How do you know your child feels loved?
.... Before you answer this question, I want to ask you, did you feel loved by your parents?
And when I say "loved" - I mean, you felt seen, heard, and understood. That you felt safe, held, and guided.
Because we can "intellectually" know our parents love us - and not feel loved by them.
In feeling loved, we feel accepted. We feel honoured. We feel as though they met us where we are, and that who were was enough. We didn't need to be any other way.
So - On a scale of 1-10; how loved did you feel by your parents? 1 being extremely unloved, and 10 being extremely loved.
Now, On a scale of 1-10; how much Love do you feel they had for themselves? 1 being self-loathing or a lack of sense of self; and 10 being whole, and a healthy sense of self.
What does this insight provide?
You see, we can only love others based on where we are at with ourselves. We can only give what we have - and if we are running on empty, giving from empty - our children "feel" that.
I'm going to invite you in on an idea.
When you are overflowing, when you make it a priority to be in alignment, the Love you give isn't from resentment or obligation. It is from a place of abundance.
AND when it's from a place of abundance - how do you think your child receives your expression of Love?
Imagine the following scenarios.
If you have an infant, imagine that they can't stop crying. They are currently going through a wonder week (growth spurt) and it's challenging.
Or if you have a toddler, you've just made them lunch, and they don't want to eat it and push it away.
Or if you have a teenager who is pushing the boundaries and getting upset that you're limiting devices.
If you're at your highest level of wellbeing, where you are overflowing - how would you communicate?
And, if you're running on empty, and you are running on empty - how would you communicate?
Out of the two spaces, which would allow your child to feel loved and honoured, even if you are both not seeing eye-to-eye or when you have to create boundaries?
Let's say, you and your child are having a disagreement - Do you as a parent, think you are "right" and that they "should listen" OR is it more important that your child also feels heard - and that you are willing to work through a "win-win" that's age-appropriate?
It's easy to "Love" when things are in flow. The mastery of parenting is about creating Love when there is conflict.
AND it is in the times of conflict that our child is assessing; "Am I truly loved and for who I am?"
This isn't about being passive and having the child get what they want. The old paradigm of parenting is all about control, enforcing obedience - so much so that our needs and shoulds drive their behaviour. In this paradigm, children rarely and truly "receive" and "integrate" the Love a parent gives.
Conscious parenting - or parenting where we value the relationship and bond we have with our children; and we see it as a relationship we are building, is one of compassion, of understanding, and kindness. It isn't about perfection - and it is about learning and committed to understanding one another.
In this new paradigm, in the conscious paradigm, we have a higher potential of contributing to the parent-child relationship such that our child feels loved for who they are - and not needing to be someone different to receive that Love.
It is also a paradigm where YOU thrive as this paradigm is all about you giving from the overflow.
So this week - check-in. On a scale of 1-10; what's my level of wellbeing? How centred do I feel?
...and what is something that I can do to give myself some grace and space?
This is an active practice of Love. Self-Love - the most powerful thing you can do for parenting!