So You Think Parenting Is About The Children? :
How To Use Parenting To Grow and Heal Yourself
I’ve written a book called ‘So You Think Parenting is About the Children? – How To Use Parenting to Grow and Heal Yourself’ and I’m in the process of getting it published. If you subscribe to this blog (look on the top right of the page) you’ll get the weekly post and information about the book when it is published. No spam – I promise.
So You Think Parenting is About the Children? is NOT a how-to-parent book. It could be classified as psychology or self-help as well as parenting. This uncensored exposé on real experiences of parenting – at times raw and startling – is a meaty meal of straight-talk, lightly spiced with mindfulness and consciousness approaches. Anyone who is a parent, or has parents, or is a friend of parents, or works with parents or children in any way can benefit from this book – and even apply its ideas to other general life areas.
This is a thought-provoking and stirring book, written with humour and compassion by a clinical psychologist, hypnotherapist, Reiki teacher and married mother of two. The writer’s voice is intimate, funny, casual and confessional – she feels like “one of us”, yet simultaneously offers wisdom and reassurance to regular parents. In blog-sized sections catering for the challenged parental attention span, it offers tools that will make your parenting ride more thrilling than terrifying, more exciting than frustrating, more satisfying than depriving. Parenting is not only about the children, it is about you the parent.
Below are some excerpts from the book.
Prologue: Start Off By Holding An Intention
- What Do You Mean It’s Not About The Children?
- We’re All So Touchy About This Parenting Thing
- How To Get the Good Stuff From the Crazy Moments
- Why Even Go There?
- What To Do With the Good Stuff Once You’ve Found It
- It’s For Your Own Good !
- Conscious Parenting … Huh?
- Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings…
- 8.1 Denial is not just a river in Egypt
- 8. 2 The Fear Factor
- 8.3 Your Good Friends Pain And Anger
- What Have We Gotten Ourselves Into? Exploring Parenting
- Who Is Teaching Who Anyway?
- Some Thoughts On Some Things
- Channelling Life: Growing The Self Through:
- 12.1 Preconception
- 12.2 Pregnancy
- 12.3 Birth
- 12.4 New Mothering
- 13. Ok, But How Do You Do This Thing? Some Skills
- 14. What About Other Relationships?
- 15. The Impacts Of Being Parented
- 16. A Happy Ending
Chapter 1: WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT’S NOT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?
“May I be liberated for the benefit of all beings” – Tibetan prayer
Did you know that your children are your guides to being your best self? It’s true. They teach you by driving you nuts at times and inspiring you to surprising greatness at others. Sure, their methods are a little unconventional and often uncomfortable but, boy are they effective! If you pay attention to their teachings, you can become all you are meant to be.
No, I’m not kidding.
This book is about the human experience of parenting and of being parented – including those things we think but never say out loud. It is a look at parenting as the parent’s journey – for a change. After all, we learn more about what’s important in life from our children than we did from our parents. Our parents may have tried to tell us things, but we finally learn them from what we experience with our own children. Actually our parents probably only knew that stuff because they were learning it from being our parents! In short, children mold, shape, teach and stretch us grown-ups more than we could probably ever teach and shape them. Just like we did for our parents.
Everyone tells you that parenting is such a gift – and it really is – but it often doesn’t feel that way. It is hard, there are a lot of demands – many of them in the middle of the night, you occasionally lose your temper, at times you behave in ways you cringe to think about later… and yet, this is precisely what makes parenting one of the greatest training grounds for growing into your best possible self. Weirdly enough, this is also what can help you learn how to feel better in your life in general.
Let me explain: Those moments where we get angry or scared or lose it and feel guilty later, all happen when we lose touch with our true selves – our highest truth, that we are each wonderful and worthy. The reason we react so badly is because in those moments we believe we are not important, or not good enough, or not worth enough. It hurts to believe those things and we want the pain to stop, so we do or say things to get away from the pain. But none of those things are true – and the pain is unnecessary – as you’ll see when you read on.
So even though it seems like it is hard to keep yourself after you become a parent, it is becoming a parent which can lead you to yourself in a very thorough and direct way.
You see, the times you have big emotional reactions are actually precious reminders of who you are in essence – a valuable being with your own unique shine. This book will help you learn how to look for and find your gold in those painful moments – and that will make you feel better, will help you come home to your Self, not just in parenting but in all areas of your life.
I hope this book leaves you looking at the hardships of parenting as amazing opportunities to grow and to heal yourself from any old hurts and beliefs you carry which hold you back in your life. So that you can feel better in your life. So that you feel good about how you parent.
Imagine feeling grateful for each difficulty the little rascals bring you?
What’s In It For Me?
You know that nasty question, “What am I doing all this for?” which pops up when parenting isn’t so much fun? Well this might be the answer. You are not doing it for them, you are doing it for YOU. Parenting is the best, most wonderful personal training available. It is a truly great guru focused just on you.
In my practice as a psychologist and hypnotherapist I find this approach gets excitingly positive results. As a parent I find this perspective allows me not to push myself to be ‘perfect’ – whatever that might be. Hooray! I don’t have to try to be just like how I imagine Helen is with her kids. I don’t have to hound myself with ‘shoulds’; “I should be that way, I should look like that one, I should know what I’m doing”. This frees me up to listen to myself. That way, instead of living in fear of other people’s opinions of my parenting, I can admit when I don’t know and use those moments of confusion to my – and my children’s – benefit.
If I use parenting as a tool for my personal growth, then I can look at what happened in my own childhood – both good and bad – as my parents’ journey too, not just my own. That releases me to consider how they managed their journey rather than taking their reactions and comments to definitively reflect something about me.
For example, if my father was super anxious about presenting as perfect to others, it never meant that I wasn’t good enough – even though it felt that way at the time. It was his anxiety driving his behavior and when he tried to control everything about me, how I dressed, talked, ate, studied, etc. it was about his stuff, not about who I was then or who I am now. I can finally see that there is nothing wrong with me – and there never was, Dad. That was your stuff. You can have it back now.
Are you starting to smell freedom? I hope so.