Being an Intentional Parent
Parenting is a tough job, and we parents are usually harder on ourselves than anyone else. My claim to fame is that I know I am not perfect and, frankly, I don’t strive to be perfect. Well not anymore!
Recently, I was feeling very frustrated with something going on with my daughter, and felt my voice getting tense while talking to her. She was rounding her shoulders and casting her eyes downward, and I knew that I needed to walk away before the situation escalated.
Once I was away, I sat in silence and asked myself, “What’s really going on here?” I could now feel that the frustration was with me. I had an expectation of what I wanted for her, but life had other plans. My frustration, however, was making my daughter think there was something wrong with her. I was creating our frustration by thinking that life had to be perfect or had to look a certain way.
Although it was not my intention, I was taking my personal frustrations out on her. However, letting go of these expectations and loving the actual child in front of me is always the place I want to come from. And it was time to do just that!
I walked back into her room and asked her if she had a minute to hear my apology. Through tears she squeaked “Yes”. I explained to her that as parents we never want our babies to suffer or struggle. And that we want to have all the answers, even when we don’t. When we can’t make things better, we feel like failures as parents. “I know you think I am frustrated with you, but I am really upset with myself that I can’t help you with this problem and that I don’t know all the answers,” I explained. “I feel like I am messing this whole thing up! I feel like I am messing you up!” I added.
Upon hearing this, my daughter put her hand on my shoulder and said in the sweetest voice, “I can tell you what you are doing right; you love me perfectly!”
It is in moments like these that she is my teacher. She shows me what really is important – my intentions! When we come from love children can overlook everything else. Our gift to each other, to encourage peace in our homes and in our hearts, is to be clear about what our intentions are in those tough moments. My daughter felt my intentions, and this created an opening to discuss the difference between what she was seeing in my actions and what she felt and knew to be true. My intentions were to help her, to soothe her, and to lift her out of her struggles. And she saw that.
When we are humble enough to be vulnerable and to admit our fears, we set an example. We give our children the permission to not be perfect and to do what they love anyway. Teaching our kids by example is powerful. Admitting that we don’t have it all figured out encourages them to try things they don’t have all figured out! Permission to try— yes, it is scary but totally worth it! (Just ask anyone who has ever tried something they loved or were passionate about. They never have regrets.)
Come back to your intentions and you’ll see that there is no right and wrong or any mistakes to be made. There is only the knowing that our efforts are worth the journey and love is the reward.
*As an intentional parent, I encourage you to share your vulnerabilities: the decisions you make because or despite them. Create an environment of safety in imperfections.
*In moments of frustration or difficulty become still and ask yourself some deeper questions “what is my intention” “What’s really going on here” Allow peace to present itself.
Christina Faye aka Tina by her friends lives in Las Vegas, NV, and is a mother of two awesome kids, a middle school teacher, a youth group advisor, a CSL trained practitioner and a certified Innerlight Energy Therapist. She is passionate about educating the whole child and loves to watch them blossom. She started a business with her friend Annabeth called L0ve Squared, and together they are opening a teen camp summer of 2015 in between LA and LV. Her intentions are to encourage peace within to experience peace in the world.