Archive for July 2011

Navigating Parenting: Do you have a GPS?

Welcome to another Metaphor Monday!

Global positioning systems otherwise known as GPS,  are great for guiding us to where we need to go when driving, canoeing, hiking, or whenever you are on route and need some direction to your destination.   If you are going in the wrong direction the GPS will give an alternative route based on where you are, underlining the fact that there is more than one way to get to where you want to go.  The GPS will guide you by telling you what direction to go.  Even if you veer off path it works with you, readjusts to your new position and tells you an alternative route.

Of course you still have to know what your final destination is in order for the  GPS  to tell you where to go.  Also, like any tool, you have to know how the GPS works or it’s essentially useless. Like any tool, it’s only as good as the confidence or competence of the user.

Your children won’t trust you if you don’t trust yourself.

Same goes for parenting tools, used the right way they can really help in situations with your children, however if you are not confident in what you are doing, then it undermines your approach with your children. Your children won’t trust you if you don’t trust yourself.

 

For parents, GPS then can stand for something else, say a “Guidance Parenting System“.  I truly believe that parents have the tools that they need right inside, their own internal GPS.  All the parenting advice in the world can not replace what you already know deep inside. In that sense parenting tools are not really about showing you how to parent,  but they should guide you to connect with that inner wisdom. Sometimes as parents we may have blocks that get in our way of parenting intuitively.  These blocks mean we need to make detours or  plow through otherwise we will be stuck.  Whether that be stuck in the old parenting styles of our parents or stuck in a newly adopted style that we have been told is the right” way but somehow doesn’t feel right.   Often this means that things from our past may need to be addressed or thrown out of the way in order to get to that inner wisdom of how to parent our children.

 The trick of  course is uncovering our internal tools, many of which may be buried under piles of dust or self doubt.

So like using a GPS, in parenting we need to map out where we want to go with our parenting. Do we want it to lead somewhere pleasant? Do we want to take an easy route, quick convenient?  Do we want it to be scenic and enjoyable?  To find our way to the final destination of intuitive parenting we need to trust ourselves that we are capable of finding and using those inner guidance systems that we were all born with.  The same ones that made us desire to be parents in the first place even if it was only after your child was born and you looked into their eyes.  The trick of  course is uncovering our internal tools, many of which may be buried under piles of dust or self doubt.  Sometimes this is not so easy to do, and just as one needs to learn how to use a GPS one may also need to learn how to navigate their way through the internal roadblocks that keep you from connecting with your inner wisdom.

…..everything you need is right inside of you, parenting doesn’t come with a manual because we all have a built in guidance system right inside of us.

 

A good place to start is to look at the way you currently parent. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • How alike or different is your parenting style from the way your parents parented you?

  • Does your current parenting style feel like it is a “fit” to who you are as a person?

  • Do your current parenting ways make you feel like you are headed in the right direction towards an intuitive parenting that feels right for you and your children?

  • Does parenting feel enjoyable for the most part?

    Take some time and explore these questions and really look at the feeling rather than any judgemental thoughts that may pop up.  If the feeling doesn’t feel right or the way you want it to, then getting some support to navigate towards that feeling you want may be all it takes.  After all, everything you need is right inside of you, parenting doesn’t come with a manual because we  all have a built in guidance system right inside of us.

Parenting from a Different Perspective:

Parenting is like riding a bicycle……

In today’s Metaphor Monday I take you on a little adventure into parenthood (filmed with our GoPro camera).  I talk about some general principles of parenting as I see it from my mountain bike.  What am I talking about? I guess you will just have to watch my short video for details…….

Parenting from a different perspective.

What can animals teach us about our children? In Today’s 11th Metaphor Monday I explore a different way of looking at children’s feelings of fear and anger. Please post your comments or questions below.

It never ceases to amaze me how much I can learn from my children. While I like to think they learn from me as well, I still need to remind myself how much they can figure things out themselves when given the chance. We would’nt give them the answers on a test, or do their homework for them.

Are our answers the only “answers”?

So why then is it so hard for us as parents to take a step back instead, and let them find their own solutions? Why do we feel the need to give them “the” answers? Are our answers the only “answers”?

We too need to look inside for the answers. Sometimes it is not so easy as a parent to do this. Sometimes we avoid looking inside for our own answers and we look to others instead. Looking for that perfect answer of what exactly we should do in a particular situation with our children. We second guess ourselves and miss what has been there all along, what is right in front of us: the answers are inside.

Look inside. I quarantee you will find the answer.

Parenting from a Different Perspective

Don’t be taken out! Take yourself out instead. And I don’t mean to lunch, find out more in this weeks metaphor Monday.

Often I’ll ask my kids “What are you going to do different next time?” when their choices have been less than ideal. With this tool there is no need to wait for next time for them to practice a different response. Let us know your thoughts on this below.

 

 

 

This weekend my son got an idea into his head to make something and he’s going with it full speed. He won’t stop. He is building a go cart from scratch. Despite my (unintentional) road blocks “No you can’t take apart your skateboard and use the wheels”. He perseveres; he manages to get the skateboard wheels from a friend’s skateboard which is old and worn.

 

He doesn’t give up. He has a vision and holds on to it.

 

He uses his dad’s power tools and enlists the help of his friends. “I don’t think it’s a good idea for your friends to use the power tools as they aren’t familiar with them.” Yet another road block from a limit setting adult. But he perseveres once again; he has his friends hold things in place as he works on them; has them help lift large pieces of wood from the back yard to use. He negotiates that they will share this go-cart in exchange for the wheels and the labour. He doesn’t give up. He has a vision and holds on to it. He knows instinctively that he must do this, hang on, keep his dream alive if it is to become reality. And so he does.

 

 

 

He won’t stop. Even so much that when I call him in for a late dinner he takes an extra 20 minutes. He cleans up the tools somewhat reluctantly (clean-up somehow is not part of his vision) and comes in to an annoyed mother. A torn mother, who wants to allow his creativity to unfold, who doesn’t want to discourage his dream from fruition, but who realizes that certain routines need to be upheld or chaos may unleash itself in our household…..or will it?   Yes, its the delicate balance between letting go and steering clear. Always a challenge.

 

He eats and diligently heads back out to work on his project, with the determination that would earn him and A+ if it were for school.

 

The next morning his determination continues. “You have to do your chores first” I unwittingly say in my roadblock voice. “Okay” he says, after first trying to negotiate that he do half first and the other half after working on his go-cart. He does his chores in record time and is outside eager to create his dreams. He enlists his brother’s help this time, gets the nerve to ask our neighbour to borrow some tools he needs, and is off!  He is so focused, that even on an empty stomach, calls of pancakes for brunch are not enticing enough for him to come in right away.  But he eventually comes in, fuel is a necessity after all.   He eats and diligently heads back out to work on his project, with the determination that would earn him and A+ if it were for school.

 

 

He inspires his brother to make a go-cart too, which he helps him get started. He’s a dream maker, an inspiration, a magnet attracting what he needs to get to where he wants to go. All because he has a vision so strong it drives his determination. A dream so important to him he is able to continue pursuing it despite detours and roadblocks.

 

 

As I write this I realize now that there is so much I can learn from his endeavours this weekend (and most days).   I am truly honoured to be his unwitting student.

 

 

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