This week I’m sharing a video that explores why trauma repeats through families. It is often completely unintentional, but a parent’s wounding from the hurts in their life can make it hard for them to be fully present and available to their children.
Despite their efforts, part of their energy is tied up with their past and has them metaphorically turned towards the past and away from the now. The kids feel this and grow with a sense of lack. Once they become parents the same process repeats unless they take action to heal, so they can face now being present fully and available to their kids who will then grow with a sense of fullness, of being seen, held and safe, knowing they belong and that they are okay.
Family Constellations is a modality that can help unentangle you from the past so that you can turn and be present to your now, more able to give and receive love.
In this video, Jodi-Anne explores ‘Why does trauma repeat through families?’ It is one of over 100 questions she has asked about life and channelled an answer through automatic writing. All of these answers to questions about life, how to live peacefully and happily are available for free on the ‘Life Insights’ page of her website.
The science of multigenerational trauma, showing how stress is passed on in utero, imprinting the foetus with the trauma and stress the Mother experiences during pregnancy and that which has not been dealt with from the previous generations. (2:50 mins)
The family soul is the collective energy that surrounds a lineage of people from the same family. It contains all the memories and experiences of everyone in the family.
When there is trauma or exclusion a wound occurs to the family soul, a distortion of the energy, so instead of love flowing through the family line, pain now flows from the ancestors to the current and future generations. This also occurs when the orders of love are reversed, for instance if a parent is absent and a child does not receive the nurturing and connection it needs. The absence may be due to war, abandonment, physically if a child is given up for adoption or if a parent themselves is sick, unavailable emotionally or physically. When a parent is ill or emotionally unavailable, often the child will try to ‘give’ to the parent to help them cope or feel better. The child takes on responsibilities that are not theirs to carry – it may be helping out a lot around the house or caring for the other children or even caring for the parent. The orders of love are reversed in this instance as the flow of energy is child to parent, instead of it being the parent giving and the child receiving.
It also occurs when someone is excluded from the family, because everyone does belong to the family system, no matter what they have done. Excluding someone is like throwing a block, a big boulder into the flow of the family soul, the river of lifeforce energy flowing to all people. The block diminishes the amount of energy available to all people. Worse it creates a tear in the fabric of the family soul that will only be healed when that excluded person is bought back into your heart. If this does not occur, someone in future generations will subconsciously choose to relate to the excluded person and will end up feeling like they are not accepted or don’t belong, they will repeat the fate of the excluded individual as the family system attempts to heal the wound.
It is just like our personal journeys where life presents us with a repeating situation until we learn the lesson. This is the same thing, but at the family level.Discovering this enables those who are suffering to resolve it by welcoming the excluded person back into their heart, energetically welcoming them back to the family system and restoring them to their rightful place. This allows the lifeforce energy to then flow freely again to all members. This occurs at the soul level, energetic level, it does not have to be physically and often it is an ancestor long dead who was excluded and in need of reconnection to their rightful place in the family.
If there has been trauma in the family system, be it war, violence in the home, tragedy from loss of children, divorce, early death of parents, etc then this trauma can also pass through the family system to the current and future generations. It is as if the unresolved pain seeps through the blood of all involved instead of love, strength and support.This too can be healed so that those affected are freed from their over reactions to situations, the inappropriate feelings or thoughts they may have that don’t seem to be appropriate or consistent with their life experiences. For instance persistent suicidal thoughts or depression or anxiety could actually be resulting from entanglements with past family members, you are feeling their feelings, they are not actually your thoughts. These cease once the wound in the family soul is healed by acknowledging the tragedy, the loss and giving it it’s rightful place, allowing all to feel and move through the situation, instead of being stuck and controlled by it.
The family soul is a container of energy around all members of the same lineage, when all is well in a family you can feel the flow of love, flowing from the ancestors to yourself and the other current family members. This energy strengthens you, supports you and encourages you to live your life as you wish to do so, for you are the leading edge of consciousness, the person now evolving while here on Earth and expanding the consciousness within the family. The ancestors want you to succeed and do well, they want you to thrive and advance the family line. This is life as it was meant to be. This support is available once you heal any blockages to its flow. It is worth doing and quite easy when you know how.
There are many methods that can help. Family constellations is one of these, where the field supplies the information about what is missing and blocked and needs to be resolved within the family system. The challenge then is to feel what needs to be felt, forgive all involved and welcome them back into your heart. It is a similar task to our personal issues, just with some larger influences. It is a part of our evolution, our connectedness and oneness with the fabric of life. So be it. Amen.
Trauma that cannot be processed by one family member, because it is overwhelming, they do not have the skills or knowledge of how to process it, or do not have the will to feel it and release it, will be passed on genetically to the next generation.It also of course affects the rest of the current generation due to the unavailability of the traumatised person who will be isolated within themselves, possibly numb emotionally and distant in their ineracting with others, be they their children or siblings.
Trauma stays within the body and freezes part of the person’s energy, it is literally stuck, frozen in time within them, locked into when the trauma occurred. It stays in the body until it is processed and if it is not processed then it remains locked in place, creating internal tension and dis-ease.
No individual wants this to occur or be passed on to their existing children or grand children. It is not an intentional thing, it is an automatic thing. If Dad has died in the war then Mum is going to be mourning, she is not going to be able to be present fully for the children or meet their emotional needs. The children will sense Mum’s pain and feel their own loss and mourning, so they will try to get Mum to feel better, so they can get the attention they need. If it doesn’t work they eventually give up trying and switch off, shut down emotionally, feeling empty, unloved, unsatisfied with life.
The pattern then repeats when they marry and try to get the attention they missed out on from their husband or wife. No matter how loving the partner is, they cannot make up for the emotional pain or love deficit from their partner’s childhood, so it will feel unloving or not enough. They may try hard to give enough, to do extra, be extra affectionate and giving, they may try to fill that hole in their partner. Eventually they realise no matter what they do it is not enough, it doesn’t work and they are exhausted from trying, so they switch off, shut down, isolate and become emotionally numb as well, so the pattern continues. No malice, no cruelty, just life when there is trauma within one or both partners in a relationship.
So how do you resolve it? By becoming aware of the trauma within, by creating a safe enough space that you can feel it, acknowledge it and let it dissolve. By seeing your defense mechanism and games you have used to protect yourself from it.
Have you kept yourself so busy that you can’t feel?
Have you been saving the world, feeling righteous putting all your energy into others or a cause, but neglecting yourself, avoiding yourself and your inner world?
Have you been pleasing others, doing for others, hoping that they will love and accept you and you will feel that you are okay, lovable and worthwhile?
Have you been isolating yourself from others, keeping a low profile, so as not to be seen or to avoid any possible further trauma? By being preoccupied with avoiding it, you stay stuck in it and will have difficulty exeriencing any joy in life.
There are many defensive mechanisms that people use to try and keep safe or to avoid their feelings. Looking good so to avoid rejection, fearing you won’t be accepted as you are, so you try to be, look, do everything perfectly. This is exhausting. It is no wonder people end up depressed or ill, their life force is being frittered away with fear and their over reactions to it.
To clear the trauma and stop passing it onto our kids we need to become emotionally aware and savvy in processing how we feel.Learn to go within and sit inside yourself, breathe, let the emotion surface and breathe through it, let it be released, felt into completion. It can’t be avoided. It has to be acknowledged and felt. Thank the defense mechanism for keeping you safe, but choose to be present for yourself and your inner child now.
It is this inner child part of you that needs your reassurance, your love, your acceptance. It needs you to become the good parent to yourself, to know that you will look after him/her and protect her, you wil be the Adult guardian she felt was absent in earlier years. As she feels safer and you feel and release the pain, you will find you are not triggered by life any more, you can live more in the now and be there for those you love. Your children, if you have any, will notice this shift, they will feel your presence and they will absorb your love, your attention, and you can meet their emotional needs, fill up their inner cup with love so it is overflowing, then they can acept themselves and enjoy their lives.
If their cup does not get filled and they feel empty, forlorn, they will at a soul level choose to take some of your pain, some of your trauma so you feel better and then you might be able to love them more. They abandon themselves to care for you. This is a reversal of the orders of love and is damaging for all involved. Parents are meant to give and children receive. However, it is often reversed in many families when the parents are hurt, injured or unavailable, whether that be due to illness, addiction or absence.
Children try to make the parent happier, they may try to be neater or tidier, they may help out with the housework or try to cheer the parent up with jokes, they may try to steal the attention through getting into trouble to distract you from your pain or they may even sacrifice their own health, choosing to get ill so you will focus on them and not feel your own pain. Children are so loving, but this is not healthy behaviour.
In doing this chldren miss out on being kids, they grow up way too fast and this stunts their natural growth and emotional development. It locks trauma, pain and loss within them and so the cycle repeats. When they have their own children they will sense the parent’s pain and do the same thing, hence it passes through the generations. No malice, not deliberate, done out of love, of wanting to help and of not knowing how to heal the underlying issue of emotional pain and trauma.
Thankfully in today’s world we do have the knowledge of how to heal trauma, how to bring love back into the family system and to correct any reversals of flow, so that the younger generations can receive the love and support they need and deserve from the ancestors behind them.
Family Constellations and other methods can help individuals to heal their family systems, enabling hope and love to exist for all family members. There is much more that can be said about this in future blogs, for now this is enough, to understand that trauma passes through families until love is restored.
Each family member can find peace and happiness when the blocks to love are removed. It can be done, support is available and you can learn the skills to feel your emotions and release that which is locked away inside you. It is possible, it is worth doing and your children thank you, because then they don’t need to do it for you, the burden they carry for you is transformed, freeing them to enjoy their lives more. Such love, such loyalty, such strength and commitment to each other, that is what families are about and it is beautiful. Blessed BE, Amen.
Fear takes hold of us when we are put into a state of phsyical danger. It is a natural mechanism designed to help us. It is the fight or flight or freeze response associated with the amygdala in the brain.
When a wild animal or cave man is attacking you, it is a good response. Blood flows away from your organs, digestion, immune system and brain and goes to your muscles, so that you have the best chance of winning the fight or out running your attacker. In this response you are helped to survive.
However, for many people their body’s are locked in fight or flight mode all the time. This is not helpful or healthy. It makes the body stressed and unable to do all that it needs to do with ease and grace.
We need to help calm and soothe our bodies back to a state of peace and relaxation. We need to let go of the tension that accumulates so readily in modern life.Rushing around all the time, trying to meet deadlines, putting ourselves under unnecessary pressure to achieve, to succeed in our jobs, our homes, our families, to have the best of everything.
Modern society measures success based on wealth and posessions. This is not an accurate description of success, for it ignores the lack of joy, close relationships, poor health, fatigue and exhaustion that comes from always being on the go.
A truer measure of success is peace and happiness. Is a person happy with their life, are they operating from their passion, fulfiling their creativity and purpose in life, are they loved, loving and kind with many close friends and healthy relationships with family, work colleagues and those they meet on the street. Do they have time to spend with their kids, who know that they are loved, important, valued and heard. Or are they waving goodbye to the kids in front of the TV as they go off to work.
Which version of life do you relate to most? If the first then it is not surprising that your body may be locked in a fearful state. There is no deep relaxation when someone is constantly on the go, rushing around. The body doesn’t get a chance to relax and recharge. Sleep may be broken and less of it than is needed for good health.
During sleep the body realigns with its natural state. With the mind switched off it can finally connect with Source and let all the residue of the day be cleared out. Some of it appears as dreams. Some of it just releases. But deep sleep is needed for this restorative process to occur.
If a person is locked in to chronic fear, they may struggle to sleep soundly, which then exacerbates the situation, as the body does not get the time to heal itself that it needs. Sleep really is very important. It is worth going to bed an hour earlier so you can sleep more. It is certainly more important than watching TV.
Most of people’s fears today are not about life and death situations. It is usually about stressful situations faced due to pushing themselves too hard in modern living – traffic, job pressures, rushing around, not having time to do everything that is needed. These are the superficial fears, the feeling like the ‘wheels will fall off’ if you actually stopped to rest. These are easily rectified by actually choosing to do less. By realising that you are living at a pace that the human body has not been designed for. So, choose to do less. Cut out unnecessary tasks and do only that which bring you joy and are truly required for you to live a happy and healthy life.
The deeper seated fears are those that come from childhood conditioning – ‘Am I good enough?’, ‘Am I lovable?’, ‘Am I acceptable as a human being?’. These are core fears, doubts about your being, your essence, that have resulted from not receiving enough of your parent’s attention, love and kindness when you were little.
With modern lifestyles this is only getting worse, as more and more families have 2 working parents and the children spend more time in front of the TV and in childcare than they do talking or having fun with Mum and Dad.
Children’s developing brains do not have the capacity to understand that Mum and Dad are working so hard because they think they need to have the big, fancy house and cars and holiday homes, etc. The children simply see that Mum and Dad do not want to spend time with them and they assume it is because of a lack inside themselves.‘If I was more lovable, a better person, if I was more ….. then Mum and Dad would spend more time with me. They don’t value doing so, don’t make time for it, so I must not be valuable or lovable’.
This sets the scene for a fearful life with low self esteem. The child grows looking outside themselves for validation, constantly looking for evidence that their fears are real. ‘See the way that person looked at me, it confirms my fear that the world is a cruel place or danagerous place. See how that person pushed past me, etc’. These people may not have even noticed the first person and their actions aren’t deliberate or targeted, but because of the fearful thinking the person takes it to heart and draws false conclusions about the world and their safety in it.
In time with enough fearful thinking, it becomes habituated and the body goes about reacting as if it is always in danger. The day is lived on high alert, which is not healthy for the person concerned.As it takes hold the body gets overloaded and the result can be panic attacks and high anxiety levels. The body is so full of adrenalin and other fear related chemicals, that it becomes toxic and normal thinking abilities cease. The blood is flowing away from the conscious mind, locked into the primitive or hind brain in fight or flight mode. This is traumatising and exhausting.
Underneath all of this fear is faulty thinking, false assumptions about self and your ability to cope with life. Negative self messages may have been programmed into your subconscious mind when you were little, leaving you feeling weak and helpless.
From 0-7 the developing brain of a child simply absorbs what it hears, like a tape recording. What a child hears is what they believe about themselves and their abilities. It becomes the self-talk they say to themselves later on. It becomes the programming in their subconsicous mind. If a child is told it is weak, clumsy, useless, unwanted, a burden, not good enough, etc, then these become the core beliefs that the person will live with throughout their life, unless they learn how to change them.
If a child is told it is hopeless or can’t achieve, then they will struggle to be successful throughout their life. There will be this internal self sabotage due to their programming, which won’t let them be successful. Those negative self beliefs will kick in and stop them achieving their goals. Worse, it will create high levels of stress and anxiety whenever they try to achieve anything, as the tape recording in their subconscious mind will be constantly playing – telling them they are going to fail or are in danger of making a fool of themself if they try, etc.
Some people are aware of this negative self talk, for others it occurs quietly below the surface and they don’t even hear it. But it is occurring regularly throughout the day, adding to the fear and anxiety.
Over coming the fear and anxiety requires turning up the volume of the self talk so you are aware of it, then choosing to change it. Every time you hear a negative self belief, stop it, and say a more positive statement to yourself. Instead of ‘You always do that, you always stuff up’, say ‘In the past i’ve struggled, that’s true, but now i’m choosing to be kinder to myself. I can do this. I just have to practice and build my skills’. Become your own best friend and encourager of yourself.
The subconscious beliefs can be reprogrammed, changed to be positive, supportive beliefs that help you achieve your goals.There are many ways to do this including Psych-K, Lifeline Technique, Hypnosis [and] use of affirmations for long enough and often enough that the statement becomes habitual thought.
While affirmations take a long time to become habituated, the other techniques are much quicker. With Psych-K it only takes a few minutes to replace negative beliefs with more positive ones. However, lots of belief balances are needed as most people have a lifetime of negative self beliefs to reprogram. As you do, the tension in your body can release as the fearful programming is let go of. If you know you are safe, loved, wanted and cared for there is less reason for being on high alert. The body can start to relax as the danger has passed.
This deep level of core belief change is needed for this deep relaxation to occur. That is why just thinking more positively is not enough. Our conscious mind represents only 5% of our brain’s processing capacity. 90-95% of it occurs in the subconscious mind, which makes your body function without you having to think about it. The subconscious mind makes our hearts beat, our lungs breathe, our digestion work, etc. It does all of this without our having to think about it and it is so powerful it over rides our conscious thoughts. We cannot make ourselves stop breathing or not be hungry, our body forces us to breathe and to know that we need to eat. So, just using positive thinking is not enough to over come these deeper bodily reactions and programming. Changing core self beliefs is needed to help the body relax and let go of fear.
Diet and exercise also assist the body to be healthier, as does extra sleep, vitamins and minerals. There are many things that can be done to help the body let go of fear – massage can help a body in heightened fight or flight mode to relax a little and slow down.
For those that have been abused or suffered trauma, body work is very important as the person needs to learn that it can be safe to be touched. This is crucial for their body to relax and soften and allow them to feel safe again. It will take time for this relaxation to occur. Someone who has been traumatised and hasn’t released the underlying emotion may automatically flinch when touched. They automatically pull away for fear of further abuse or trauma. This is very sad, and this patterning will continue unless action is taken to heal it.
The nervous system of someone locked in fight or flight mode is constantly activated. Processes like Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) can help the body to calm by activating the body’s natural release mechanism. The body will shake out the tension and stress, if allowed to, so that it can return to a state of ease and grace.
When a person’s nervous system calms it is easier for them to relate to and connect with others, as their body is open and more receptive. It no longer fears or assumes danger from interacting with others.
TRE and other trauma release processes that focus on healing the autonomic nervous system are an important aspect of healing from fear, so you can have greater peace and relaxation.
Underneath the fear and anxiety is buried emotions from the initial events that led to the conditioning. It may be sadness or anger or shame and embarassment. Whatever it is, these emotions need to be felt and released so the body can go back to its natural state of peace and relaxation.
Know it is possible to overcome exagerated fear responses. It is possible to heal these automatic reactions. It just takes time and effort to calm and soothe your body, to reprogram your subconscious beliefs and use more self supportive thinking and self talk patterns. Time in nature can also soothe us as can body work, diet and exercise. There is much that can be done. Enjoy. Blessed BE. Amen.
Talk to your child to be and welcome them into your heart and the world.The embryo can hear your thoughts, feel your love and speak your language while growing – the language of love, of light, and harmony. The higher your vibration the more vital the energy flowing to the baby enabling luscious growth and development.
Sing, dance and play with your child to be, tell it what you are doing and why. Introduce it to people and explain who they are and the role they will play in the child’s life once born. In doing this you are introducing your child to its tribe, to build its sense of belonging, of being loved, and of the world being a loving, welcoming place.
Do your best to keep your thoughts positive and have fun. The vibration of joy, love and gratitude are very beneficial. Know that it is okay to feel low, sad or angry at times. It won’t harm the baby’s growth and development, but do your best to bring yourself back to balance and peace when you can. As long as the balance of your time you feel good, then the baby can grow healthily in your belly.
If you are in despair, depression, fear or rage for too long it will affect the baby’s development. Even your science now shows this leads to development of more brawn and less brain, as the fetus develops so it can fight and survive in the harsh world that its parents perceive. So try not to be in that space. If you do feel or think that way then see a therapist to help you shift those negative feelings and come into balance.
The more secure and safe you can feel during the pregnancy, the more the child will feel that when born.Your beliefs and experiences during pregnancy greatly shape the developing child. If Mum is anxious, baby may become anxious in disposition. The baby feels all of the Mother’s emotions and is affected by them. So the more loving and joyful you can be the better.
Have fun with your child. Let them know they are loved and wanted and you will encourage them to be whoever they want to be. Don’t setup pressures or expectations that the child must fulfill. Don’t create drama about how you are going to cope financially or emotionally. Visualise it all going well. Visualise happily ever after. Of course there will be challenges, but the more positive you can be the better. At all times send love to your developing child – just think of them and visualise love going into them. Gold light is good to send to them too. This strengthens the bond and connection.
Eat well and rest when needed. Your body will do the rest of it. Nothing for you to force or make happen. Surrender and allow. Don’t stress too much or fight against what is needed. If you have to rest all day, so be it. Your body is developing a baby. It is doing one of the most important jobs there is. This is where your life force energy is focused at the moment, so accept you may not be able to do everything else you want to at the moment. Let it all go. Trust that what needs to happen will and everything else can wait or isn’t truly needed.
Love, light, rest, play, visualise, have fun, read stories, colour in, sing and dance. All of these things are beneficial as is meditation and stillness. You are teaching your baby how to live by what you do. Are you showing them life is about having fun and being happy? Or are you showing them you have to push hard and work to achieve your goals? Where is your focus – your head or your heart? All of this affects the developing fetus and the personality of your child.
A lot of programming occurs while in the womb and this can affect the person the rest of their lives. So ideally make it good by being happy yourself. Again, don’t get upset if you have a bad day or a time of fear and panic. Just breathe and balance back up and talk to your baby explaining what you are doing and how you are regulating your emotions and thoughts. This role modelling of emotional intelligence and conscious awareness introduces the child to these concepts and abilities. It is a great head start for them and building a positive self esteem. As they grow and live life you can continue to teach these skills in playful ways enabling them to succeed in life – to live consciously, with self awareness and connection to their hearts.
There is much you can do through pregnancy to help your developing child. Mostly it is all centered around being loving, taking good care of yourself and connecting to your baby.Play music you like, read kids books to your baby in your belly. When they are born that music and those stories will be soothing to them, familiar, a safe space. Make your home a nourishing, beautiful space you enjoy being in, then baby will feel loved and secure there too. Most of this Mothers do automatically. It is easy and natural. Nothing fancy needed. Just love. You will do fine. Enjoy the experience. Blessed BE. Amen.
A child disobeys when they feel unheard, unvalued, their view not considered important enough to be listened to. A child disobeys when they don’t understand why they are being asked to do a certain thing. They rebel when what they are asked to do ‘feels wrong’ and takes them away from their joy, their heart’s guidance.
Some times it is appropriate for a child to disobey, to learn assertiveness, to set boundaries. Some times disobeying is the healthiest action they can take to honour themselves and their needs. It is not always wrong or destructive to disobey.
If it is a small child, a toddler, the best way to respond is to calmly explain why you need them to do what you are asking them to do.“Mummy needs you to be quiet now, because she is tired and needs some rest. You know what it is like to be tired and sad, don’t you? How about having a cuddle with Mummy and a nap?” A child will empathise with this information. They will understand why it is beneficial to you for them to be quiet and what’s more you have created a win-win situation. To the child they now have the opportunity to choose connection and receiving love / affection / nurturing, which feels good to them – and as a bonus they will get to feel proud of themselves for helping Mummy – win, win, win!
Try to create such beneficial solutions so the child gets to choose something that meets your needs and theirs. By creating a win-win there is less need for struggle or resistance.
If it is an older child, 6 or 7, then you can explain things in a little more detail. You can ask them how they are feeling and what they need right now. There is a reason for their behaviour. If you can understand the thoughts behind it, you can then discuss alternative ways of seeing situations and choices of how to react. Teaching and role modelling emotional intelligence is important.
“Remember last week when Mummy stubbed her toe on the fridge, she hopped and screamed until it stopped hurting. Mummy was tempted to throw something in anger or to hit the fridge, but she didn’t did she? What did Mummy do? That’s right, Mummy stood still and breathed deeply until the pain stopped. That breathing allowed all the anger to flow out of her and back into Mother Earth. Next time when you get angry let’s try breathing through it and seeing the anger flow out of us back to Mother Earth?
Shall we practice now? When were you last angry? What was it about? Imagine that now, can you see it? How does it feel? What do you want to do? Okay, let’s practice visualising / seeing the anger as energy inside us, see it flowing our our body, down into the Earth. Great! How did you go?”
Doing these types of activities fosters closeness between you and your child, as well as helping them build skills in controlling and releasing their emotions. Remember you are their role model, they learn from what you do. If they see you raging about traffic blocks or income limits or whatever else, then that is how they learn to respond to life’s challenges too. So, be the best role model you can be. And if you slip up and you do something less than ideal explain to them what happened, so you both learn from it and so they are not scared of you and your reactions.
“I am sorry Mummy yelled at you, but this is the third time this week that you have tracked mud inside on your shoes. Mummy doesn’t enjoy cleaning the floors over and over again. I just got upset at the thought of having to do it again, and I felt like you hadn’t listened to me. When you don’t listen Mummy feels hurt like you don’t care about what Mummy says. I know you probably just forgot and you didn’t do it deliberately. And I know you certainly didn’t do it to hurt Mummy’s feelings, but that is how I felt.
Do you remember how upset you got when Tommy kept taking your truck and hiding it? It is the same sort of thing. How did that feel to you? That’s right, you didn’t like it, you felt like Tommy was mean and selfish. Mummy felt like that too, like you didn’t care you were making a mess and that Mummy would clean it up. How about we clean it up together and we put a sign on the door at your height so that you see it before coming inside from playing in the backyard? Should we make the sign together? Yes, okay, how big should it be? What colours do we need? …………”
In this way you are teaching the child problem solving and emotional intelligence skills. You are making it clear it is the behaviour that you dislike. It is not the child itself that you are unhappy with. This distinction is very important. If you imply the child is careless, stupid, lazy, clumsy, inconsiderate, etc, then they will feel bad about them self and naturally will respond with hurt feelings – sulking, tantrum, lashing out. They will feel wounded by your words and feel bad about themselves. This is not helpful, it adds to low self esteem and feeling not good enough. Make it clear it is the behaviour you didn’t like and you can choose to behave differently. Therefore “It is not you, just your choices that I would like to see change. I love you, I honour you, I am grateful you are my son, I just need you to help me out sometimes by listening to what I say and doing what I ask.”
Of course there are times when it won’t work, no matter what you say. If a child is over tired, exhausted, hungry there is no point trying to reason with them then. Let them rest. Let them rebuild their energy reserves, then you can talk about it.
Sometimes you need to postpone your needs being met and look at what the child is going through. “Honey, why are you so upset? You came in from school and threw your bag against the wall and stormed off into your room. Are you okay? Do you want to talk about it?” This would be a more helpful response than yelling at the child for leaving his or her bag and stuff lying around. If you take the time to listen to them and their emotions, they are much more likely to listen to yours, when you need to explain something to them.Be compassionate. Be empathetic. Be honest and sincere. And most of all be loving.
If it is a teenager who is being disobedient, you need to pick your battles. Let minor things go and only challenge them on issues that you believe are serious enough to warrant discussion.
Teenage years are very challenging for all concerned. As a teen the child is experiencing volatile changes in their body, raging hormones, they are questioning who they are and their value. “Am I smart enough, pretty enough, am I going to succeed in life or not?” They are going through a deep reflective time where they soul search. They may not like who they are or what they have in life, they may doubt their ability to have a happy life and these are heart breaking questions to grapple with. There is lots of fear, anguish, grief and anxiety. This can bottle up until it explodes out in anger or tears. They are going through a lot so give them space. Let them know that you love them and you are here for them if they want to talk about it. They may not want to. They may feel too embarrassed to do so or be so confused inside that they can’t put how they feel into words. Honour them and this process.
Let them know you love them regularly. Let them know you are proud of them and believe in them. Compliment them on their abilities and when you see them doing something positive.“I’m really proud of how you handled that situation. You were very polite and considerate giving that old lady the chance to sit on your seat in the bus. That was a very nice thing to do.” “Thank you for tidying up your stuff without me asking you to do it. It makes me really happy to see that you will be able to keep a neat, healthy home when you are older” “But, Mum, I just needed to find something, I wasn’t doing it deliberately.” “I know honey, I’m just glad you did it”.
If you can compliment children often, you help them to build a sense of ‘Yes, I am okay. I am a good person. I can do things’. These are all positive core beliefs which will help build self esteem and their ability to lead a healthy, happy life.
Children are no different to us adults. Some times they are wiser as they haven’t learned to filter their thoughts or ignore their emotions. They haven’t learned to suppress their needs to please others. They can be more emotionally honest in this sense – even if it is turbulent and explosive!
We all need to build our stress management and emotional intelligence skills. If you get upset at your child, ask yourself ‘Why am I reacting? What am I assuming?’ You may find that you are feeling disrespected, not cared for or loved. That is your issue from your past, for you to resolve. Your child was not deliberately disrespecting you when they ate candy before dinner. They saw candy, went yum and ate it. They feel good eating candy and wanted to feel good. That’s as complex as it gets. They didn’t stop to think about the impact or consequences of eating it and they certainly didn’t think ‘I want to piss Mum off, I know, I am going to eat all this candy, make myself sick on sugar, and refuse to eat my dinner. That will upset her. Yeah, I’m going to do that!’
Kids just do what feels good – they play, sing, dance, laugh, roll in the mud, etc. They are not plotting against you. There is no such thing as a willful child. Look at the situation from their perspective and see what they see.Squeezing the toothpaste all over the floor is fun – it makes noises, it squelches, it comes out in patterns, it ….. If you don’t want them to do it, remove it from their reach. Remove the temptation.
And take care of yourself so that you are not exhausted and reactive. Take care of yourself so you do have the energy to listen to and play with them. Take care of yourself so you can be a healthy role model for them and so you can enjoy life. It is meant to be fun after all. Blessed BE. Amen.
Channeled by Jodi-Anne (05 Aug 2015).
See more answers to pertinent life questions on the Life Insights page of this website.
Anything that parents do which makes a child feel loved, accepted, wanted and cared for is beneficial. There is no set formula, it will be different in each household.
Basic ingredients include listening to the child, telling them they are loved, spending time with them, complimenting them when they do something right / behave appropriately. Praise creates a sense of pride in the child who will want to do the right thing again to receive further praise. It helps to build healthy self esteem and a sense of ‘I can do things, I am capable’ which are great core beliefs to have.
Spending time together outdoors in nature is powerful connector for the child to Source and to the flow of life. Children love to play in nature, to watch the plants and insects go through their life cycle. Have a vegie and flower garden that kids can help you with. Teach them to value and respect the Earth as well as each other.
It is important for children to interact with others their own age, but it is preferable if this is unstructured play so they can use their imaginations and creative side of the brain. Too much structured play and competition with self – to do better each time, or competition with others forces a more linear, rational side of the brain to become dominant. Then a child is less spontaneous, more robotic, more determined to succeed at the expense of all else. Let them be children. Let them play.
Don’t set goals to achieve or place pressure on them to learn languages, music, etc if they have not expressed an interest in it or they don’t enjoy it. Let their lives be joyous and if that is their foundation it will be easier for them to be joyous throughout their lives.Don’t deaden them to achieve, work hard and sacrifice their dreams and desires to fit in or to be ‘realistic’ and succeed in life.
A successful life is one where the person is happy within and is being of service to the whole / to the community, doing something they love. It may be music, art, gardening, sport or a hobby that fills their heart and others hearts with joy – an act of beauty that touches people. It doesn’t have to be financially successful. That is a poor measure of a successful life. Yes, you want them to be comfortable and able to support themselves and any future family they have, but it is best done through a job that they enjoy, rather than one they feel they should do.
Give them the freedom to do what they want and they will succeed. Encourage any natural talents and tendencies they show from a young age – that is often their gifts showing through.If they show great interest in building things then help them through buying them the kits to construct different devices. If they show aptitude in music then buy them the musical instrument of choice for them to use. Support them to follow and maximize their passion, then they will enjoy life more fully. They will know it is okay to do what they want and that they deserve to have what they want.
Don’t worry about making them an all rounder. Some kids are athletic, some aren’t. Don’t try to force a square peg in a round hole. It hurts kids quite a lot when they are forced to do something they don’t like. They often feel pathetic, not good enough, not capable, etc which is not a beneficial set of core beliefs to foster. Better off to let them revel in what they are good at. It is okay to help them build the skills in other areas in a fun, playful way – just don’t force them to spend lots of time on it, don’t be too serious about it and make it clear that you love them no matter what. They need to know they are loved for who they are, not for what they can do. Give lots of positive feedback and tell them they are loved and special. Then they will grow with a strong sense of self esteem.
It is good for kids to do chores, to help around the house, to learn that you all have certain tasks to do to help the family enjoy life. Do not make these boring or hard work. Make chores fun by playing games as you clean up rooms or do dishes. Teach them to use their imaginations when doing a repetitive task. You can have quite a fantasy going through your mind as you do a simple task such as weeding the garden or mowing the lawn. Thank them for helping. Tell them you are proud of their kindness and support their passions.
Most children will thrive under these conditions. It is only when they are yelled at, belittled, left alone too much, etc, that they develop a low sense of self esteem and that makes everything harder as their starting thoughts are ‘I can’t’ instead of ‘I can’.
You set up their core beliefs from what they experience in the first 6 years of life. Everything they see, hear, feel gets absorbed into their minds and forms their core conditioning. Help it be positive through providing a loving home, kind words of praise and acceptance, and a fun atmosphere in which to learn and grow. Then the kids will thrive.
It’s okay for the parents to work or for a child to go to day care. It is not about quantity of time together as much as quality. If a child feels safe and loved at home and at child care then they will thrive. If they feel unsafe then they won’t. So find the right place and people to care for your child so he/she has fun, feels loved and thrives regardless of the fact that you are not there. When you do get time together make sure you do pay attention and connect deeply with your child, listening to how their day has been, asking questions and sharing stories. Cook tea together or do dishes together so that you get to have enough time connecting. Once a child feels seen / heard, their cup is full of love, then they are content to be on their own or with others. They don’t need to be with you all the time or even interacting closely with you. A child who has had their needs met will happily go play by himself or with others, as he/she is content, fulfilled, knows they are loved, accepted and okay. And that is what we wish for all children.Blessed BE. Amen.
Some thoughts on parenting – combining insights from neuroscience, new biological sciences, conscious parenting, and psychology.
Children need love and affection
Children need to feel loved and accepted in order for their brains to develop optimally. Even prior to the formation of your egg or sperm your thoughts about yourself, the world and your desire or not to have a child and your ability to care for that child or not, start shaping the personality of a possible child. Your thoughts affect what genes are selected and programmed on your egg or sperm. So even prior to conception you have the ability to affect the personality and intelligence of your child.
Children need your time and attention
Even in the womb children benefit from you connecting with them, talking to them, telling them they are loved, wanted, welcomed, that the world is a safe place, that you look forward to sharing your life with them. This prenatal attachment helps your baby’s brain to grow in optimal ways.
Blood flow from the Mother crosses the placenta carrying all the Mother’s beliefs, emotions and stressors. The baby gets the lot. It is as nature intended it – shaping the baby to learn and survive in the world as the Mother sees it. If the Mother sees a loving world and experiences that (hence the role of the Father is also key here) then the foetus will grow optimally. If she sees a harsh, scary, dangerous world the foetus will develop differently. The blood flow will be diverted from brain development to muscle development so that the child will be able to survive, be a fighter in the world, able to fight or run away from danger. In this way 50% of IQ can be diminished if the foetus is carried in fear during pregnancy. (Bruce Lipton talks about this, see his material if you want to learn more).
If the Mother is very stressed then her body is full of cortisol and this is toxic to a developing baby’s brain. It actually eats away / dissolves the brain cells. (The same happens when a baby is left to cry – cortisol is secreted and can damage the brain). What you do during your pregnancy has a major impact on the development of your child-to-be’s IQ and physiology. Up to halfof their personality is already formed before they are even born.
Children need loving births and to bond with you immediately
The birth process also affects the child and its experience of the world. Is it stressful, noisy, loud and invasive – like a hospital can be? Was the birth traumatic with the Mother and Father in fear? Were there any complications? Was the baby taken from the Mother and tested for various things – pricked in the foot for blood tests, immunised, a plastic scapula stuck down its throat to sample its stomach contents, weighed on a cold scale? All of these things affect the child’s perception of the world and whether it is safe, welcoming or not.
If drugs were used during the labour these have also entered the baby across the placenta. This can leave a baby unaware, not fully present for the first few days. And this time is some of the most crucial time for bonding and attachment with the parents. The baby needs to be held, loved, nurtured, have lots of eye contact and skin to skin contact with both the Mother and the Father. Without it bonding does not occur and this sets the baby up with abandonment issues, feelings of being unloved, etc. These early moments are so, so important. Science is now confirming what those with open hearts have always known. Babies do feel, are sensitive to pain from the very start, from their time in the womb. All that you do impacts them. Your role as parent is so, so important shaping their health and personality and the role they will play in society.
It is now being fully recognised by politicians and community health personnel that if you raise babies in a more loving and nurturing way those children will grow up with a healthier sense of self esteem and connection with society. Poor care giving leads to more crime, ill health, poverty and other undesirable characteristics. That is why Governments, including Australia, are introducing policies to support parents and improve early care giving. We will continue to see more and more early care services for families as this recognition becomes widely accepted in society.
Parents need help to look after their babies optimally. Parenting is a hard job. It requires you to give and give and give. If you are stressed, resentful, depressed or even just unhappy with your life – your baby absorbs that and may believe it is their fault. Setting up beliefs of “I’m a problem”, “I’m not good enough”. Even if they don’t do that, they learn about life from you, so they will automatically expect their life to be the same.
Children learn from your every move
From 0-6 years of age their brains have not developed conscious functioning – the ability to question data. From 0-6 years they simply believe everything that they are told or what they see and sense about the world from watching you. If they see you sad or scared or stressed, they absorb it. If they hear you say that they are bad, unwanted, have spoilt things, are selfish, stupid, you wish they were never born, etc, they absorb it and believe it. This forms their core belief system that will then affect them for the rest of their life.
Parents, most anyway, do not set out to damage their children, but when they are stressed and exhausted such statements can slip out. Especially if that is what you were told when you were little. Your parents programmed your beliefs from 0-6 years of age as you do with your children. These patterns can repeat through the generations unless you make a conscious decision to heal and change those beliefs – then your actions can be different.
Conscious parenting is a great start, learning what you can about loving and nurturing methods to promote a baby and child’s self esteem, individuality and emotional intelligence. The knowledge is key. You will be able to apply it when you are calm, centred and feeling good. But when you are stressed you may be shocked to find that you revert back to not so ideal ways of talking to and treating your baby or child. You may hear your Mother’s of Father’s words coming out of your own mouth. Because when you are stressed you react more from the subconscious mind, on auto pilot. And this is the part of the brain that was programmed from 0-6 years old. It contains all the memories, feelings, beliefs form those times and plays them like tape recordings over and over. It does not judge or think it just plays over and over. Changing these tapes to more loving ones about yourself, your ability to be a good parent, about your child is crucial to good child rearing. It is this information which is now leading to greater support for families. With less stress it is easier to be more loving and kind to your child.
Parents need support
Whether it just be friends or family who can help around the house – getting drinks, meals, cleaning up, taking older kids out so that parents can bond with a new baby or family and friends helping to hold the baby when it cries so the Mother and Father can rest.
Crying is a natural biological process for releasing tension and stress. Sometimes your baby just needs to cry. There is nothing that they need other than to be held and loved while they cry. This can be challenging to a parent, especially a first time parent, who assumes that they are doing something wrong. Their belief tapes play “I’m not good enough”, “I’m a bad parent”, “My baby doesn’t like me” or “My baby/toddler is deliberately trying to upset or disobey me”. (Some people do have these beliefs, believing that babies and toddlers are deliberately trying to upset them, but this is not possible, their brains have not developed that much yet. They are not wilfully disobeying, they are just being babies/toddlers. They don’t need judgment or punishment, they need love and acceptance.)
A constantly crying baby can wear a parent down and it is important that another caregiver is present to take over and hold the baby when the parent can no longer do so in a loving way. This does not occur in a lot of families and what happens instead is that the baby senses your stress, anger, desperation = danger. You may have started to pat or bounce them a little harder. You may have shoved a dummy or food in their mouth. You may have put them down and walked away. All of these responses tell a baby it is not safe to express my emotions. They learn to bury the tension inside their bodies, setting up a lifelong pattern of emotional regression and inability to ask for what they need. Using food to comfort a child can set it up for obesity and eating disorders in the future.
Children need to express their emotions
This pattern is usually reinforced during toddler years and beyond if the child is not allowed to express it’s emotions to you. Often a child will be unhappy with something that you have done or something you won’t let them do. Few parents let their child express this. It leads the parents to feel hurt or guilt, and they can’t handle it so they stifle the child instead. “Don’t talk back”. “Respect your elders”. “Because I said so”. Are all ways parents use to stop a child expressing itself.
Ideally children from a young age are taught it is okay to express their emotions. This can be role modelled using I statements. “When you do ….. I feel and I’d prefer …….” This is healthy. Children can also draw, write about what they feel. They can be taught to punch a pillow or kick the bed when they are angry and get their emotion out. Teach them that is okay but hitting a person or animal is not.
Tantrums are an overflow of emotion that they don’t know how to express. They literally lose control of their senses as their body is flooded with hormones and chemicals. It is very scary for a child to experience. What they need when this occurs is for you to stay present, talk calmly to them, and wait for the chemicals to pass, for their nervous system to regulate, so they regain their bodily control. Do not walk away, yell at them or shame them. Abandoning them during such a time teaches them they can’t rely on you or anyone to be there for them in their time of need. Remember from 0-6 years old they don’t have the ability to question data, it just gets absorbed. They can’t rationalise and say “Mummy’s just upset or tired, that’s why she walked away”. They see you walk away angry and assume it is their fault, that they are a bad person, not good enough, etc. If you do need to walk away say why. Say you are tired, stressed, need some time to yourself or to rest. Say this so the child knows it is not because they are bad.
Children need boundaries not discipline
It’s perfectly okay, desirable and healthy even, for you to assert your needs and desires with your toddler and older children. Let them know you have needs. For instance “I need you to go to sleep now, so Mummy can rest too”. “I need you to tidy your room as it is getting hard for me to walk around and that upsets me”. “I need some time with Daddy now so please go to sleep. I’ve enjoyed our day together, now it’s sleep time”. A child is more likely to go to sleep hearing this than if you try to tell them “You need to sleep so you will be refreshed in the morning or so you can concentrate at school tomorrow”. The child doesn’t care about these things, they are in the future, not now. Explaining your needs helps them learn that you are human, that you have needs too, that you won’t always be able to give to them. That is good. It helps them learn to be considerate of others and to be a caring member of society.
Letting your child walk all over you, treat you poorly, get away with all sorts of undesirable behaviour is damaging to them and to you. They need boundaries. They need to be taught about morals and care for self, others and the planet. These things can be done naturally and easily if you use such positive communication processes as I statements, as you role model healthy emotional intelligence and teach them the same. Make activities and chores fun, a chance to connect, then they will gladly tidy their room, help with the dishes, etc. Show your appreciation of their help. Your genuine praise warms the heart of your child and builds their self esteem. They will do more of what you want to get that warm, good feeling about themselves. If you have this connection and bond, you don’t need to coerce, manipulate or shame a child into doing the right thing. They will do it because they love you, you love them, you’ve made it fun, you’ve explained why it is important to do and they will get that yummy feeling. This is the reward that means the most to them.
If however you use star charts and rewards like chocolate, toys or special outings, the child may do the desired behaviour but they do it because they want the reward. Not because it is the right thing or considerate thing to do. They don’t learn the moral. They learn to focus on achieving, success, consuming / materialism. This is not healthy or desirable for them or society or the planet. There are already too many people wasting their lives working hard to get material possessions they don’t really need, which pollute the Earth. What is needed or more beneficial is people recognising that what really matters is family, friends, love, connection with self and others, doing what you want, being yourself, enjoying life and honouring the Earth. This is much more balanced, much healthier.
We can role model this for our children. Choose to spend more time with them and go without the fancy gadget. Your child will benefit immensely as will you. With strong connection discipline problems don’t occur and any minor issues can be resolved quickly and easily through talking about each person’s needs, feelings and desires. Get children to problem solve – identify different options and choose one. Get them to reflect on what happened, why and what could be done differently next time. This is a respectful and honouring way to resolve conflicts.
Using traditional disciplining methods (hitting, spanking, yelling, shaming, punishing) just drives a wedge between you and your child. If they aren’t allowed to express their feelings they bury it inside. But be warned you will hear about it when they are teenagers! The brain starts to grow again in teenage years and all their unmet toddler needs surface. The hormones and hurts lead to a volatile combination fuelling teenage rebellion. They are now old enough to question your behaviour and to see where you have been less than ideal. They may not respect you or listen to you as you didn’t show them respect or listen to them when little. If you treat them lovingly and nurturingly when little teenage years can be a lot easier.
If a child is refusing to dress use natural consequences. Let them go outside without a jumper. When they get cold they’ll ask for it and they will have learnt why it is a good idea to wear one. Don’t fight and struggle. Find ways to make it easy, fun. Give a child a choice – “Today you can wear this or this outfit, which would you prefer?” Or let them choose out the wardrobe. Be prepared that they may not dress the way you like – a dress up outfit, mismatched clothing – but if they are happy, dressed and warm why should you care if it doesn’t match? That’s just societal conditioning about how we should do things. It does not mean you’re a bad parent if your child isn’t dressed traditionally. Let go of such thoughts.
Let your child play and their imaginations flourish. Don’t deaden life into routine and boring normality. Let their individuality shine through. This makes you a loving parent, one others could learn from. Do what your heart tells you is right, not what your head or mind says. If negative beliefs come up, look at them, heal them. There are a range of techniques that can be used to reprogram your subconscious mind with more positive and self supportive beliefs. Psych-K, the Lifeline Technique, even affirmations if done regularly, with feeling, looking into your own eyes in the mirror can do this. They can change the belief which leads to a rewiring of your brain. Science has now shown the truth of all this.
No parent can meet all their child’s needs all the time. Everyone falls short of the parenting ideal at times. Please do not beat yourself up about anything that may have happened in the past. You can’t change what has happened but you can commit to being a more conscious and nurturing parent now. Know that love heals and leads to reconnection.