Swan Mothers

Discovering Ourselves through Parenting

How to Discover the Wisdom of the World

I’ve learned from reading parenting books. I learn by reading blogs of autistic individuals. I learn by living life. But my favorite way of expanding my awareness is by reading fiction.

In recent months, I have experienced unexplained trepidation. I seem to have lost  understanding of what I once understood. I have more questions than answers. I’ve pursued common-sense solutions (eating better, moving more, spending time outdoors), but remain stuck. And so, I reach deep into the fictional story of Paulo Coelho’s Brida, hoping that I will learn from her journey as I seek to unravel some mysteries of my experience.

Discovering the Answers to Your Questions

Each of us must discover the answers to her own questions in her own way.  Brida learns that there are four paths to discovering the wisdom of the world, four Rings of Revelation that a woman can use. (pp. 62 – 63)

The Ring of the Virgin

The Virgin needs no one.  She does not wear herself out by loving others.  Through Solitude, she discovers the wisdom of the world.

The Ring of the Saint

The Saint has the courage of those for whom giving is the only way of receiving.  The Saint offers everything for others.  Through Surrender, the Saint discovers the wisdom of the world.

The Ring of the Martyr

The Martyr has the power of those who cannot be harmed by pain and suffering.  She surrenders herself, suffers, and through Sacrifice, discovers the wisdom of the world.

The Ring of the Witch

The Witch discovers the wisdom of the world through Pleasure.

Which ring will you choose?

Do you recognize your own path in one of the above descriptions?  All paths are worthy, but if we can choose to learn through solitude or sacrifice or suffering or pleasure, which would you prefer?

Brida’s wisdom teachers tell her that “In her life, every woman can make use of the Four Rings of Revelation.”  In my life, I’ve worn each of the rings. I  believe that to every thing there is a season. Yet when I consider how I want to experience life, I realize that I yearn to wear the Ring of the Witch. I want to grow through joy.

Pleasure for Parents

Magic is a bridge, a bridge that allows you to walk from the visible world over into the invisible world, and to learn the lessons of both those worlds.(p. 10)

I suspect that all of the readers of this blog practice a bit of the above kind of magic daily.  We find bridges that connect us to our children.  We build bridges that allow our children to step safely into this world.  We understand that it is all one world – and that our children experience the world in a way that most of us do not yet understand.

the age of miracles is returningand no one can remain indifferent to the changes the world is beginning to experience…Anyone not already following their own path will begin to feel dissatisfied with themselves and be forced to make a choice:  they will either have to accept an existence beset with disappointment and pain or else come to realize that everyone was born to be happy.” (p. 199)

Here are a few more quotes to propel you in shifting your beliefs:

page 203:

“Never be ashamed.  Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup.  All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.

How will I know which is which?

By the taste.  You can only know a good wine if you have first tasted a bad one.” 

 page 11

“When you find your path, you must not be afraid.  You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes.  Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.

 page 26

“You must get used to the fact that there are many things in magic which are not and never will be explained. God decided to do certain things in a certain way and why He did this is a secret known only to Him.”

page  42

“But the path of magic – like the path of life – is and always will be the path of Mystery. Learning something means coming into contact with a world of which you know nothing.

page  74

“It isn’t explanations that carry us forward, it’s our desire to go on.”


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Tapping into Stress Relief

I am sometimes asked how I stay so calm with my children. The truth is, I’m not always calm, but I have come a long way. One of the tools that helped me get here is meridian tapping.

Since I learned about EFT (a type of meridian tapping) in 2010, it has gone mainstream, and with good reason. By tapping on a few specific points on your body,  you can dramatically reduce your stress level, often in just a few minutes.

Meridian Tapping is a technique that combines talking about a problem and tapping on meridian points to bring about different, more comfortable feelings about it.

 

A Bit More Information

Meridian Tapping Techniques are an emotional, needle-free version of acupuncture, Tapping on certain meridian points with the fingertips shifts energy and can help us to regain our equilibrium. Since emotional stress can contribute to discomfort, EFT often provides astonishing relief.

Click here to learn how to tap with my Super-Easy Tapping Guide.

Why do we need to deal with emotions?

E-motions are energy in motion.  Energy is the invisible foundation for health in the body.  The body is composed of energy pathways and energy centers that are in a dynamic interplay with the cells, organs, moods, and thoughts.

When we shift these energies using homeopathic remedies or meridian stimulation techniques, we influence our health, emotions, and state of mind.

Tap for Stress-Reduction

  • Think of something that troubles you.
    • Where do you feel it?
    • On a scale from 1 to 10, how intense is this feeling?
  • Now, focusing on this feeling, begin tapping on your karate chop point with your other hand.  Say, “Even though I have (this feeling), I am a really good person.”
  • How do you feel now?
    • How intense is that feeling on a scale of 1 to 10?
    • Did you think of anything while tapping?
      • If yes, you can tap on this new feeling or memory.

When to Use EFT

Whenever you feel

  • stressed,
  • frustrated,
  • sad,
  • angry.

What to Say While Tapping

Begin tapping on the Karate Chop point while saying the following set-up phrases.

  • Even though I am so frustrated, I want to love and accept myself anyway.
  • Even though I am so stressed, I want to accept and forgive myself.
  • Even though this is really crazy, I love myself and am willing to try this way to calm myself.
TH: I just want to have one ordinary normal day.
EB: Even a nice, normal hour.
OE: My whole body is tense.
UE: The stress is really getting to me.
UN: I eat too much (or not enough).
CH: I don’t have any time for myself.
CB: I have to manage every minute of every day.
UA: I feel so alone.
UN: I feel scared.
Thumb: Sad.
IF: Overwhelmed.
MF: Angry.
RF: Sad.
LF: Angry.
  • ET I have this difficult life, I am willing to consider the possibility that it can be easier.
  • ET I feel angry and frustrated, I am open to the idea that I can find peace in my days.
  • ET I feel like I can’t take it anymore, I am a good mother.
TH: My life is very challenging.
EB: I am handling it well.
OE: I make lots of mistakes.
UE: I also do a lot of things right.
UN: The stress of having this child is difficult sometimes.
CH: There are also times of great joy.
CB: Sometimes I want to go hide or run away.
UA: Sometimes I am grateful for the privilege of being with this amazing kid.
UN: I’m doing a good job.
Thumb: Nobody understands.
IF: I’m sad.
MF: Angry.
RF: Frustrated.
LF: I am doing my best.
  • ET I have a challenging life, I choose to embrace it with grace.
  • ET I get so stressed sometimes, I choose to find a way to find peace and relief.
  • ET I sometimes wish it was different for me, I choose to love the life and the child I have.
TH: I choose to be strong.
EB: I choose to forgive myself as often as necessary.
OE: I choose to forgive my spouse when he/she does not do enough.
UE: I choose to forgive my child(ren) for annoying me.
UN: I choose to be easy on myself.
CH: I choose to find time for myself every day.
CB: I choose to have joy in my life.
UA: I choose to have peace in my life.
UN: I am o.k.
Thumb: I choose to love myself.
IF: I choose to be easy on myself.
MF: I am o.k.
RF: I am o.k.
LF: I am o.k.

If, as you are tapping along with the script, you think of another issue or feeling, tap on it.  If you feel a sensation in your body, tap on it.

For example, if you begin to feel a tightness in your throat while tapping, go back to the Karate Chop Point and use a set-up phrase like, “Even though I have this intense tightness in my throat, I want to love myself anyway.”

As you tap through the points, use a simple reminder phrase such as, “This tightness in my throat.”  If the sensation changes again, change your words while continuing to tap through the points.  For example, “This choking feeling in my throat.”

The tapping scripts are provided to give you an idea of how to start and to get the feel of using EFT.  It is always more important to use your own words than mine. Trust yourself.  Notice what comes up.  Tap on it without judging yourself or the feeling.

When I first read about EFT, I was intrigued.  Yet when I tried it for myself, I was not impressed.  Nothing seemed to happen.  I hope that your experience is different.  I will not go into all of the reasons that it did not work for me.  However, since I am now an EFT practitioner and proponent and use EFT for myself constantly, I want you to know that what made a difference for me was having a session with an EFT practitioner.  About 45 minutes into my first session, I experienced a huge emotional release and understood the value of this technique.

If you would like to experience a guided EFT/meridian taping session, please contact me. Free tapping circles for mothers coming soon.

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Parenting Sloooooowwwwwlllly

I once read a blog post at Qoya is wise, wild and free.  (so are you).  Rochelle Schieck believes “…that through movement we remember.”  We remember our inner wisdom, express our wildness, and revel in our freedom.

I wanted some of what Rochelle was having.  I got up from my desk and followed her instructions to “walk across the room sloooooowwwwwlllly and enjoy yourself as you walk. . . This is an opportunity to say, “Hello, I love you” to your body.  Notice your inner dialogue…”

It was a nice little exercise.  But I’m practical and sensible, not wild and free.  Two minutes later, I was at my desk, back at work.

I Take My Qoya for a Walk

This morning, I was walking.  For exercise.  I moved quickly, purposefully.  As I was nearing the end of my return loop, it occurred to me to move sloooooowwwwwlllly.  I did.

I wondered, “When is the last time I walked the way I want to walk?” 

I’ve read about walking:  yoga walking, walking the T-Tapp way, other ways to walk I no longer recall. When I walk, I either walk without paying attention or the way some article or book or YouTube video suggests.  I don’t think:

  • How do I want to walk?
  • How do I want to move?
  • How do I want to feel?

I am generally so busy concentrating on my heart rate and stance and arm swinging that I do not enjoy myself, as I could.  My trying interferes with enjoying.

Waking Up to Parenting

It occurred to me that I used to parent this way: by the book. By some book.  Following the instructions of someone whom (I assumed) knew better than me.

I learned a lot from my reading.  I made many useful and necessary changes.  Now, I choose my own way to parent.  Usually.

I am confident with my own way of mothering.  I seldom consult books or ask for advice now.  I know how do to it, just as I know how to walk.

Still, like my walking, my parenting is too often unconscious.  I intend to stay conscious.  I plan to slow down and be present for my children. Then, schedules, activities and ideas of how things should be get in the way and I forget that I intended to slow down and pay attention.

Slow down. Pay attention. Let go of what I know, what I’ve read, what I assume. These steps to letting go seem to be my theme this week.  Do you see any trends in your parenting and in your life?

If you want to change ingrained patterns, the best way I know is with Matrix Reimprinting.  I will soon be offering free Group Tapping Sessions so that you may explore Matrix Reimprinting and the amazing changes it can bring to your life. If you’re interested in learning more, please leave a comment below.

New Week, New Opportunities

As we begin a new week, I will move sloooooowwwwwlllly.  I will check in and ask:

  • Is this the way I want to be moving?
  • Is this the way I want to be mothering?

I will pay attention as I walk, and as I interact with my children. I will let go of what I “know” to see what is presenting itself. I will practice listening and knowing.

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Full Responsibility Parenting

A Mother’s Lament by ~Yohnnilee Fan Art / Traditional Art / Drawings / Books & Novels©2010-2013 ~Yohnnilee

A few days ago, I wrote some lovely words about not interfering with my children, about letting them have their own experience, about trusting that they can manage their own lives. I clicked post, sending my insights into the world. I felt good about my enlightened parenting. For a minute. Then, life resumed its relentless march.

Ellana came down dressed to go out in tights and a shirt. Daniel got in Jonathon’s face and made silly faces, which caused Johnathon to groan and speak harshly to his brother. YouTube and i-Pad games took precedence over homework, for a long time.

And I . . . interfered.

I used what my daughter once called The Tone of Voice, the same tone of voice which I admonish my children not to use. I offered dozens of suggestions in rapid succession. I pushed and prodded, which, in my Not Interfering post, I implied would build a foundation for resentment. Way to go Swan Mother. Yay, me. <sarcasm>

Knowing What Kind of Mother I Want to Be, Not Being Her

Cover ImageI wrote a book about my journey to recognizing that my children are magnificent exactly as they are. I’ve been a mother for a long time (15 1/2 years). I’ve done lots of things wrong. I’ve read piles of books and blogs. I’ve learned from my mistakes. I have a clear picture of the supportive, gentle, and loving mother I want to be.

So . . .

  • Why do I offer observations and suggestions, when my goal is non-interference?
  • If I love them exactly the way they are, why am I frustrated?
  • Why is my best so flawed?

Total Acceptance

“I have come to drag you out of yourself, and take you in my heart.  

I have come to bring out the beauty you never knew you had and lift you like a prayer to the sky.”

originally, Rumi (now, my family, to me)

We do not live in a bubbles. The moods and actions of people around us affect us. Weather affects us. Moon cycles and solar flares affect us. Childhood experiences and what our spouse said this morning affect us. Humans are complex creatures.

There is no excuse for me to speak unkindly, but I apologize to my children, not here. I do not want my children to apologize to the world for being who and how they are, so I accept myself as I am — even when I don’t like myself or my behavior. I keep doing my work and remembering Carl Rogers’ curious paradox:  When I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.

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A Dark Side of Peer Pal Programs

My son’s school has a program called Peer Pals though which student volunteers work and play with classmates with special needs. Reading the permission slip I was required to sign indicating my consent for my autistic son to participate in Peer Pals, I felt uncomfortable. While I understood how such a program might benefit children, the idea of assigning my child a friend, or friends, felt wrong.

Daniel, then 12 and in sixth grade, was doing well in his first year of middle school. I know he worked longer to complete assignments and homework than his classmates. I know he didn’t understand much of what teachers said in class. I know he didn’t have friends who knocked on our door. At the same time, he was pleased that he had learned to operate his lockers and navigate the hallways within days. He persisted in doing his homework independently. He was happy.

During  fall conferences, his Resource Room teacher told me that there was a friendship developing between Daniel and Brian, a boy who sat at his table in English and Math. Mrs. S was teary describing how the boys talked and laughed together. Daniel told me that he sat with Brian at lunch. The relationship did not extend outside of school, but Daniel never expressed an interest in doing so, and I never suggested it.

To Peer or Not to Peer?

I discussed the the Peer Pals program with Mrs. S. She explained that his Peer Pals would share notes with Daniel if he missed a class, that he would have a Lunch Bunch so he wouldn’t “have to” sit alone in the cafeteria, and that the children would participate in fun activities to facilitate socialization. I decided to sign, but asked Mrs. S ensure that Brian did not become Daniel’s Peer Pal since their friendship was developing naturally.

A few weeks later, I discovered that Brian was Daniel’s assigned Peer Pal. Distraught, I called to ask how this had happened. Turns out the arrangement was a mistake. The social worker who runs the peer program, Mrs. K, had not communicated with Mrs. S prior to seeking peer mentors among the sixth graders.

They asked if I wanted Brian removed as Daniel’s Peer Pal, explaining, “Brian volunteered because he wanted to help Daniel.”

It was too late. I didn’t want Daniel to think Brian didn’t want him to be his pal. I didn’t want Brian to feel that his good deed had been rejected.

Daniel and Brian remained Peer Pals, assigned to each other. I was devastated, disappointed that I’d allowed a potential friendship to be marred.

Full Circle

When Daniel asked, “What’s a Peer Pal?” I explained that a pal is a friend, that Brian had volunteered to help him if he needs help in class because he’s his friend, because Brian wanted to be the one to help if Daniel needed help.

The school year passed. Daniel sat at Brian’s lunch table every day. There was an indoor (due to rain) picnic for the peers in the spring. There was a field trip for The Peers.

Then, in the last week of school, the yearbooks were distributed. Among student groups in the back pages was a group photo titled Peer to Peer Mentors. Daniel saw Brian in the picture and asked, “Why I not in this picture?” tapping on the page with his finger and looking with me with wide-open eyes. He was confused, and sad.

All of the “normal” kids were pictured. You know, the ones who volunteered. The ones who helped the less fortunate. The heroes. What does that make Daniel and the other autistic kids, the ones with Cerebral Palsy and Downs Syndrome, the “other” peer in Peer to Peer?

What Now?

A new school year has started. I expect that the same form will come home in Daniel’s folder, asking my consent for him to participate in the peer mentoring program.

  • If you’ve been in this type of group, please help me understand.
  • Was the group helpful to you?
  • How did you feel about it at the time and in retrospect?
  • Does experience in a facilitated setting translate to other situations?
  • How can parents tell if they are helping and supporting, or imposing their values and goals on their children?

Perspective and Experiences from Autistic Adult Bloggers

Sometimes What Looks Like Empathy, Isn’t

by Lynne Soraya

My new teacher was very extroverted and people-centric – traits that would seem ideal in a teacher. But we quickly came to clash. In her estimation, being alone and isolated were the worst possible outcomes for anyone. I was both.

Not that I wanted to be…but I was coming from a completely different perspective. For me, isolation was a far less painful place than the world in which I had spent the previous year – a world in which it was impossible to tell the cruel from the kind, and being around people meant living in constant fear, wondering where and when the next attack would come. And my teacher unknowingly made it worse – in an attempt to integrate me into the social sphere of the classroom, she “assigned” me a friend. read more

Out of the Goodness of Your Heart

by Judy Endow

I have nothing against the goodness in the hearts of other people. However, I would like to explain how it feels to be on the receiving end when I am befriended out of the goodness of your heart.

First of all this doesn’t a friendship make because authentic friendships are reciprocal. This means that giving and receiving go both ways. The benefits are mutual. When you befriend me out of the goodness of your heart – and then tell me so – I understand that you are assuming the role of a kind benevolent person while I am perceived as a less than person, assumed to not be able to have real friends so will be grateful to you for including me. – See more at: https://ollibean.com/2013/12/10/goodness-heart#sthash.0L1iIM0b.dpuf

 

 

 

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Nature’s 12 Magic Healers (Cell Salts 101)

Cell Salts, also called Biochemic Tissue Salts, are a great way to dip your toe into natural medicine. You don’t have to believe anything or do anything beyond putting a few pellets in your mouth to begin feeling better.

Cell salts are homeopathic preparations of the minerals that are the building blocks of our bodies. They taste sweet and dissolve almost instantly in the mouth or in water. Children love to take them. My family uses cell salts to calm downease flu symptoms, and, once, to speed the healing of broken bones.

Because cell salts are diluted and potentized, only minute biochemic amounts of the mineral salts are up-taken by cells and tissues. This enables better absorption of nutrients and fortifies and energizes living tissue. Cell salts support proper cell function to optimize health and ameliorate physical and emotional symptoms.  The effectiveness of cell salts has been proven for over two hundred years.[1],[2] 

Where are the nutrients?

After millennia of destructive farming practices, soils are denatured. Our foods do not have the nutrients necessary for optimal health. We tend to be overfed but undernourished.

For many of today’s children, the situation is complicated by self-limiting food intake and digestive disturbances. As a consequence, some children are severely affected by mineral deficiencies.[3] Deficiencies may manifest as anxiety, mood swings, digestive problems, and other signs of imbalance.

Cell Salts are Essential

Minerals are the foundation for enzyme activity in the body. They serve as catalysts in energy cycles and functions. They nourish cells to provide the foundation of a healthy body.

Cell Salts facilitate the basic functioning of cells including water balance, digestion, removing toxins, elasticity of the cells, oxygenation, nutrition, and sodium-potassium balance.

Emotional and Physical Symptoms of Cell Salt Deficiencies

An individual may be deficient in any of the cell salts. Deficiencies may be noted by signs and symptoms of the individual. The table below is a starting point for exploring uses for cell salts.

How to Use Cell Salts

Review the chart and notice if you have any symptoms of deficiency.

 

Cell Salt

 

Emotional Symptoms of Deficiency

 

Physical Symptoms of Deficiency

Calc Fluor Indecisiveness, low self-esteem Chapped skin, deficient tooth enamel
Calc Phos Mental weakness, lack of motivation Nosebleeds, late teeth, headaches in children
Calc Sulph Fatigue, laziness, worries about imaginary problems Yellow discharges, boils, open infections
Ferrum Phos Stimulation and overheating followed by dullness and listlessness First stages of fever (99-101), sore throat, nosebleeds, colds, flu
Kali Mur Irritability, apathy, homesickness, hypochondria Second stage of fever (101-103), coughing, white mucus discharges
Kali Phos Nervous tension, extreme nervousness, moodiness, anger, self-pity Nerve and sleep problems, bad breath
Kali Sulph Scary dreams, sensitivity to noises, irritability, anger Thick yellow discharges, changing symptoms
Mag Phos Sensitivity, impulsiveness Cramping and shooting pains, spasms, hiccoughs
Nat Mur Isolation, control issues, deep grief Head cold and congestion, watery discharges, sun sensitivity, cold sores
Nat Phos Depression, sleeplessness, low self-esteem Acne, blackheads, greasy or brittle hair
Nat Sulph Depression from wet weather or head injuries Swollen feet or hands, foul-smelling gas
Silicea Shyness, lack of “grit,” hypersensitivity, sensitivity to cold Light sensitivity, sweaty hands and feet
  • Select one to three cell salts that correspond with your own or your child’s most significant symptoms. If you look at the list and determine that more than three are indicated, remind yourself that that restoring balance is a journey. More is not always better.
  • Start by taking three pellets of each cell salt you selected three times per day. As symptoms improve, reduce dosing to two, and later one time per day.
  • After about a month, look at the charts again. Re-evaluate your needs and adjust your cell salt selection.

To take cell salts, shake three tablets into the cap of the vial. Tip the cap into your mouth without touching the mouth. Allow the tablets to dissolve.

Cell salts work best when taken in a clean mouth. Do not eat, drink or brush teeth fifteen minutes before or after taking cell salts.

Taking cell salts is a great way to begin exploring the natural health sciences. Combinations of cell salts or other homeopathic or supportive remedies may be needed to fully resolvesymptoms. Contact a professional for optimal results through individualized, comprehensive treatment.

Cell salts may be purchased at most health food stores or from 800homeopathy.com.  (Request the catalogue from 800homeopathy. It is full of useful information.)


[1] Boericke & Dewey: The Twelve Tissue Remedies of Shussler Comprising of The Theory, Therapeutic Application, Materia Medica & a Complete Repertory of Tissue Remedies (Homeopathicallly and Bio-Chemically Considered).  6th Ed. B. Jain Publishers PVT. LTD.  New Delhi, 2006.

[2] David R. Card: Facial Diagnosis of Cell Salt Deficiencies: A User’s Guide. Hohm Press.  Prescott, Arizona, 2005.

[3] E. Cornish (1998) “A Balanced Approach Towards Healthy Eating in Autism.”  Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 11: 501-509.

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Not Knowing, Not Interfering

When my children return home from school, part of me yearns to ask 20 questions.

  • What did you learn today?
  • What was hard for you? What was easy?
  • Where did you sit at lunch and with whom?
  • Did you feel sad?
  • Do you understand what’s going on in class?

I savor the tidbits they share, because I know that most of their school experiences will remain theirs alone. I glean a bit of information from conversations with grandparents or from  pretend-play.  A few stories  trickle at random throughout the year.  But it is not much.  Even though I would love to hear the details of each success and tribulation, I embrace not knowing. I want to allow my children to have their own experiences and to let them keep these experiences for themselves if they so choose.  I want them to be confident in being themselves.

Getting Out of the Way

As a parent, it is difficult to not intervene constantly.  It is even more difficult for those of us with children for whom navigating Life 101 is  challenging.  When speaking, socializing, and interfacing with the world don’t come naturally, it is tempting to constantly instruct our children in how to speak, look, and act.

Yet few people like to be told what to do.  When parents constantly push, prod, and offer suggestions, are we being helpful, or are we building a foundation for resentment?

Teaching our children to function in this world is one of our vital tasks.  Sometimes, direct instruction is necessary and useful.  Used too frequently, it is unconstructive and potentially damaging.

I believe that the best teaching method is example.  Studies have shown that those children who see their parents read achieve greater reading success than those whose parents read to them.  Seeing parents eat healthy foods leads to better eating in children then lecturing.  Parents who exercise are more likely to have children who are physically fit.

At camp and in school, at tae kwon do and at music lessons, my children thrive without direct instruction from me. They acquire skills and knowledge that I do not have.  They hike trails I never hiked and play instruments I don’t know how to assemble. They are strong, smart, and resourceful. I enjoy seeing their pride in their accomplishments.  I am happy for their growing confidence. I continue to practice practicing non-interference.

In my book, Swan Mothers, Discovering Our True Selves by Parenting Uniquely Magnificent Children you can read my story and those of other parents on conscious parenting journeys. 

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