Conscious Discipline

We have all had those moments when our children seem to be pushing our buttons and we feel that we are at wits end. Maybe they are refusing to listen, challenging us at every turn, or talking back. Maybe we have had a bad day, tried everything we can think of, or are simply at a loss. Whatever is happening, the disconnection between parent and child can result in frustration, anger, and even a sense of defeat. These moments can overwhelm us and challenge our confidence in being effective parents. These can be some of the most difficult moments we face throughout our parenting journey.

Even though these may not be our favorite parenting moments, they can be opportunities for us to teach, learn, and grow. If we can remain connected to the love and kindness in our hearts, we can set forth to handle these struggles in a way that encourages harmony. Often times we engage in battles with our children, and I would venture to guess that many of these battles are quite silly. If we really looked at what we are doing, we might even laugh at ourselves. Remember, humor is healthy, so this is a good thing! Seriously though, certain battles are necessary while others are quite simply not.

We as parents need to decipher between the two and then find our way to peace and calm to get us through.

In deciphering between the two, it is so important for us not to take anything our children say or do personally. When we perceive our children to be acting out or misbehaving, they are not doing those things to us. They are simply learning about themselves and attempting to make sense of their world. Even though it may feel personal, it simply is not. By not taking their actions personally, we can remain in a space that is emotionally detached from engaging in an unnecessary and unproductive battle. We can allow for them to simply be, and we can more effectively be there for them if needed.

By not taking things personally, we are then able to stay connected to the true purpose of discipline, which is rooted in love and intended to protect and hold space for our children. Discipline in this way is executed with love and kindness, communicating boundaries, feelings, and options. When we avoid the battles and circular arguments, we are able to remain connected with our children and avoid the frustration and anger that can sometimes arise. It is up to us as parents to set the tone for discipline, make the choices that call forth love and kindness, and create connected teaching moments that feel good in our hearts.

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