Sunday, April 13, 2014

Happy Parent (or Teacher), Happy Child

Two pianos were sitting next to each other in a room.  A person sitting at one piano pressed one key, causing a tone to fill the air.   Instantly, the string responsible for creating the same tone on the OTHER piano began to vibrate.  This isn’t the start of a joke, but an experiment that has been tested by physics experts.  The tone created by the first piano is a wave of vibrations that are absorbed by the strings on the other piano.  The one string on that other piano capable of producing the same tone that filled the air, responds by amplifying its own vibration.

People behave in a similar manner as pianos.  When one person enters a room expressing emotion, it is quite likely that one or more other persons in that room are likely to instantly take on that emotion.  Has this ever happened to you; your significant other or child began to express an intensified level of joy, excitement, worry, fear or anger, and before you realized it, you too were feeling a similar sense of that same emotion?

We are emotional creatures and we are each capable of taking on the emotion of someone we care about.  A close friend stops by with sad news and instantly we feel sad.  Our child arrives home announcing ecstatically that she’s won an award and we too are now feeling great joy.  Our significant other wakes up in a bad mood and we seem to absorb those vibrations, suddenly becoming moody ourselves.

The parents I work with complain to me about their children; the kids won’t cooperate, they scream “NO” at their parents, they talk back, they have frequent meltdowns, and they won’t help out, just to name a few of the common challenges.  Some of the common causes of these types of frustrating behaviors are created by the parents, and include: a lack of consistency in rules, little or no boundaries, talking too much, too many outside activities for the kids to keep up with, too much ‘screen time,’ and not enough parent/child connection time.

But one of the biggest causes is a lack of peace and calmness in the adults who care for the children.  Like the pianos, parents who have not been taking good care of themselves transmit negative frequencies to their families and then wonder why they aren’t getting the level of cooperation and peacefulness they desire.  If you want peaceful children, you must first become a peaceful parent.
When I prescribe this solution to some parents however, I’m quickly met with resistance.  I hear comments such as, “When I can afford a nanny or a housekeeper, then I can become more calm and peaceful.”  I remember the challenge myself; employed full-time, working hard to maintain a peaceful home, and raising three young children who liked to fight and challenge me every step of the way.

I realized that it was my responsibility to do whatever it took to learn how to calm myself and to take better care of me.  I quickly discovered that during weeks when I made time to take care of myself physically, spiritually, socially, and emotionally, it became easier for me to know how to handle situations at home and my children became easier to care for.  So what will YOU do this week to take better care of you?  Start by giving yourself permission to MAKE the time and follow through.

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