Believe me, I know how hard it is for parents to reach for a dream when each day you watch your child grapple with learning, behavior or mood challenges. The only thing you can think about is how to heal your beloved child’s problems so that he will love life, learn easily and feel good about himself. We feel our children’s pain, perhaps even more than they feel it themselves. Their pain becomes our pain. That’s what loving parents do and this is totally understandable. Nobody knows this more than I do! There are however, huge downsides to doing this:
- Your spirit hurts – this upsets you chemistry
- Your stress levels go up – stress chemicals floods your body and brain
- Your parenting is impacted – you do and say things you may regret
- Your children absorb your stress – kids are like stress sponges
So what can you do differently? Here is a truly remarkable tool. CHANGE YOUR PERCEPTION: SEE THE MAGICAL CHILD WITHIN Let yourself know that behind the problems your child struggles with, there is a problem-free, happy, healthy, unique and talented child. Our task as healthcare practitioners, parents and teachers is to free this child! Too often, moms and dads (and teachers and doctors) tend to focus on the problems and not the potential. Continuously thinking and worrying about the problems produces exactly the brain chemistry that we do not want for ourselves – or for our children. How to prevent the downward spiral of anxiety, fear, worry, stress each time you think about your child’s challenges:
- Take a moment to close your eyes, breathe deeply in for the count of six, hold for the count of three and then breathe out while counting six. Do that two or three times.
- Keeping your eyes closed, let yourself ‘see’ in your mind’s eye, pictures of your healthy, talented child behind the problems. Be sure to see everything about your child – see the happy, relaxed face, the confident body language, the shine in his eyes; see her doing something she loves, see her engaging easily with her friends …paint a powerful picture in your mind.
- Let yourself feel the joy of this. Feel the sense of calm that comes over you.
Stop reading for a moment and practice the above 3 steps and experience what happens inside you. Each time you do this it will enhance the chemicals responsible for being calm and feeling joy. Do this day and night, every time you feel the chemistry of anxiety rising up in you. Children are immensely sensitive and perceptive. When your child senses and sees your hope and joy and calm, he will relax and feel the same way too. With healthy brain chemistry flowing through you and your child, you can now begin to make your dream for your child come true. I would love to hear from you. Let me know how this works for you.