The Gift of Modeling Self-Care
Here’s an example of how a parent successfully accomplished
her downtime while her children were around. She wanted to established a ‘silent hour’ so they would have the opportunity to learn how to just “be” with themselves as she was learning the same thing. She explained that she would be sitting/meditating in silence for an hour/half hour/ten minutes and if they wanted to join her they would have to be quiet. This gave Peggy’s children a choice to take part or not. Over time her children came to appreciate the quiet time and were given the gift of another valuable tool for tuning-in to themselves.
Whether it is a workout, a massage, time to sit quietly or just paying attention to our breathing, this focus on ourselves helps to replenish our reserves, and most importantly, to re-wire our brains, which was explained in Step Two. The parents who have taken my workshop have reported that by practicing the techniques in this Step they notice negative emotions and judgments dissolving and their parenting automatically improves. They have re-wired their brains.
Giving children the gift of self-care and the ability to know their own minds will provide them with an essential life skill. We pass on the ability to access our higher minds to our children by making it a priority. What better feeling is there than for a parent to know their children will be making life decisions with the help of their executive functioning brains?
It is also our job to let go of managing our children’s lives, step by step, so that by the time they are around ten or eleven years old we become a loving consultant. At that point, it is our job is to help them manage their own lives until they are self-reliant and fully prepared to thrive outside of our home. It is a win-win situation because at each step of the way our load gets lighter and their confidence and self-esteem get bigger. We create a lifestyle of respect and responsibility within a household that increases everyone’s ability to access higher brain functions.
Copywrite© 2006 by Leigh Scott. All rights reserved.