Swan Mothers

Discovering Ourselves through Parenting

I Wish I Knew

What brings you such joy
that you gleefully giggle?
What brings you distress,
and sad, anxious sighs?
I gaze in green eyes.
I yearn to uncover
the mysteries in you
answers to whys.

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Homeopathy and Verbal First Aid for Easier Doctor Visits

If your child is dreading a visit to the doctor, homeopathic remedies and supportive words can help ease the anxiety. Injections and blood draws can be particularly upsetting, even when administered by kind and gentle nurses and technicians. (More invasive procedures are not addressed in this article, though you will be able to modify these suggestions for any situation.)

Parent’s Attitudes are Contagious

If you yourself are afraid of the forthcoming procedures or are worried about your child’s reaction, he or she will likely mirror your feelings and attitude. You may have had painful experiences in medical settings and your reason for concern in cemented in your body and mind.

The first step in making a visit to the doctor easier for your child is to do your own work using Matrix Reimprinting with EFT, journaling, or another transformative energy method so that you can feel better about the upcoming event. This does not mean that you have to feel happy about difficult situations. All feelings are valid.  In doing the work, you make a shift to a place of feeling better by replacing fear with knowledge and acknowledging your fears. When you change your old programming, you will be equipped to support your child and speak up as needed.

Preparing Your Child with Words

This section is inspired by and borrows from Chapter 5 of Verbal First Aid: Help Your Kids Heal from Fear and Pain–and Come Out Strong by Judith Simon Prager and Judith Acosta.

Many children don’t like surprises. Tell your children about upcoming procedures and appointments. Prepare them by using social stories (simple and accurate descriptions of what to expect, presented with drawings if needed) and providing gentle, honest descriptions of what to expect.

Preparing for Injections, Blood Draws, and Potentially Painful Procedures

If your child asks if a procedure will hurt, answer truthfully. Remember that pain is perception and a bad old experience will not necessarily be repeated. Consider saying something like this, “I’m guessing you will feel something curious or different.  It may feel like a pinch. It may feel hot. It may feel funny or weird. What would that feel like?”

These kinds of statements and questions leave space for the child to have his or her own experience.

During the Procedure

  • z_18Take a few breaths to calm and center yourself. If you child is able and interested, invite him or her to join you in breathing. Children might enjoy breathing in a favorite color or fragrance (use imagination) to feel better.
  • Build rapport with the caregiver so that your child can see that you are a team.
  • Ask your child to look into your eyes, out the window, or at a picture or toy.
  • Tell positive stories about other or your child in similar situations:  “Remember when . . .”
  • Guide your child in picturing a happy time and place.  Engage her in reminiscing or telling stories. “Let’s go for a walk in our imaginations. Is there a place you’d like to go?” Let the child answer. If he doesn’t have any ideas, you may help him. “I think I see a rainbow over that way.  Let’s walk over and see if we can touch it.” You may want to have fun sliding down the rainbow, flying on unicorns, or getting caught in a sparkle or candy shower.
  • Use imagery to ease sensations and anxiety. Ask your child what would help and then imagine that unfolding. For example, before a blood draw: “The nurse is going to use a needle to draw some blood. Your body is constantly making blood and can easily let her have what she needs. Then, she will let scientists look at your blood under a microscope and that will give us important information that will help you to feel better. Can you think of something that would make it better?” Allow child to make a suggestion. “Okay. So let’s imagine that there is a marshmallow right there.” Press the spot where the nurse will poke. “It is really tall and squishy. That was a really good idea!”

Homeopathic Remedies for Children Who Are Afraid of Doctors

Observing a child’s unique fears and responses to various situations helps point the way to a good constitutional remedy.  The descriptions below describe only a tiny portion of the remedy picture. They are provided so that you may gain insight into comprehensive nature of homeopathic prescribing.

Consider the remedies below. If one of them seems to be a very good match for your child, give your child a dose of the 30c potency at bedtime for up to a week before the doctor visit or procedure. Don’t be afraid of homeopathic remedies.

Many other remedies may be indicated for your child. If your child is very afraid of doctors or needles, a consultation with a homeopath may be helpful.

Aconite (Aconitum Napellus)

A great remedy for children who have been stricken with great and sudden fear and do not want to be touched. They might feel like death is pursuing them, even when the ailment is minor.

Gelsemium

Children who need gelsemium prefer to be left alone in a quiet place. They are apathetic about their illness and seem frozen both mentally and physically before dreaded events.

Nux Vomica

Irritable children who are hypersensitive to noise and light. These children do not like music, are very fussy and want every detail in place. They don’t want to be touched. Even minor ailments affect them strongly.

Phosphorus

Children who blaze brightly, then burn out. They are also sensitive to light, sound, odors, touch, electrical charges and thunderstorms. They crave salt and are very thirsty. Phosphorus individuals are subject to nosebleeds and other excess bleeding.

Homoepathic Remedies for Children Who Are Afraid of Needles

Alumina

This is a remedy for delicate children who are intensely affected by modern living conditions and over-processed foods. They are afraid of sharp objects such as knives, needles and pins and the sight of bloodThey tend to be constipated and may appear unhappy, like the light has gone out of them.

Apis

Apis children are jealous, rigid, hard to please, and unable to concentrate enough to read or study. They may have many allergies. They are individualists who find it difficult to integrate into community life. During procedures, they may produce sudden shrill and piercing screams.

Silica

These children lack grit and self-confidence. They are sensitive and serious. They will usually give way if pushed, but will quietly do what they wanted to do anyway. Silica children are terrified of pins and needles.

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Beyond Labels: Lessons from Autism and Parenting

When I started blogging, I thought my topic would be autistic and neurodivergent children and their mothers.  The more I wrote, the more challenging it became to work the words autism and autistic into the text. Writing “autistic child” felt forced.  Why? I wondered.

I realized that I don’t relate to the term “autism mother” and everything I write applies to all of my children – not just to my autistic son. It is not because he is not special, but because they all are. We all are.

I could write about IEPs and the gluten free diet and innovative therapies for autistic children.  But there are already many blogs, newsletters, books and magazines on these topics.  They are being done well by other people.

I find myself sharing wisdom imbued in me by my children.  I write about what I’ve learned along the way that has made our lives healthier, easier and happier in the hope that you will benefit.

The word autism turned my world upside down and inside out.  I would not be who I am without it. I am also ready to move beyond the label. What do you think?  I’d really love to hear your thoughts on labels in the comment boxes below.

Beyond the Label:  Lessons from Autism

Only one of my children is diagnosable and sports a recognizable label:  autism. When I think about him, I do not think, “My autistic child.”  I think of him as Daniel. I think of my quirky daughter as Ellana and my intensely principled son as Jonathon. I see each as a uniquely magnificent individual.  All three are beyond labeling or categorizing.  There is no normal in my house.

What is normal?

Synonyms for normal include:

·         typical

·         average

·         unsurprising

·         ordinary

·         common

Would you like to eat a common chocolate, drink an unremarkable wine, drive an average car, or take an ordinary vacation? Might you prefer chocolate that is uncommonly delicious, a wine that is remarkably silky, a car that offers a surprisingly refined ride, and an extraordinary vacation?

Why then are typical, ordinary, normal children seen as ideal? We don’t hunger for mediocrity in other aspects of life, yet we yearn for uneventful meals, ordinary nights and unremarkable parent-teacher conferences.

We are burdened by the notion that children should be a certain way.  That life should be a certain way.

How They Should Be, How They Are

Most people, either consciously or unconsciously, expect their children will be like them.  Fathers place tiny, spongy footballs in the cribs of their infant sons in loving anticipation of lives of athletic stardom.  Mothers play classical music for babies and take toddlers to Kindermusik to develop well-rounded, cultured children.  Grandmothers study little faces to see who the which family members the babies look like.

All of this usually comes from a place of love for the child and delight at the prospect of another chance at life.
But then something happens.  The future athlete can’t learn to ride a bike or pay attention to directions.  He certainly can’t throw or catch the ball.  The upcoming Miss Charming throws spectacular tantrums and refuses to listen to music.
Teachers and doctors and specialists say its autism or some other dis-order and the parents’ world turns upside down.

What’s in a name?

. . . language is entirely symbolic.  Words aren’t real.  They’re simply scribbles, doodles and sounds to which we assign meanings stored in the brain as images, feelings, and sounds:  mental constructs only vaguely approximating the objects they represent.   We use words to manipulate the mental representations, rarely scrutinizing our constructs under the light of physical reality.

–From Mark Rostenko’s article The Unnamed in Obscurious Moo
At first, the label is a lifeline.  It explains why our children are the way they are.  The words give us something to research:  autism, PDD-NOS, ADHD, sensory integration disorder, reactive detachment disorder.  The words connect us to others like us and are a way to find information.

Eventually though, we realize that our child’s -ism or disorder is not exactly like that of other children.  His or her most triggering behaviors and traits AND most endearing ones are quite unique.

Some suggestions about his or her condition are right on.  Others don’t work at all.

None of us fits neatly into a box.
We are all alike.  We are also all different.

Play a Game

When looking at your child’s differences or noticing people who seem entirely unlike you, play a game.  Say,“Just like me, this person….”

Notice the ways we are all connected. Notice  the ways we are uniquely magnificent.

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Work in Progress

Thirteen years ago, my mother-hero’s journey began. My almost-three-year old’s teacher stopped me at the door. “We’d like to have someone from special ed come in and observe Ellana. She’s not like the other children.” My heart raced. My world whirled. Hours passed and I began to assemble the teacher’s words into meaning. She thought something was wrong with Ellana. I wept. I raged. I decided that Mrs. Francis was wrong. I refused the call to adventure. I rejected the labels the teacher and observer wanted to associate with my beautiful, brilliant girl.

Twelve years ago, I acknowledged that my child was very different from the other preschoolers and accepted the challenge to be the kind of parent (I thought) she needed. I decided to overcome the autism spectrumy thing. I donned my battle gear. I read, researched, and planned. I drove my daughter to therapy appointments and sampled treatments and therapies of many flavors. I had a goal. I would help her to modulate odd behaviors and acclimate to the ordinary world. I would fix the glitches in her system. I would make my child normal.

Eleven years ago, when my second child was two, he was evaluated and given an autism diagnosis. While Ellana’s way of being defied labeling, Daniel had never spoken a word. He pressed the buttons on his toys repeatedly. He flicked his hands in front of his face. He was happy, affectionate, intelligent, and obviously autistic.

Nine years ago, my first grader was in her fifth school in five years, and we were asked to withdraw midyear.  I plunged into the abyss. Amidst deep, dark despair, I experienced moment of insight: I would teach my daughter at home.

After five years of homeschooling, after much yelling, crying, and foot stomping from mother and child, revelation dawned: I did not need to fix my daughter or her brothers. They were not, and never had been, broken. None of them resembled the children I had envisioned, but they were perfectly themselves, and I loved them, no changing required.

Four years ago, my three children went to school. For the first time in eleven years, I was home alone during the day, so I decided to write a book. I interviewed mothers of autistic children and wrote about the transformative power of our parenting journeys. I was healed and enlightened. I recognized my children’s inherent awesomeness. Life was easy and good. And we lived happily ever after.

~ The End ~

Cue the laugh track. While the above is an accurate, though drastically abbreviated, telling of my parenting experience (the whole is here), and though I did feel as if my mother-hero’s journey had come to a natural conclusion, I relaxed on my (virtual) lounge chair on the beach, margarita in hand, rather briefly. The end was not The End, but a curve in the spiral of life, circling into another loop of The Journey. I had arrived . . . somewhere, yet felt more unmoored than ever.

 

Mother,
      a small BIG word, 
       gave my life purpose and meaning.

It was I,
         who knew what my children required.
It was I,
         who fed and healed.
It was I,
         who soothed and strengthened.

I was
     needed,
     heeded,
     indispensable.

Until I was not,
             not needed to fix, for they were not broken,
             not heeded, for they invoked their own wisdom,
             not indispensable, for they were competent and complete.

Mother,
      a BIG small role,
      forged the woman I am today.

It is I,
       who practice non-interference.
It is I,
       who aim to advise less and listen more.
It is I,
       who teach and support.

I was
     heated,
      hammered,
        beaten into shape.

Until I became,
               cool and unrestricted, flowing like water,
               expansive and pliable, open to constant change,
               sovereign and free.

Thirteen years into the journey, I am trying to not try to figure out a new purpose for being, striving to adjust to the flow of life’s currents, and learning to thrive in this uncertain space. I do not remember what I know every day. I relearn lessons I previously mastered. I slip, stumble, and fall. I notice twists, hills, and valleys on own journey honor the journeys of those around me.

I know that in every moment, we are all flawed, and we are all stunningly beautiful. All is perfect, even when it does not seem that way. Everything is in creation. I am a work in progress.

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How can I follow my heart when all it wants to do is sleep?

This year, one of my (few!) intentions is to listen to my heart and to obey my inner wisdom.  I know, I know:  cliché, blasé. I’m doing it anyway. I’ve realized that all of “secret to happiness” books say the same thing because it really is that simple.

Yet only one month into the New Year, I’ve  encountered an obstacle.  My heart just wants to sleep. A lot.

I like to write at night and nap a bit during the day. Yesterday, I dropped into bed for my siesta late in the day and severely over-tired.  When I woke after an hour’s sleep, I did not want to get up.

I pulled the covers around me and asked myself, “What feels good right now?”  Yeah.  Ask a drowsy body that.  My body begged for 15 more minutes. I closed my eyes and drifted off to that lovely space between sleep and waking.  (I could stay there forever.)  When I woke for the second (or was it the third?  fourth?! time), through the fog and delight of that in-between place, I asked my heart again, “What feels good right now?” Again, I heard the yearning for continued sleep.  Then, through the haze, I perceived something else. A question:  “Which feels better? What do you want more? 30 minutes in la-la land or a strong healthy body?” (I had been so tired that I lay down before exercising.) “Which do you want more? 30 minutes of sleep — or to write a few more pages of the book?”

Ah!  The always-insightful heart-wisdom pulled me to half-awake.  It knew that even though I had to drag myself out of bed and even though I hated putting on my gym shoes, in a few months I would feel magnificent if I did this today — and tomorrow, and the day after.

When we ask our heart a question, listening intently will reveal the true response.

Sometimes, the first response comes from a place that is not our heart. My heart-wisdom does not have a whiny and pathetic voice.  It’s timbre is strong and, usually, gentle.

When I ask my heart a question and am not sure who or what responded, I ask:  “Who is speaking?”  Whether it is my ego or my heart, it must answer truthfully.

Listening to Heart-Wisdom in Parenting

All children, and particularly uniquely magnificent children, those who are autistic, ADHD, indigo or exceptionally challenging in some way, require a lot of real work from their parents.  We do the physical things:  prepare meals, launder clothing, read with them, drive them to lessons and appointments.  We are called upon to be patient and kind and loving — often when our children’s behavior does not automatically elicit gentle responses.  We do a hundred things every day to be the kind of parents we choose to be.

Each day, both in parenting and in self-care, we are presented with opportunities to live from our heart.  I often ask myself, “How can this be easy?” or “What feels good?” My first response is usually right on. However, sometimes what feels good in the moment – and usually only for that moment — would not make me feel good overall.

The energy release of slapping a defiant child might feel wonderful in the doing — particularly if you have been doing patient and loving for 30 minutes and the defiance shows no sign of yielding. But the second after the slap, the feeling of relief flips to shame and disappointment in self and to sadness for the child.  We wonder, “Why does it have to be so hard?”  (What happened to easy?)

Accessing Heart Wisdom

Here is a simple and effective way to calm yourself and access heart wisdom.

1.       Place your hand on your heart.

2.       Breathe into your heart for a count of six.

3.       Breathe out of your heart for a count of six.

4.       Continue until you feel centered and congruent with your heart.

If you are using this exercise for calming, stop here.  To access heart wisdom, continue.

5.       Ask your heart a question.  If you want to know something but aren’t sure how to phrase it, ask, “What do I need to know right now?”

6.       Listen.

Preventative Maintenance

Do the above exercise daily – or hourly – to keep yourself healthy mentally, emotionally and physically.

An Invitation

Won’t you join me in listening to your heart-wisdom?  A group of mothers and I gather by phone or Skype for a few weeks and learn to change ourselves.  Peace in our homes begins with us.

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Mothers of Unique Children: Let the World Hear Your Roar

There is an old Zen story about a young lioness that was lost on a mountainside. She is found by a ewe who nurses her and cares for her.

As the lioness grows, all of the sheep can see that she is very different. Her fur is the color of a autumn leaves rather than the white of clouds. Her face is broad and her teeth sharp.

Still, she eats the same grass and drinks the same water as all of the other sheep and is tolerated in the group.

One day, an old lion approaches the herd. The sheep run, but the golden one gazes upon him. He leads her to a pond were she sees that her reflection matches his. Still, she wants to stay with those she knows, in the place where she is safe and comfortable.

The old lion roars, “Don’t run away from who you are. You may have grown up with a herd of sheep, but you have grown into a beautiful lioness. Lions are strong, independent and brave. There are many more things that you can do and places you can go.”

The ewe approaches her golden child with a blessing and, with an expression of gratitude, the lioness turns and leaves the herd.

Breaking Out of What You’ve Been Conditioned to Believe About Yourself

What do you see when  you look in the pond? Many of us have spend a lifetime learning how to be sheep. We may be convinced that we are sheep because we eat the same grass and drink the same water.

But what would happen if we let go of our conditioning and stepped on a path of adventure? What if we went forth assured of only one thing:  growth.

What could we see if we looked with new eyes?

Led by Our Children

If you are reading this, you probably have children that are quite confidently not sheep. They may be challenging to parent and difficult to live with. Could this be because they know who they are? Could they be showing us that we too are not sheep — for lionesses birth lion cubs, not lambs.

My children have certainly led me away from the herd.  The road is sometimes lonely, sometimes scary, and sometimes painful. At other times it is exciting and fun and wondrous beyond anything I could have imagined.  Always, it teaches me something new.

This post was inspired by the cards of the Osho Zen Tarot Set (Ozt99) #

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Autism Awareness Flight (1)

This post is brought to you from 30,000 feet in the air, from Phoenix to Detroit. As I look at my fellow passengers, I see people napping, reading, chatting, working. In three hours, we will have traversed most of the country.  Yet no one seems astounded by the magic that we are experiencing, sitting in cushioned seats flying through the air. Just as few seem to perceive the magic that is present in today’s children.

Mountains and Red Earth

We’ve been in the air less than 20 minutes. Already the landscape has changed from mountains to green valleys to flat red Earth. In the distance, I see smoke as some part of the Earth transforms from wooded to charred. Below me, I see vast spans of almost-untouched Earth.  Narrow roads wind through the red plain, but there are no farms, few buildings. Newly alert after my time in Sedona, I take in the majesty of our Planet. And I wonder what I missed all those times I boarded a plane and fell asleep before the plane even took off. I wonder too what I missed while I was worrying about labels and growth charts and milestones. What miracles were unfolding while I was analyzing child development charts and evaluating information from books?

Gorges, Canyons and More Mountains

Out my airplane window, I see deep gouges in the Earth. There was a time when I would have wanted to know the name of these formations and what geological events were responsible for this dramatic design on the Earth. Now, I am content to gasp in wonder, to look. There was a time when I wanted a name for what was going on with my children. Now I am content to be dazzled by their brilliance without understanding every reason for how and why they are the way they are.

My Version of Autism Awareness

I don’t need to label what I see out my window. I don’t need to label children or people. My practice of autism awareness is to honor magnificently unique people in all their expressions.

Clouds

We are flying over a thick layer of clouds. Of course, there are countless creations of Nature and Humanity below, even though I do not see them. There is much talk in some parts of the autism world of children in shells, children to be recovered. This is not my perception. Perhaps there are simply clouds obstructing our view. Clouds have purpose, function, and beauty. Clouds move and change. Some of the clouds are in our eyes.

Farms between the Clouds

There is space between the clouds. The ground below me is divided into astonishingly precise squares. Every inch, as far as I can see has been conquered by humans. Some of my family’s food is probably grown here. For this I am grateful. Yet as I gaze at the grid below, I find myself overcome with sadness as I consider: What have we done? What are we doing? Is the world ours to conquer, to plow and poison and fertilize into submission? Are our children ours, to bend to our wills and our visions for them? This post has gotten long, so I will tell you about the remainder of this flight in Autism Awareness Flight (2).

 

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Magic for Muggles: Change the Way You See and Experience EVERYTHING

Sometimes, muggles get really lucky and stumble upon some magic.  Magic we can actually do.  Easily, consistently.

I had such an experience when I attended a Matrix Reimprinting seminar with Karl Dawson.  (The photo shows me, Karl and my friend Linda Friedman Jones at the seminar.)  Even though I have known about EFT for many years, even though I had finally figured out how to use if effectively, I had no idea about the amazingly transformative power of meridian  tapping.

What is Matrix Reimprinting?

Matrix Reimprinting is a new meridian tapping technique developed by EFT Master Karl Dawson.  Like EFT, Matrix Reimprinting often resolves long-standing emotional and physical issues.

By changing

  1. how you perceive old events

  2. how ingrained ideas shape your words and actions

Matrix Reimprinting can be used to create a life you love by creating better energy flow in your body

During a Matrix Reimprinting session, we tap on points that have been used in acupuncture for thousands of years.  Most of the points we use are at the ends of meridians.

Meridians are channels for energy flow just as blood vessels and arteries are channels for blood flow.  Emotional, chemical and physical trauma can disrupt the flow of energy in the meridians.  When the energy is obstructed, disease may result.

We can correct the flow of energy by stimulating the meridian points.  In EFT and Matrix Reimprinting, we do this by tapping on them.

How is Matrix Reimprinting different from EFT?

In conventional EFT, tapping on meridian end points is used to take the emotional intensity out of a past memory. When an issue is resolved with EFT, you are able to recall your most traumatic and stressful life memories without any emotional disruption or stress.  This is a useful healing strategy since most disease results from stress.

When an issue is resolved using Matrix Reimprinting, the memories associated with it are actually transformed.

During the Matrix session, the practitioner will guide you as you go into a past memory.

There, you may say and do what you wished you had said and done.  You will be shown how to bring in people or tools to support you in any way that you need.  You will recreate the recorded picture in your memory. This will transform your reflexive reactions in situations that were triggering an unwanted response.

But these things did happen!  No one can change that.

In Matrix work, we never deny that an event occurred.  We do not use distraction techniques. In fact, we recognize that the best way to transform a situation is to be fully present in it.  You will not relive the situation.  Matrix Reimprinting is a very gentle technique – easier to demonstrate than to explain.

Experience Matrix Magic

Matrix Reimprinting is an essential part of all of my group sessions.

Physically, mentally and emotionally healthy parents, family members and caregivers create a healthy life for autistic, ADHD, and other children with special needs.

Want to know much more about Matrix Reimprinting?  You can read all about it in Matrix Reimprinting Using EFT:  Rewrite Your Past, Transform Your Future by Karl Dawson and Sasha Allenby.

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Lazy Parenting: Doing Things for Our Children

Daniel was working on his homework on morning while I fried eggs for breakfast.  Not understanding a math problem, he became frustrated.  As he gritted his teeth and whined, I turned around and quickly solved the equation for him.  “There you go!” I said turning back to the stove.  Instead of politely thanking me, he cried,“No, no!  Don’t do it for me.  Teach me!”

Later that day, I saw this exchange on Facebook:

Talisman Camps and Programs When is it appropriate and helpful to be a “helicopter parent” for your special needs child? When does it become unhelpful?

Natalia When our children are in distress, it is time to step in and support them. We don’t need to facilitate every event and interaction because they are not doing it the way we think is best.

Talisman Camps and Programs Natalia, we like how you say “Support” but do not equate that with “do for”

Ouch!  There was my post from just a few days before along with a compliment on not “doing for” our children when that is exactly what I had done that very morning.

How humbling.

I completely and totally believe that, as parents, we should support and facilitate our children’s endeavors, be they social interactions or math problems.  Yet, in my haste, I had taken the lazy way out. I did the problem for him instead of making a suggestion that may have given him the information he needed to do the problem himself.

I could have facilitated a moment of learning and confidence.  Instead, my actions said, “You’re too slow.  Here.  I’ll do it for you.  You probably couldn’t do it anyway.”

Reading the Talisman posts that evening, I realized:

When I am lazy or hurried, I “do for” rather than support.

In general, I have no objection to laziness.  I am a big fan of down time, reading, lounging around, and just being.

In this situation though, my laziness and doing what was easiest in the moment, did not serve my child.  Ultimately, it will not serve me.

We want our children to slow down and pay attentionI am committing to slowing down and paying attention myself.  I will pay attention to my children and how I can best serve them.

When my children are struggling, I will take a deep breath and ask:  “How can I help?”  I will listen to what they say and provide the support they need.  Instead of parenting by reflex, I will pay attention to the habits that are driving my actions and change them when needed.

It is infinitely more important to me that my children become confident and self-sufficient – including asking for what they need – than that they get perfect grades on homework assignments or act “right” according to some unspoken rules.

Allowing Success, Building Confidence

When children do things on their own, they learn:

  • I can do hard things.

  • I’m good at figuring stuff out.

  • Mama trusts me.  She believes I can do it.

When parents constantly jump in and do things for them, they learn:

  • I can’t do anything right.

  • Mom and Dad do everything better for me.

  • Mom never let’s me do anything.  She must think I’m stupid.

What are you teaching your children?  Will you join me in slowing down and paying attention?

We can learn from what we say and write and think.  We have all the wisdom we need inside ourselves.

I will be taking my own advice.  When my children are deeply frustrated, I will support them.  I will encourage, give a hint, teach.  I will still do things for them of course.  It is one of the ways I show my love.  But when I do for them, it will be from a place of love – not because it is more convenient for me.

Next time they are tying their shoes or clearing the table too slowly, I will let them be. Except, when I slip and interfere and forget or neglect to be the mother I want to be. But I already wrote about that.

Getting to This Place

By gathering with other mothers and supporting them as they support us, we move along in our parenting journey.  Support groups for mothers starting soon.

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Tools and Words for Reducing Anxiety in Children (Part 1: Changing Old Stories)

Many mothers have noted that their children are anxious.  They eat too much or too little, have trouble falling asleep or wake during the night,  cry easily and melt-down.

As parents, we want to help our children to feel better. We can teach them how to get to a calmer, more relaxed place on their own.

If you have observed that your child is very anxious, consider these questions:

1.       When did this anxiety start?

2.       What makes it better or worse?

3.       What words does my child at these times?

4.       How does she act when stressed or anxious?

If the Anxiety has an Obvious Cause or Starting Point, Use Matrix Reimprinting

Matrix Reimprinting (MR) is a method that engages imagination and problem-solving abilities in a way that changes perception of old events.  Changing perception changes our experience of everything.

Was your child embarrassed by some incident at school?  Was he in an accident?  Did she see something that scared her?

All of us are shaped by our experiences.  Believe it or not, we can change events so that our children are left with a positive (or neutral) experience of them.

How to Facilitate a Matrix Reimprinting Session for Your Child

1.      Ensure that you are calm and centered.

Take a few deep breaths. If you have strong feelings about the experience you wish to address with your child, do your own work before working with your child.

2.      Choose a peaceful, relaxed time to be with your child.

I like to tap with my children at bedtime. Reading a book or a foot massage may facilitate a transition to quiet time.

3.      Introduce what you are doing in a way that is appropriate for your child.

“I have learned a magical way to make you feel better.  Would you like to try it?”

If your child says no, respect his or her choice.  The goal is to empower our children – not to force them to do something against their wills. We can always try again at a later time if our children seem receptive or interested.

Choose one of these methods for tapping or present your child with these choices:

  • Tap gently on your child while he tells the story of what happened.  (Click on the Super-Easy Tapping Guide to learn the tapping points.)
  • Instead of tapping, touch and hold the tapping points gently while he talks.
  • Model for your child by tapping on yourself.  Encourage her to tap on herself if she is receptive.
  • Use a doll or stuffed bear to demonstrate the tapping.  Encourage your child to tap on the bear while she tells her story. You can ask, “How did bear feel when his friend pushed him?”  Let your child use her own words as she taps.

4.      Telling the Story

Begin tapping on your child and continue to tap throughout the process.

Encourage your child to close his eyes and see a picture of the incident that you suspect initiated his anxiety.  (There may be many contributing incidents. Use whichever story the child chooses to tell. You can work with other incidents at a later date.)

As he describes the scene, tell him to step into the picture and describe what he sees. What is going on with his younger self that we all the ECHO?  Is the ECHO scared? Angry? Confused?

He can then approach his ECHO, introduce himself, and offer to help him by tapping on him.

Using his imagination, your child will tap on the ECHO using simple phrases (see earlier posts) that reflect what the ECHO is feeling. For example: “Even though you’re very scared because you fell and are bleeding, you’re going to be o.k.” or “Even though it hurts, your body knows how to heal itself and you can call for help.”

In the Matrix, your child has magical powers and can bring in any resource his ECHO needs to feel better. His ECHO gets to choose. Perhaps a trusted relative, a doctor, a teacher, or an angel will come to reassure the ECHO that all is well. Sometimes, the ECHO wants an object to help him – a magic cape to protect him, a toy for comfort, a weapon to defend himself.

Encourage him to provide his ECHO with all he needs to feel better. Continue to tap on your child as he taps on or talks to his ECHO.

When the ECHO has no further requests and is satisfied that all is well, the ECHO may choose to do anything he wishes. Often, young ECHOs will want to go play.

At this point, ask your child to observe the new, happy scene.  Ask him to imagine this new picture coming in through the top of his head and filling up his body. Let him send this new picture out into the Universe.

Then, have him open his eyes. Stop tapping.

Encourage your child to notice if he  feels different. Remind him that he can always tap on himself or his ECHOs to feel better.

If you would like to experience a guided EFT/meridian taping session, please contact me.

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