The Basics of Intuitive Parenting, part 1

Intuitive parenting is our natural gift when life is unruffled. Follow our gut. Breathe. Listen to the little voice in our head. Act on our child's requests, especially when it resonates deeply.

But how do we remember to breathe or ignore our own frustrations when soccer practices, recitals and mac 'n' cheese dinners jam every waking thought?

"I'd love to find a better way to get my children to listen without yelling. I feel so busy, I don't have time to tell them twice," says Andrea, a mother of two, five and nine years old.

"My children love their after school activities - soccer, ballet, guitar, baseball - but it is too much! I feel like a bus driver, not a mother," says Sara, mother to three children.

When time is overobligated, not only do we react without thinking, we make mistakes. We don't listen to our intuition. Instead we act out of frustration, annoyance or exhaustion.

"Where is your violin?!" I said to my son after we arrived at school. Meanwhile, my thoughts were racing. "Why didn't he remember his violin? I guess I should have reminded him but I was just too busy to remember."

Does this sound familiar?

However, we can learn to be frustrated or exhausted, still be able to hear our intuition and respond with the right words or actions.


Intuition is essentially a choice. Choose the correct path or make the right decisions.

To listen to intuition - and remember to do it - start by practicallly taping your mouth shut. Post notes on the fridge, TV and computer screens, as well as the corner of the family room entrance. "Close," or "listen," are two innocuous words that may work for you.

Then use body language and your ears. Listen to your children and listen to yourself.

If you are at your wits end, you know your body feels pulled in three directions: child, self, to-do list. If you give a few minutes to your child, you may even feel rejuvenated yourself, and then you can attend to your to-do list.

In the meantime, be conscious of what your thoughts are saying.

"I'm tired!"
"I don't have time for this."

Be conscious of them, but don't act on them. When you zip your mouth closed and simply listen to yourself, you become empowered to make more conscious decisions, and more open to listen to your intuition.

"Ok. I'm tired. I may not have the energy I normally have, but it is simple tiredness."

Once you acknowledge what your thoughts are saying, you can move on.

"I am tired. I can also listen to my child by sitting down. Maybe I can even drink tea or cold water while I do that."

What do your children want? Your full attention. Stop what you are doing and sit with them while they tell you about their scraped knee on the playground, or their new art project. Give them a hug or put your hand on their shoulder. You hardly have to say a thing to give them the attention they crave.

Keep your mouth closed except for the occasional "hmmm, that sounds fun," or "tell me more."

When your mouth is closed your child gets your attention, and you may remember to "just breathe." Maybe you will forget this time, with your thoughts suddenly becoming louder and clearer, but perhaps you will remember. In the space between your thoughts, there may be one deep breath that you remember.

And that is how it starts.

No comments:

Post a Comment