others, learn new skills, get freebies and connect with experts, mama’s and tools.

xo mamas ❤

Stephanie

** image credit – Chris Fertnig

Raising Hell This Holiday

I am going to level with you ladies.

This was a tough holiday in my house.

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(This is not my kid 🙂 )

 

As I said in a previous blog, my son is going through some things that are incredibly challenging for him emotionally.  This has led to some serious regression when it comes to how he copes with his BIG EMOTIONS.

And it happened over Christmas Holiday.

This has meant that I have had to be super present, deal with situations that have a high potential to trigger me, and be open to whatever is needed for us to get through this, learn, and be better on the other side.

It’s HARD to see our kids go through things like this. It was clearly incredibly challenging for him.  What was harder was that it was causing him to display behaviours that require me to apply consequences.  Doing this with a calm mind, an open heart and love was one of the hardest things I have had to do in a long time.

Not rising to the invitation to yell when he is yelling at me, being cruel and insulting, and doing all he can to incite the fight he needs takes a ton of patience, self love, compassion and downright gumption.

Thank heavens for my practices.

I want to share with you how I did it.

1.) First and foremost, conscious breath is key.  When he starts in and I can see where we are headed, the first thing I do is start breathing deeply into my belly.  This activates my own calming response.

2.) Remember that this is hard for him.  It’s not personal.  This is really difficult, especially when the words that are coming out of his mouth are incredibly personal, and designed to hurt and trigger.  He is rather like an animal, backed into a corner.  He will bite, spit, claw and howl.  What I can do is make the space for him to get out of that corner.

3.) Be present to my own triggers – I do get triggered in these situations.  When I am able to pay careful attention to what is happening in my body, I can see these triggers happening and respond before they come flying out of my mouth. I will tell him that I need to take a time out, and I will walk away, providing that there is no immediate danger to him or anyone else.  A mommy time out is a great modelling tool.  If he sees that I take times out when I am feeling triggered, eventually he will do the same.

4.) Balance – Times like this call for a delicate balance between love, space, modelling and consistency of expectation.  I do have to apply consequences when he gets aggressive.  I also have to apply love.  Setting boundaries, being present to enforce them while still providing space, love and healing requires dropping into the moment, over and over, and knowing what each moment calls for.

I messed up a bunch of times.  Everyone does.  We are all human.  The last key is forgiveness.  For him and for me.

And you know what?

We survived the holiday. In fact, we had some wonderful moments.  And thanks to the necessity of being deeply present, I didn’t rise to other family drama that might have triggered me in the past.

So thanks to my mommy path, I am learning, evolving, and becoming more deeply connected to my soul.

It’s like they say, the obstacle is the path 🙂

How were your holidays? Did you get triggered? How did you deal?

xo mamas 🙂

Stephanie

#25daysofmindfulnesschallenge day 23

Everything is energy.

You are made, at your deepest levels, from a field of infinite potential.  Everything is.  With intention, we can direct our energy and choose what we connect with.

When we feel unstable, ungrounded, and kind of lost, it is an incredible practice to send our energy down into the earth and connect with her power.

The planet is ancient.  She has survived many catastrophes, and continues to spin placidly about her orbit, and support every molecule of life she has spawned.  Connecting with her energy stabilizes us.

Breathe deeply and send your energy down in the earth.  Gather her strength and allow it to flow up into you.  Send all your heaviness, your fear, anger, sadness down into her.  She will absorb it and transmute it.

She’s got this.  You’ve got this.

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xo ❤

Stephanie

#25daysofmindfulnesschallenge day 22

We are all mamas here.

So I am gonna get really real with you guys.

Things with my son have been HARD.  He has had some changes in his life that are VERY VERY CHALLENGING for him.  He is having BIG feelings, and is lashing out with anger, sadness, and feeling like a victim.

As his mom, I have choices.  I can disconnect and discipline him for the admittedly horrible things he is saying and doing.  Or, I can recognize that what he is going through is really hard for him, and I can reach out, connect and let him know that I am there for him NO MATTER WHAT.

It’s not easy.  It requires me to be incredibly present to him, his feelings and all the ugliness this is bringing up for him.  This hurts.  It makes me want to shut down and run away in a lot of ways.  Yet, I know this will not serve him and it will only make matters worse.  So, I am choosing to see past the horrible, into his heart, and reach out, lean in and love.

As we move into the crunch of the holidays, this will be a moment by moment practice.  I can do this.  Every time I want to shut down, I commit to opening up and leaning in.  For him.  For me.  For us all.

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xo mamas ❤

Stephanie

Need some support in your Parenting Journey?

Hello lovelies 🙂

I am busy enjoying this holiday with the kids home from school 🙂  How about you?

I am also busy creating new workshops, offerings and ways to heal your journey for the New Year!

How can I best serve you?

Take one or two minutes and fill out this survey I created to gather information, so that I can design an offering that is just right for your unique needs.

Stay tuned in the New Year for the big things that are coming!

Happiest of holidays to you all.

Love yourselves, enjoy your children 🙂

It is seriously possible.  I swear 🙂

xo

Stephanie

 

#25daymindfulnesschallenge Day 21

We are all creators.  Whether we choose what we create or not, we are creating.

When we have our minds focussed on the past, we are not present.  When we create, we will create more of what we don’t want, and continue the cycle of sucky-ness.

Today, consciously jettison three things that no longer serve you.  Write em down, and burn em.

As we move from the darkest night into the return of the light, what do you want to bring forward? How are you going to shine?

Copy of 25 days of mindfulness!-3

Much love mamas ❤

Stephanie & Jen

Paradigm Shift Parenting

Parenting to change the world

By a show of hands, who wants to change the world?

Just as I suspected.

Most of us see the brokenness in the world and feel a deep desire to change it.

So many of us feel, however, that we are too small.  How can the actions of one single person have any meaningful effect on such a huge, complex world?

And so generally we don’t even try.

What if I told you that as a parent you are standing in the single most powerful place for creating change possible?

Bet you wouldn’t believe me.

The truth is however that this is the case.  I am absolutely serious.  How can this be?

Each person in the world, every leader, war monger, bigoted television personality and powerful change agent had a home, parents, and a childhood.  From that childhood they took the blueprint for the person they were to become and the impact they were to have upon the world.

Parents love their kids.  Even the bad ones.  This is a universal truth.  The fact is, though, that many of them (us) don’t have the tools or awareness that we need to use our power to intentionally create the future that we so deeply crave for humanity.

This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for us to find it.  Even if we were not programmed with it in our own childhoods.  We have the choice, in every moment, to dramatically shift our perspective and activate our latent intentional creative potential.

This shift involves deepening our awareness of ourselves, and exploring our own inner world.  It means taking an inventory of our baggage and jettisoning the stuff that we carry that does not serve us.  We must look to our children, who somehow know exactly what buttons to push to activate the most powerfully transformative situations that bring to the fore what we carry, the wounds we haven’t healed and the shadows that we have shoved under the carpet and out of sight.

When we do this, show up with immense courage and incredible presence, we grow.  We allow our children to be the whole, complete, authentic and powerful beings that they are and access the power that we both have together to change ourselves, shift the trajectory of our lives and powerfully change the world.

The journey begins with love, evolves through dissatisfaction and culminates with powerful transformation of ourselves, our lives, our homes, our communities and the future of all of humanity.

Are you brave enough to step up, show up and do the work?

For the love of your children, and yourself, I invite you to join me on this journey.

In the comments below, I invite you to join the conversation, step up and join the paradigm shift.  You are worth it.  The future of humanity needs you.

The Drama Roller Coaster

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We are all familiar with drama.  Our kids are often big sources of it in our lives.  If it’s not the kids at school, then it’s the food that you chose to cook for dinner tonight.  My sister stole my toy, the TV isn’t working, I can’t find my blue shirt and I needed to be out the door ten minutes ago…. you get the picture.

Have you ever noticed the tone of the drama in your life?  Most of the time what we call drama has a negative tone.  We associate anger, frustration, sadness, or annoyance with it and are pleasantly elated when we appear to be drama free.  Good thing too, because drama is draining.

I wonder, however, if you have ever considered that we create positive drama too.  The elation of a new toy, a new opportunity,, something incredible developing in our lives.  These things can also be filed under the heading of drama.

Drama itself is a neutral category.  It simply describes anything that brings us away from the steady midline of our being.  If we fly up into enthusiastic excitement or we descend into anger, grief or despair, we are departing from the steady quality of our lives.  And steadiness is something that we all want.

I am by no means saying that we ought not get excited about good things in our lives.  I am also not saying that grief and anger should not be felt.  What I am saying is that when we cultivate the steadiness in our lives, it can be present always, through the amazing and the awful.  It is this constant steadiness that will always bring us back to centre.

Life is reactive, energetically speaking.  Energy always finds its balance.  So when we fall down deep into despair,  at some point we will shoot up into elation.  And when we shoot up into elation, despair will follow soon behind it.  It is when it consumes us that we allow it to create an emotional roller coaster ride of a life path.

Steadiness is key.  And it is so easy to develop.  Literally, all you need to do is relax.

In parenting, when we get caught up with drama, this is when things get intense  You want to pull your hair out, you yell at the kids, and generally do things that you aren’t proud of upon reflection.  No guilt, it happens to all of us, but…..imagine what your life would be like if you could cultivate some steadiness that you could tap into at times like that. Imagine the person you might evolve into.  The possibilities are endless for what you might create.

To learn more about relaxation for healing visit www.sarahmccrum.com and check out the work of Sarah McCrum

The Inertia of Overwhelm

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I am drowning.

It is 9:30 am on the morning after halloween and all I want to do is go back to bed.  Since I can’t do that (read, the kids wont let me do that) I am mindlessly surfing Facebook while the ceaseless ticker of my motherhood runs relentlessly in the background.

You have dishes to do, again… The kids were up super early and breakfasted on halloween candy… I am a horrible mother.  I have been yelling too much these last few days… I am a horrible mother… How much time have they spent on screens this weekend? I am slipping.. need to get a handle on that.  There are deadlines…. so many deadlines.  And my writing.  Have I been doing that? Writing about what i really want to write about/? No.  Really need to get on that.  And there’s the fighting, about everything.  Do we really need to fight all the time?  How do I fix that? I am the only one who can…. and I don’t know how.  There’s bills to pay, a trip to get ready for, a parent council meeting agenda to write, plus the floor needs to be swept for the ten millionth time.  Also, do they have homework? Did I check for that Friday? I can’t remember, better check now…

and so it goes… endlessly.

The trouble is, when I get into this place, all I want to do is hide.  I want to hide in social media, and under my bedclothes and forget the world exists.  I want to disappear.  The endless list of what needs to be done is like the weight of ten thousand bricks on my shoulders, pinning me to the feeling of never having done enough, never being on it enough to feel successful.

Right at the time when I need to be present to what is in front of me, I want to hide and pretend none of it exists.  I want to sell my children to the lowest bidder, pack a back pack and head for the hills to meditate, eat grass and drop out of the world.

All of this is roiling beneath the surface and what comes out is inevitably a growl.  That they are not good enough, that they don’t try hard enough and that they don’t care about me at all.

And I feel so alone.

I reach this point every so often, where I am over done on motherhood and I need to reconnect to myself a remember who I am inside.  This often comes when I have let go of some of my precious practices in favour of sleep and haven’t meditated in a day or so, relaxed or done any yoga. Taking care of me sometimes becomes just another chore on the endless list of things I need to accomplish.

It is at this point that I know I need a break.

These are such a precious commodity in motherhood, these breaks where we reconnect to ourselves.  And they are all the more important because we have to claim time for them from the never ending list of tasks we must complete for others.  It is territory that we cannot cede to dutiful side, the part that wants to subsume itself in the relentless demands of motherhood, because let’s face it, we love our children with every piece of ourselves.  We love them with every breath and every heartbeat and every ounce of energy we have.  It is a herculean task to hold some of that back so that we have enough for ourselves, so that we can continue to pour ourselves into motherhood with such passion that they never doubt the intensity of our love for them.  We fear that if they forget, they will be damaged and it will be our fault.

But what if we forget? What if we forget that in order to love them with the intensity of the sun, we must not lose our inner spark? What if we forget that we are worthy of our time? Will the women we used to be disappear? Will there be a mother left to love them?

If we disappear underneath the load of motherhood, there will not be a mother left to love them.  We will be a shadow, teaching them that they must always come last to the demands of others and that losing ourselves is ok.  And it’s not.

Kids don’t know how to love us like we need to be loved.  That’s our job.

And so, maybe today I have been reminded again that in order to be the mother I wish to be, I must first take time to nurture the person that I am.

This is a lesson we return to over and over again.  We get it, and then it slips away.  Then we relearn it, and it slips away again.  These are the seasons of life, of motherhood.

I forget sometimes, I know you do too.

It’s okay.  You’re not alone.

And neither am I.

Paying attention to what you give your attention to & The power to change your experience

Ladies, we need to talk about the power of our thinking.

All of us have a nattering voice up in our heads. Many of us pay complete heed to it, and believe that this voice is indicative of who we are. So we follow it. This is what depression is about, and anxiety. How many of us have gone there?

*Raises hand*

Yes, me too.

But here’s the thing. Through study and self work I have come to recognize that this voice is crazy. I mean BAT SHIT NUTS.

Seriously.

Pay attention to your thinking for just one day. Make a commitment to yourself that every time you notice you are thinking, you will draw back from it and just observe it. Make an effort to not get tied up in it and just listen to it, like you would listen to a friend that you have over at your house for a visit. When you do this, you will notice something.

Your mind is bipolar. It disagrees with itself ALL THE TIME. It contradicts itself ALL THE TIME. It makes up horrible stories and disaster scenarios CONSTANTLY.

Now, this in and of itself is not the problem, but noticing it is powerful.

The problem is that we have put our minds in the drivers seat of our lives, and we follow it’s insanity faithfully. Ever noticed that you feel like you are being pushed along at the mercy of life? Like you just can’t seem to get control of how things are? Felt like a victim? Felt like everyone is out to get you?

Let me tell you a secret. This is your Ego Mind chattering away about how you will not be happy until. Until your husband stops being a jerk, until your kids are older, until your house is clean (trust me, it will never be clean enough) etc etc. The thoughts are not the problem. The problem is that we make them the centre of our experience, thereby giving them power to control how feel and how we respond to any situation we find ourselves in.

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I challenge you, just for one day, to notice your thinking. Don’t judge it, just observe. When you notice that you are into thinking and maybe even letting it fuel your actions, take a breathe and be still for a moment. Don’t try to stop it, or resist it or judge it. Seeing the nature of your thinking is the first step to taking control of your experience of life. Abraham Hicks says that “ When you begin to …pay attention to what you give your attention to, you will begin to regain control of your life”

How awesome is that? The paying attention is easy. You will see things that maybe you don’t like, and this is where not judging is key. This is why I keep repeating it.

Don’t Judge. Just Observe.

Come back and share with me what you observed 🙂 I can’t wait to hear.