Sometimes when I am in the throes of conflict or big emotions with my kids, it is hard to remember that my commitment to peaceful parenting is truly a process. I’m not striving for perfection, but to parent with intention, conscious of my values and what I truly want for my children and our relationship.
I will have some misses.
But, every time I am able to recognize what is happening and change in the moment, or recognize what has happened and take steps to repair the damage, I become stronger. And my home becomes more peaceful.
Yesterday was a day when it all seemed to come together, and today I feel like celebrating that fact!
We’ve been talking about moving house recently and my 9-year-old son is having some anxiety around it. He has started biting his fingernails again and is trying to control others — particularly his little sister — by borrowing power from anger. He has been raging around the house at the smallest upset.
As I became curious about these outbursts, I realized that he needs help processing his big feelings so that he doesn’t need to release them all over us!
After his bath, I took extra time to connect with him by giving him a massage while putting lotion on his arms and legs. He asked me to read what it said on the bottoms of his feet (a game we used to play every night while washing his feet where I would make up something silly that would make him laugh.)
I took his first foot, wiping it and wiping it, saying that deep down under all this dirt it says, “I love my sister.”
The second foot said, “And I treat her gently.”
“Mama, read them again. They say something different this time!”
I wiped his feet again. This time I pretended they said, “I’m excited about moving” and “I know I”ll make lots of friends.”
“Well, the bottom part of me doesn’t match the top part.”
“What does it say in your head?” I asked.
“It says I don’t want to move,” he replied with a big smile. I could feel his relief at being able to talk about the move and how anxious he was feeling.
We brainstormed ways to calm ourselves when we feel anxious or worried.
And just before he went to sleep, he gave me a big hug and kiss and said, “I promise I’ll tell you when I feel worried, Mama.”
Ah, sweet success!
Such a wonderful day and such a strong affirmation that sticking with this process — staying on the peaceful parenting path — is paying off for me, my children, and the growing connection between us.
What can you celebrate about your parenting journey today?