"My memories of Christmas as a
child are of stress. My mother wanted everything to be perfect and got
so worked up trying to do it all that it made the rest of the family
crazy. I remember my dad comforting me when I was about 8 years old, I was
crying and said “I hate Christmas” and he said “I do, too, honey. We
just have to get through it.”
So for my kids I try to be relaxed and fun. We make ornaments for friends and family in December and give them out as we see people — gets us into the giving without thought of receiving. We take time to see the lights around town, to decorate and appreciate our tree. We talk about the other festivals of lights and remember that feasting and gifts are to make the darkest, coldest time of year merry. We celebrate the return of the sun. We relax and play and laugh and appreciate each other.” - Amy READ POST
they grow up to be, they are still our children, and the one most
important of all the things we can give to them is unconditional love.
Not a love that depends on anything at all except that they are our
children.” -- Rosaleen Dickson
We've reached the final step of our series Ten Steps to Unconditional Love.
Step Ten? Repeat daily to rewire your brain for love. Watch your life transform.
Healing our ability to love unconditionally requires daily practice. Most of us don't wake up overflowing with love every morning. So each day we start over. Managing our moods. Finding ways to reconnect with the deep springs inside that replenish us. Choosing love.
Research shows that certain habits do rewire our brains. Habits like meditation, exercise, feeling gratitude, and serving a higher good actually change our bodies and brains so that over time we can regulate ourselves better emotionally. (Our immune systems work better, too!)
And every time we stop ourselves from sliding into a "parent tantrum," we're building our ability to self-soothe so we can stay centered. The only catch? These habits have to be "practiced" daily. READ POST
"You may become flooded by feelings such as fear, sadness or rage. These intense emotions can lead you to have a knee-jerk reaction instead of thoughtful responses. When emotional reactions replace mindfulness, you're on the low road and it is very unlikely that you will be able to maintain nurturing communication and connection with your child." -- Dan Siegel
You know what the high road is. When you’re feeling really good, nothing fazes you. You respond to your child’s foibles with patience, understanding, and a sense of humor.
You know what the low road is, too. It’s when you’re stressed, exhausted, resentful. When you insist on being right or wringing an apology out of your child. When your fuse is so short that you feel justified in having your own little tantrum. When you're in the grip of fight or flight emotions and your child looks like the enemy. READ POST
"Dr Laura....I only found Aha! Parenting a month ago. Already things have improved so much with my kids and I no longer act like a crazy person when I get frustrated with them. But I keep wondering if I have messed my children up forever...."
"Understanding alone cannot prevent disrupted connections from occurring. Some will inevitably happen. The challenge we all share is to embrace our humanity with humor and patience so that we can in turn relate to our children with openness and kindness. To continually chastise ourselves for our "errors" with our children keeps us involved in our own emotional issues and out of relationship with our children.." -- Daniel J. Siegel
Have you made mistakes as a parent? Join the club. The bad news is that you're human, like all parents. So we all fall short. READ POST
stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom
and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and
freedom." -- Victor Frankl
"Where there is great love, there are always miracles." – Willa Cather
I know, you never actually stop loving your child, even when she acts like a monster and you can't stand being with her another minute. But unfortunately, the love you feel isn't the most important factor in your child's emotional development. READ POST
"Try to see your child
as a seed that came in a packet without a label. Your job is to
provide the right environment and nutrients and to pull the weeds. You
can’t decide what kind of flower you’ll get or in which season it will
bloom." - Anonymous
Unconditional love isn't just what we feel. It's what the object of our love feels: love without strings attached. That means our child doesn't have to be, or do, anything in particular to earn our love. We love her exactly as she is. READ POST
"What can you do if the people in your life, in particular family, continue to inflict wounds although you keep forgiving? Isn't it better to keep them at arms length ?" - Ruby
“Healing comes when we meet our wounded places with compassion." -- Stephen Levine
Last week, Step 4 in our series Ten Steps to Unconditional Love was Are You Drinking Rat Poison? The Secret of Forgiveness Many readers thought I was saying that forgiveness means you make up with anyone who has hurt you and give them access to your heart again. NOT. You don't want people in your life who inflict wounds. Arms length? Toss them out of your life altogether! READ POST