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The Purejoy Parenting Blog

Inspiration For Your Parenting Journey

Of Course, You Yell At Your Kids!

Of Course, You Yell At Your Kids!

Growing up in your home you took on a certain view…often it was your caregiver’s view of the world. Since you were young you saw the world the way your caregivers did. Even though as you grew your view changed and often times was counter to your caregivers, when you get emotionally triggered your early view arises. 

When you are emotionally triggered you are relating to your trigger, not to your present moment experience. This can be so challenging because you have worked so hard to create a world where your children can live a different life than you did. It is painful to witness yourself acting out when rationally you know all the “right” things to do for your children to grow and thrive. 

Take heart, sweet ones…This happens to all of us. Hiding deep in your unconscious are those early templates that of course, you took on. You were young and impressionable and your caregivers were the main source of nourishment. You couldn’t walk out and get new parents so your view was formed and influenced by your environment. 

Take this in and see if you are willing to offer yourself kindness in this moment. Open to the possibility that your acting out is not a conscious decision…it arises deep from your unconscious and it is possible to pause and offer kindness to this younger part of yourself. 

You are trying to take care of yourself just like your children are when they express their BIG feelings. What would it be like to honor you and at the same time honor them?

Ahhhhhh! Take a moment to receive this and see what it is like to release yourself from the guilt and shame that threatens to keep you from the precious present moment. 

This week, see what it is like to move to your SafeSeat especially after you act out. Go there…open your heart to the one inside who is struggling. You also deserve love for being exactly who you are in the moment. 

Do You Value Your Child?

Do You Value Your Child?

When do you feel most valued in your relationships? Is it when another makes space for your opinions, thoughts, ideas and truly shows interest in who you are?

Often with our children we take up most of the space with our opinions, thoughts, ideas and wanting to be listened too. So, can you imagine how your child might feel when they try to share and you need to be “right” or in control? Hmmmmm! 

Standing in the position of the “all knowing one” puts us in the position of needing to be “right” which often forces our child into the position of being “wrong”. We often think we know what is best for them and yet do we really? Maybe, we know what is best for us, which is for our children to do what we say, when we say it and do it with a smile on their face. 

It’s easy to forget that our child is a separate being with different thoughts, ideas and values, especially when we feel insecure in our parenting. Needing to be the authority gives us a certain sense of power which often mask our feeling powerless and doubt in whether we are doing it right or not. 

If feeling emotionally threatened by your child’s differences you may find yourself criticizing and shaming them for their difference instead of honoring their unique brilliance. Slowing down and recognizing the value in seeing your child as a separate being with their own likes and dislikes is empowering in the long run. It makes space to support them in knowing themselves while also giving you the space to honor yourself.

Showing your child that they bring great value to your life is supportive in building their self-esteem and feeling like they matter. 

This week, notice when your child does something that adds value to your life and let them know. See if you notice a little twinkle in their eye as you recognize their brilliance.

Self Reflection

Self Reflection

Are you committed to your self-care? Do you have a practice for inner reflection? I know, I know when are you supposed to do that with all that is going on in your life? And yet, I found without time for myself to self-reflect on my internal experience I spent most of my time trying to control my external one.

Trying to control my daughter’s behavior to manage my internal experience did NOT work. At times, if I used enough power over I could get her to behave, and yet it never felt good in my internal experience. Each time she acted out and I strong-armed her it took a lot longer to re-engage in a connected way.

Taking time in my SafeSeat, offering kindness to my internal experience meant I could stay in the middle of the action “growing” myself up emotionally. Then I could ride my daughter’s emotional waves while supporting her instead of seeing her behavior as an emotional threat.

Building the capacity to stay with whatever is arising in your internal experience, without acting it out, takes time and a commitment to your SafeSeat practice.

As you continue to move to your SafeSeat, when your internal signals are firing, over time you’ll learn to separate out the past from the present. When you are emotionally triggered you are having a relationship with your trigger not the present moment interaction with your child.

Choosing to go inward instead of outward takes courage since our culture is so focused on controlling the child’s behavior. I chose to take responsibility for my internal experience instead of blaming my daughter’s behavior on causing it.

You can too.

Next time you notice you are emotionally triggered move to your SafeSeat offering yourself kindness. Give yourself what you are seeking from your child. Practice, practice, practice and eventually you’ll become the act of kindness.

What a gift to you and your child.

Who Has The Power

Who Has The Power

When my daughter started behaving in ways I didn’t think she should I was flummoxed. I thought inside “I’m treating her well and meeting all her needs on-demand so what am I doing wrong?” She was acting defiant and expressing a lot of rage and this wasn’t part of my parenting plan which I was sure was going to work.

I had studied, I’d done personal work and I waited until 44 to be a mom. I was determined I was not going to be my mom and yet everything was backfiring and I didn’t know where to turn.

In my frustration and feeling powerless my emotions were extremely volatile. Rage, just like my moms, came up and I found myself screaming like a crazy woman and running to the bathroom over and over determined not to act out on my daughter. I felt held hostage by my four-year-old.

She was in charge because I had given her the power. I wasn’t sure how to take it back in a healthy way. The template I’d grown up with was a “power over” model and I was sure I didn’t want to do that. What I did instead was take the other side and gave in which led her to power over me. Of course, she took the driver’s seat because I kept handing it to her.

What this looked like was me asking her questions that were WAY too big for her to be making as a four-year-old like, “where do you want to eat?” instead of “tonight, we are eating at ……”

I was confused because I didn’t want her to feel angry with me…and yet let me tell you I was really angry with her for taking over and always saying NO to whatever I wanted. ! I’d lost my empowerment to steer the boat.

Only when my rage entered the field was I willing to step out of the position of the victim. I was determined to empower myself instead of powering over my daughter like my mom did me. As crazy as it sounds I am forever grateful for my daughter expressing her rage so I could meet mine.

Once I saw that I’d made her the location of my rage I turned back inside and met my rage with loving-kindness. It was a young rage of having to give myself up to please my alcoholic mom. It was a young rage having to do whatever my dad wanted instead of being supported to follow my dreams. There was a LOT of RAGE stored inside and until I was willing to look at it my daughter took it over.

Slowly, as I turned towards the rage instead of avoiding it something quite miraculous opened. Under the rage I met my desires that I’d subordinated to fit into my family. I found my wisdom….my insight…and my courage to show up the way I wanted.

Finally, I sat down in my being and therefore empowered myself as a parent offering my child a healthy mature mama!

Building Self-Esteem

Building Self-Esteem

How is 2022 going so far? This year, we are going to dive a bit deeper into the Pillars of Purejoy. These are the Purejoy foundations that are unique and distinct to the Purejoy Parenting model. At Purejoy we don’t focus on controlling our child’s behavior instead, we focus on our internal experience while working with the emotional triggers that arise when our children behave in certain ways. 

I found when looking outside for advice or methods to control my daughter’s behavior I wasn’t trusting my internal wisdom. Comparing myself with other parents was brutal. It seemed at the time that other parents didn’t struggle as much as I did. I knew I wasn’t interested in consequencing or punishing my daughter when she behaved in ways that triggered me, and yet I was stumped as to what else to do. 

Where was my internal wisdom hiding?

I assumed it would just show up when I needed it and yet when parenting I had to dive deep to find my true knowing. First, I had to turn towards the behaviors in myself that I was still judging. Making peace within brought peace without. 

Slowly, I turned inward instead of outward trusting that if I didn’t control my daughter’s behavior the world wouldn’t end. As I sat, it got clearer and clearer that when my daughter acted out she was trusting herself. She wasn’t trying to please or placate me which I learned to do. She was expressing her internal experience and looking to me for support. 

Finally, as I trusted I could stay with the intensity arising in my internal world, I showed up for my daughter in hers. This offered my daughter a safe environment to trust herself instead of looking to me for permission to be who she truly is. 

Give yourself time, Open your heart, and expect to see miracles as you welcome your wisdom to the table. 

Trusting Your Wisdom

Trusting Your Wisdom

How is 2022 going so far? This year, we are going to dive a bit deeper into the Pillars of Purejoy. These are the Purejoy foundations that are unique and distinct to the Purejoy Parenting model. At Purejoy we don’t focus on controlling our child’s behavior instead, we focus on our internal experience while working with the emotional triggers that arise when our children behave in certain ways. 

I found when looking outside for advice or methods to control my daughter’s behavior I wasn’t trusting my internal wisdom. Comparing myself with other parents was brutal. It seemed at the time that other parents didn’t struggle as much as I did. I knew I wasn’t interested in consequencing or punishing my daughter when she behaved in ways that triggered me, and yet I was stumped as to what else to do. 

Where was my internal wisdom hiding? I assumed it would just show up when I needed it and yet when parenting I had to dive deep to find my true knowing. First, I had to turn towards the behaviors in myself that I was still judging. Making peace within brought peace without. 

Slowly, I turned inward instead of outward trusting that if I didn’t control my daughter’s behavior the world wouldn’t end. As I sat, it got clearer and clearer that when my daughter acted out she was trusting herself. She wasn’t trying to please or placate me which I learned to do. She was expressing her internal experience and looking to me for support. 

Finally, as I trusted I could stay with the intensity arising in my internal world, I showed up for my daughter in hers. This offered my daughter a safe environment to trust herself instead of looking to me for permission to be who she truly is. 

Give yourself time, Open your heart, and expect to see miracles as you welcome your wisdom to the table. 

Your Child Is Not Out To Get You!

Your Child Is Not Out To Get You!

Happy New Year! We made it through 2021. Phew!

Who would have thought we’d be where we are after 2 years. My, my….sending so much love and support to you for riding the waves of parenting during this challenging time. 

As a teenager, my daughter expressed her BIG feelings by telling me all the things I’d done wrong.

I’d either lash out or collapse into a sniveling ball.

Acting out or acting in were the two ways I behaved when taking things personally.

My daughter helplessly looked on and said, “Mom, stop taking things so personally” and of course, I yelled back saying, “But it is personal!” 

One day that scene was playing out and as I heard myself saying “but it is personal” I witnessed her collapsing and giving up.

In that very moment I heard a voice inside that said “Leslie, it’s not all about you. She is trying to share her internal world with you.” When I took it personally I made it all about me. 

The reason we find it challenging not to take things personally is that when our children lash out it feels personal because of the story we’ve told ourselves about us. 

We tell ourselves stories about what it means when our children say things about us, or when they won’t listen to us. We beat ourselves up and believe something must be wrong with us to have such “bratty” kids. It is a story about US.

The funny thing is on the positive side we make it about us also. When our children share loving behaviors we tell ourselves a story about how lovable we are. 

Stories are stories and even though they are entertaining at times they are rarely true! Believing everything is about us keeps us from establishing healthy boundaries and therefore being able to separate out what is about us and what is about our child. 

Take time this week to notice when you take things personally. Notice if you are getting emotionally triggered-  PAUSE and ask yourself what personal story is being activated?

Once you discover the story ask yourself “is that true?” 

Our children are truly not out to get us- they are sharing their internal experience and how we perceive this is up to us. 

Return to Sender

Return to Sender

Feelings are a part of everyday life for children. They have a wide range of feelings and emotions that they experience, from big feelings to small ones.

Have you ever noticed when they have BIG intense feelings they lash out at you?

I call this “throwing the emotional hot potato”.

How I see it is that when children experience intense emotions their little bodies are flooded with sensations they aren’t able to contain. Of course, they want to get rid of them so they look to the safest person they know, which is YOU, and they throw you the hot potato.

Now, since you have an adult regulatory system and have been SafeSeating, learning to contain those intense feelings instead of acting them out,  you’ll be able to alchemize them before returning to the sender. You’ll show your child they aren’t dangerous and that it is OK to share them with the safe adult. 

If you haven’t been practicing and therefore take your child’s lashing out personally, you’ll catch that ‘hot potato’ of feelings and most likely lash out at them just like they did with you.

When this happens you are returning the ‘hot potato’ to the sender and yet it now has your intensity magnified and hurling towards your child. 

For years now, I’ve practiced my SafeSeat and I still have moments when a thrown ‘hot potato’ activates a 𝑏𝑖𝑔 feeling that I’m not able to contain.

It’s gonna happen so when it does head on over to your SafeSeat to offer the one in you, who acted out, some tender loving kindness.

She just forgot that she had a safe base to go to.

The more you do this, the more capacity you’ll build. 

I want MORE!

I want MORE!

We came into the world helpless and totally dependent on our caregivers to attend to our young needs.

Each time we reached out our precious young arms we were met with either a tender loving smile and our vulnerable needs were met, or our caregiver turned away claiming we were too demanding and taught us to take care of ourselves before we were ready.

When our fragile young hearts felt the denial of our innocent needs we turned on ourselves naively seeing our precious desires as wrong or bad.

As the toxic shame entered our immature emotional body every time we felt a need arising we formed a sense of ourselves as somehow “not good enough” for we desperately needed those who we depended on to see us as “more than enough” just for being alive.

Little did we know our parents had been shamed for their unguarded desire and each time we held out our trusting arms we awakened a shame inside them which overtook their unbridled desire to meet us with unconditional love.

Now, it is our turn as parents to awaken to our true desire to be seen and to see our child’s desires as vital as the breath we breathe.

As we awaken our raw passionate desire to see a “better” world for our children we can finally STOP shaming ourselves and our children for extending their arms in the name of love.

We choose to open to their limitless dreams extending our hands offering to give what we can and support them to empower themselves to find the rest.

Let’s stop the SHAME once and for all!

Home for the Holiday

Home for the Holiday

The holiday season is now in full swing.

The decorations, the shopping, the family gatherings, and celebrations. It’s a wonderful time of year!

But it can also be stressful, especially visiting family. 

Choosing to parent your children differently than how you were parented can be a stress point when going home for the holiday. I was well aware that it was much easier to consciously parent inside my own home. Traveling to see family triggered stress about how others would judge my parenting.

Even though I was excited to be with my family there was also tension inside as I witnessed my family’s discomfort over how I was parenting my daughter.

The number one support I offered myself was to take my SafeSeat along. 

If you’ve been practicing your physical SafeSeat now it’s time to embody it inside.

The unconditional loving part of you, the SafeSeat, is always available during stressful times.

Remember, your family may feel threatened by your choice to parent in a more conscious way. If the gold standard in your home growing up was “good” behavior, of course, they may criticize and judge you for creating an environment for your children to express their internal experiences. 

Parenting this way can cause a lot of discomfort in the adults who still believe children are responsible for their happiness and therefore should BEHAVE.

Looking to your family to acknowledge and support your parenting choice, when they believe different, takes a lot of energy. Defending, justifying, convincing, and begging come to mind.

I did all of them until I realized my family was the location of my doubt that I was doing it “right”.

I chose to own the part of me that was still questioning my choice.

Getting clear that your family doesn’t HAVE to acknowledge or support you gives you the freedom to support yourself and releases you from throwing your kids under the bus to fit in. You are choosing to parent this way and as an adult, you can own this choice. 

Of course, when you go home you may emotionally regress (this is normal), and yet when feeling triggered remember you have a SafeSeat you can go to.

As you sit with those BIG feelings acknowledge and support yourself in trusting your way.

Offering this to yourself gives you the opportunity to turn towards your family and honestly say, “thank you for your advice and I’ve got this”.