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Honestly, the main support I offer parents is to acknowledge that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting, as every child and parent is unique.

In my quest to be the best parent I could be, I often found myself interpreting my child’s behavior through my own lens. It became very clear that I had certain expectations or beliefs about how children should act, because I felt so uncomfortable when my daughter deviated from my expectations especially when we were in public. I was caught off guard by how many feelings came up when she refused to meet my expectations. It became very clear that how I interpreted my daughter’s behavior was actually causing my pain, not the actual behavior.

And yet, instead of moving towards my vulnerability I often claimed I was trying to protect her by guiding her towards what I believed was best. The issue though was that my interpretations of her behavior were based on my programming and past experiences. How I expected her to behave was actually all about me and my need to be validated. I often missed the opportunity to truly listen and understand her perspective.

If this rings true for you then how do you meet this in the moment?

Practice: Instead of jumping to conclusions or labeling your children’s behavior, practice staying present in the moment and being open to hearing their truth. This requires you to set aside your preconceived notions and beliefs, and truly listen to what your children are expressing. By doing so, you create a safe space for them to share their feelings and thoughts without fear of judgment or rejection.

Remember, your own experiences and emotions can cloud your ability to respond to your child’s behavior in a curious and compassionate manner. If you find yourself reacting from a place of fear or frustration, it’s supportive to step back and reflect on why your are feeling personally threatened by their behavior. Choosing to move to your SafeSeat to support yourself in offering compassion to your interpretations and conclusions can better support your child in navigating their own challenges.

I find parenting to be a continuous journey of growth and self-discovery. It’s a constant opportunity to for me to learn and evolve, both as an individual and as a parent. By cultivating self-awareness and practicing kindness, through my SafeSeat I create a nurturing environment where my child can also feel seen, heard, and valued.

If you have any questions or would like to share your own experiences, feel free to reach out to me at leslie@purejoyparenting.com. I would love to hear from you.

Wishing you a week filled with love and joy on your parenting journey.