As a new mom, the concept of parenting and the act of becoming a parent has been on my mind and in my heart lately…which is why this article caught my eye. What I thought I would gain was only a fraction of the powerful message and profound perspective shift I took away from this read.
I thought I would be gifted tips and tricks in parenting, which I was. Even bigger than that, I was confronted with the observation that our society expects a parenting approach based on what an adult wants rather than what a child needs. Followed by the suggestion that the way we parent directly impacts our child’s brain development. In exploring why children act the way they do – tantrums and all – I heard an invitation to walk alongside our kiddos with confidence in our parenting and compassion and understanding for their process in an effort to create harmony for both them and us.
We have all heard the term “positive parenting.” This article talks about how positive parenting impacts brain development. It suggests that “children ‘build’ a brain that’s best suited to the environment they experience.” That statement caused me to pause and really think about the environment I am creating for my child. As difficult as it may feel in those moments of sheer exhaustion and frustration, I was reminded that if we are able to offer our kiddos empathy and responsiveness, they will be better able to devote energy to growing the part of their brain that manages emotional regulation and simultaneously develop the belief that they can trust their world. This allows them to develop confidence to explore their universe, ultimately becoming independent.
I also found the explanation of tantrums interesting and super helpful. First things first, it reminds us that tantrums are not a reflection of us or our ability as a parent! The article describes tantrums as a way for our kiddos’ bodies to restore equilibrium when they are overwhelmed with emotion. Describing tantrums as our chance to deeply connect with our littles by reflecting back to them what you see them feeling, holding space for those feelings to be acknowledged and accepted, and time for them to feel safe in their experience of emotion. If we can do that (easier said than done, I know), we both deepen our connection with our kiddos and further solidify their belief that the world is safe.
As much as it saddens us to think about our littles as grown ups, everyday we are shaping who they will be and how they will be in the world. Helping to create kiddos who believe the world is safe, trust that they are loved and appreciated just as they are, tantrums and all, means they develop into adults who can tolerate their own feelings and others’. They are better equipped to create deep, authentic connections with others, which in my opinion, is what creates purpose and meaning in life.
With that, my intention is to hold these messages in my heart and do my best to apply the principles of compassion, empathy, and understanding…especially during tantrums. Anyone want to join me?
To read the full article click here: