"Yummii - Maybe you could help. I feel we're pretty conscious parents - and we really are attuned with Sarah. She is 6 years old, and lately, it's been horrible.
There is no joy in parenting! We're trying really hard - and she is constantly angry, frustrated, and we feel she has checked out.... and now we're checking out!
She was so affectionate and would give us cuddles all the time - and now it is endless sighs, a lot of huffing... then we react and get angry, she gets mad, storms off - it's a chore to be her parent at the moment. Is it just a phase? What's going on?!"
So often, we think it's the child. I get it. It's much easier to see that the child is the one with the problem... however, there is no power there for us as a parent.
Michael and Natalie are highly conscious parents. They understood the importance of the first 7 years. Attuned with their parenting and loved who they were as parents. And recently, their daughter Sarah has proven to be a challenge.
They reached out to me - perplexed as to what happened and why this is the case. What's going on?!
In their world, Sarah "changed".
So to lighten things up a little, isn't it funny that those of us that are "Spiritual", "Conscious" and on this path of transformation, when our children are thriving -we are so proud of ourselves! We credit it to the inner work that we do :)
And when our children aren't thriving - it surely is them, not us, right?! LOL... (The more we can laugh at ourselves, the better I say! :) )
SO... what happened. Sweet little Sarah - what was going on?
Sarah was angry. Frustrated. Michael and Natalie were feeling as though she was taking it out on them. It started feeling personal.
At first, Michael and Natalie made space and could hold space for their daughter. And then it got too much. They were no longer able to - they started taking it personally that their daughter was angry and frustrated. They felt that she needed to be "fixed".
As parents, we take things personally when we start doing subtle things like judging our children's behaviour, blaming them, seeing that they are the challenge.
Our children aren't waking up each day and saying, "I'm going to be the worst of myself today and test my parents!... I'm going to be frustrated and angry... and I'll show them!..."
Our children aren't doing that. It's NEVER personal.
What they are doing, though, is more like this...
"I'm really struggling. It hurts. I have no idea what is going on.. I feel alone... I want to push everyone away... and I don't even know how to navigate this... and it feels unsafe. No one understands me."
I talk to Michael and Natalie. Ask them what has been going on in the family. Any changes. Any shifts. I ask about the family rhythm - including any stresses.
Michael says, "We were homeschooling and travelling, and when COVID hit, we had to fly home abruptly. It was a joint decision - we had all agreed on it. We were conscious enough to include Sarah in the decision-making process. She even agreed and said, let's go home! Maybe her behaviour is because she started a new school - and maybe from being in total freedom to a new structure that might be the cause of the stress. We have been really supportive, though... however, nothing is working!"
I knew instantly what had happened. I knew instantly what was going on energetically with Sarah.
Grief. Heartbreak. She wasn't able to make sense of it all.
Sarah didn't realise how much it would hurt to say goodbye to the bonds she created until she landed back in her home country.
We, adults, call it "reality hitting".
So here is little 6-year-old Sarah, experiencing deep grief and heartache - unsure how to navigate it AND then having to navigate new experiences of belonging and trying to create a new life. "Reality has hitten" Sarah's 6-year-old self.
I mean, we would never enter a new relationship until we have healed from the past, right?!... It's no different for children. Grief is grief.
We, as parents, especially if our children occur as "more mature" than they are - we become complacent that they feel deeply.
We take for granted that their emotional maturity does have its limits - as do ours.
Sarah - as much as she supported the original idea of moving back home - she didn't know how to process "loss". The loss of her friendships, the loss of having to say "bye," and not being able to see the friends she made while homeschooling.
AND even though she made that choice... it hurt.
It's no different to us... We make choices, and sometimes we regret those choices OR we didn't anticipate how "challenging" it would be.
Michael and Natalie couldn't hold space to recognise Sarah's grief and heartbreak, and the more time passed - the more frustrated they got without realising that the root cause of her anger and frustration was due to a sense of deep sadness.
In our consultation, I shared with them what to say, what to do, and how to restore the connection.
In this one call - they applied everything I suggested.
Within a week.. here is what they shared.
"We took on your tips.. and Sarah is now hugging and being her affectionate self. She cried - A LOT. We had no idea it was hurting her that we had to move back. We organised the "care packages" and "letters" you suggested she write to her friends.. and have them send it to her.. and we shared stories of loss and grief. She is now talking to us again and smiling.. A LOT more. AND ... it was like you said, we had to heal our relationship to grief and heartbreak.... because we realised it was the only way we would know how to empathise with her."
Michael and Natalie, too, had to face their shadows. To lean into their vulnerability with each other and meet it with Love for each other.
As a parent, we can't hold space for our child or even recognise what is going on in their inner world - until we have healed. Until we know how to hold space for ourselves and the inner-child with unmet needs - we can't recognise it or learn how to hold space for our child.
It is so much more than "parenting" tips.
When we can fully embrace the magic of the gift that is parenting - and recognise that it is a gift our children have given us so we can heal, parenting becomes a Spiritual Awakening.
An awakening of more love, more wholeness, more connection to ourselves.
Parenting isn't just about our children - Parenting is now a realm in which we love our lives into life - that the areas of Relationships, Abundance, and being in our body, feeling connected and THRIVING is what our children REALLY want for us.
This is how we heal generational patterns. This is how we Quantum leap. This is the work that is to be done to create a legacy where "Our children learn how to love themselves"... by observing and witnessing "how we love ourselves."
So, what is, within you, that's seeking to be healed? That's seeking to be met with Love?