Let me grow… just like me: Magda Gerber

just-like-me

“Please let me grow as I be”, just let me…

It is common to think that, when we become parent it is “our job” to actively teach our children and to lead them to what we believe is best for them. Every moment is an opportunity to “teach”, then we often correct, we often lecture, we interfere because we want the “best”, because it is our “job”, because we are “responsible” or because we are simply doing our best.

I too, like most parents, want the best for my child. Most of the time, when I ask myself what do I mean by “best”, the answer is not always clear or consistent.

When I look at the bigger picture, by “best” I mean: be loved, be appreciated, be self-confident, be self-motivated, be happy. Sometimes, by “best” I mean: be capable, be independent, be “perfect”… this is often when I interfere, fix or correct

We are our children’s primary model … They are wired to follow us, learn from us, they are wired to grow in the environment we provide for them, they are wired to Experience, Try, Learn and figure for themselves. Children see what we do, hear what we say, they observe, they learn to respond the way they see us respond – just like we did when we were kids

Let me” is so powerful, it reminds me that we all need freedom to be who we are, truly are – and unfortunately, parents expectations from children don’t let them be…

Because I want to – always – look at the bigger picture, I need to understand my child, see who she really is. In order to do that, I need to take a step back and think, work to change my patterns. Here are my reminders:

  1. Back off and allow some freedom: I try not to interfere with my own beliefs or agenda – which is often harder than we think, especially in morning rushes – I try to let her lead and choose within limits, complete tasks without interfering or try to “guide”.
  2. Provide her with a suitable environment that allows her to experience, to feel loved & wanted – the environment that allows them to BE and to PLAY…
  3. Be very careful with the words I use and when I use them – in other words: I try to be careful with Praise, with “yes” directions instead of “no” and without shaming or guilt.
  4. Trust that she’ll be fine, that she is “big” enough to take decision
  5. We all learn, especially ME! we were not born parents, we learn to be. I try to be patient and acknowledge my weaknesses in order to be present and “help her grow” just like her

This is very hard for me to remember that she’s not “mine”, that she entered the world learning to be capable every day, every moments of the day.

Thank you Magda Gerber, thank you RIE ♥

Advertisements

 

Rumi-Listen

“There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen” – Rumi

I do my best to work on connection, because nothing else matters. What are you working on? ♥

Find yourself first

find-yourself-rumi

“Go find yourself first, so you can also find me”.

What do you think about that?

Lately, this resonates with me a lot… as hard as it is to accept, I believe that, for me, there is no other way. I try very hard – very very hard – to parent respectfully, to give my child what she deserves: respect, a healthy relationship model, available parents… I am focusing on learning, listening, responding, improving ALL the time. I am focusing on her. I feel the pressure, I want to find the right words, turn No into Yes as much as possible, pick my battles and give her space when possible.

So yes, I have been focusing on her, sometime exclusively, forgetting other important things: Focusing on ME! Finding ME 1st , healing ME 1st, knowing ME 1st, understanding ME 1st and respect ME 1st. I am focusing on her not only because I want to, but also because, to be honest, it’s easier to focus on her than on myself.

I want to be an available parent, a respectful parent who can accept & understand all my child’s emotional states – no just the good ones. I want to remain calm & handle my own emotions right 1st to remain connected. Children are learning everyday, small children have trouble coping with a lot of their emotions, so they turn to us – their only source of regulation available – because if everything is right, they feel secure to be themselves around us, & because they feel loved and validated.

After reading a lot on that subject, I found that, our children push our buttons because they are our children, it’s as simple as that. Unconsciously our children stimulate feelings of our own childhoods (especially strong feelings, probably unprocessed) when they act out. We too, are overwhelmed by their strong emotions. My child may be pushing my buttons, but I AM responsible for my actions and what I choose to do with the situation – in other words: “my buttons” are my responsibilities & I am the adult in the relationship with my child.

I need to find ME 1st, support ME 1st, understand ME 1st in order to also find her – in order to be fully present for her & show real empathy when she needs it.

The steps I take to “Find ME 1st” (thank you dear husband for helping me find them!).

  1. Work on myself: 1st step, recognize that this is a priority and that the journey is long. I learn self-acceptance once a week (for over a year now)
  2. Go to the gym
  3. or / and take yoga classes
  4. Practice meditation

May 2015 be the year you find yourself. May this year bring you calm, happiness and rest.

 

 

The gift of time: Tips for slowing down

time

The best thing that you give to children is time…

Time… what a simple and beautiful word.

We live in a world where multi-tasking is praised, where multi-tasking is a talent that we – women – *have*. We *are able* to cook, clean, get dressed while talking on the phone. Well in fact, slowing down, enjoying the moment has become a “gift”, a state of mind I would really like to return to. I feel that I’m always rushing, I run to go to work, I run from work, I want to be “on time” for everything and everyone… I’m stressed, sometimes I’m annoyed as I’m always late. I begin my day with “hurry up” rushing from 1 place to another – I finish that day with “hurry up” because there is always something else. I hurry so much that I often miss the small things in life that are the most important ones.

I don’t have time to slow down in those situations because it’s a waste of time…

I try to squeeze an entire day in just a few hours, because this is the only time I have.

I try to be at my best everywhere I am, because this is the only time I have.

I try to have the most enjoyable time with my family, because this is the only time I have.

The pressure of always having something on my plate, the stress, takes a huge part of my mind, then I become very irritable and unpleasant to be with. Mornings are crazy – transitions are not easy for our little ones – I find myself dressing my 3-year-old daughter through tears, although she is fully capable of getting dressed on her own – I find myself doing the exact opposite of what I want for her: Autonomy.

In order to restore a sense of sanity and spread happiness instead of stress to my family, I felt I had to do something. I felt I needed to slow down, or at least, spend my time right.

This is how I try to spend my time better: Tips for empowering what really matters:

1. For big changes, start small

Pause, stop and think – Simple reminders like “Does this really matter?”, “Is that really what you want?” can be very useful

2. Stay focused

I started focusing on doing just one thing at a time, so that the time I spend doing 1 thing is dedicated to that 1 specific thing I’m doing – and you know what? it’s not that simple! When someone talks to me (especially my 3-year-old daughter), I try to stop what I’m doing to give my *undivided* attention – and you know what? it’s not that simple! when I focus on fully listening and looking to the person in front of me, I can’t do something else basically.

3. Wherever and Whenever you are, Be there!

Be present! (even for a small amount of time). No phone, no “just a quick look”, no Facebook… when someone calls I usually say “I’m not going to answer, it’s our You & Me time now”. When possible I try to avoid screen time of any kind

4. Understand that transitions can be hard to handle

Transitions are a bit tricky for me, there are a lot of tips on how to help a child with transitions on http://www.janetlansbury.com. Basically, let the child know in advance what you/they are going to do helps them know what to expect + it helps me stay focused too. Going from 1 thing to another is not easy – there too – slowing down is usually a good place to start

5. Acknowledgment

Acknowledgment is fundamental. It can take a while, but once you master – you master for life. I would define Acknowledgment by recognizing, accepting and validating the other person feelings or behavior – it doesn’t mean you agree with it, it means that you understand and accept that the other person have other opinions than yours and that he/she has the right to fully express them, that you accept your child displeasure instead of trying to make it go away or telling your child what to feel instead.

Once I understood that tantrums or all other behaviors were not personal, it helped me being present for my child – it helped me stay connected instead of disconnected.

6. Say thank you

I try very hard to focus on how blessed I am instead of How stressed I am. It slowly changes my mindset.

It requires awareness and attention, and even those are very little steps, I know they can make a difference. I believe that day by day, step by step, it is possible to make a difference. I have decided to focus on spending my time right, and enjoying. Focus on those little moments, on those little smiles and welcome them because those are the moments that matter.

 

Enjoy more, do less ♥

The best thing that you give to children is time…

 

Quote of the week: Raise your words…

rumi

“Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”

Quote of the week – Bernard Werber

Bernard Werber

This is one of the best! If you understand French you’ll probably agree…

Here is the translation:

Between what I think, what I mean to say, what I think I say, what I really say, what you want to hear, what you think you hear, what you really hear, what you want to understand, what you think you understand, what you really understand, there are ten possibilities that we have communication issues. But let’s still try

Let’s still try! ♥

Quote of the Week

Sarah's running

“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”

Denis Waitley

 

Have a great day ♥

Montessori anyone?

montessoriA great friend of mine sent me this video that introduced me to the Montessori approach in just a few minutes. I have heard about the Montessori approach before, and liked it because I thought it was cute – but I just had the vision of small furniture, mattresses on the floor and tiny wooden toys… everything at the child’s level – that was Montessori to me.

Look at those happy and well-behaved kids!

Well, some might say that it’s just a few minutes video, and yes, of course it is – but still, this little Hazel is just amazing. Those little kids are patient, social and they seem to enjoy themselves so much. Little Hazel, finishes what she started and expresses herself so beautifully – she is so proud of herself when she finishes to set the table. Look at the “teachers”, the way they talk is so empowering, they ask questions and listen!

3 months ago, after reading a considerable amount of blogs, tips, parenting approaches summaries and watching educating videos, I found the RIE approach that I could relate to – like a revelation. I feel quite the same about Montessori too… Look at those happy, confident kids, isn’t that beautiful?

Those respectful parenting approaches are just “revolutionary” they look so simple, they make sense to me, and feel so right once I get to know them – yet, they are not intuitive at all as they are the opposite of most new parent instincts… Not helping my child – Is that really what you meant???? no really, seriously????

This system of education is based on two important developmental needs of children:

  1. The need for freedom within limits
  2. A carefully prepared environment which guarantees exposure to materials and experiences.

It is so important because: “The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six. For that is the time when man’s intelligence itself, his greatest implement is being formed. But not only his intelligence; the full totality of his psychic powers… At no other age has the child a greater need of an intelligent help, and any obstacle that impedes his creative work will lessen the chance he has of achieving perfection.” (Dr. Montessori)

I want my Sarah to be prepared for life with the best tools – not the best toys, not the best books, not the best clothes… but prepared for life with a great mind and a great attitude toward herself and others. I want her to be confident, respectful, independent yet social and a problem solver… Thank you dear Susanne for this great video, you opened my mind.

Here is the video

Hazel Sets Table from Montessori Guide on Vimeo.

Quote of the week: You get what you give

give-loveA new week… A new quote:

It’s about LOVE

It’s about Compassion

It’s about Kindness & Faith

It has nothing to do with LUCK

You get what you give

So give GOOD

Have a great week… may this week brings you joy and happiness, great moments, big smiles on tiny faces and strength