I went to a Spiritual Parenting class last night and am happy to say that the one little tool I walked out of there with has already proven to be well worth the effort.
The lesson came from a book written by Doc Childre, the title which escapes me. He apparently founded something called Heart Math which I had not heard about until last night. Here is what we did:
We took sometime to visualize a time when we felt pure love, affection, and care for our child. We held that image in our hearts and really focused on having our hearts fill up with that. We then took that energy and imagined it flowing out toward our child - a stream of love if you will. Now I know this may sound airy fairy or too hocus pocus to the less alternative-parenting styled people but I used the exercise this morning and it worked. My son was irritated that I asked him to make his bed (imagine that!) and even kicked over some of the laundry that I was folding on his way. He came out and said "there - are you happy?" "Yes", I calmly responded- "thank you. DO you want to say something to me about the laundry?" smiling and holding an easily available image of him as the sweet loving and adoring little 5 year old I know him to also be. He stared at me - waiting for me to scold him or dare him to talk to me that way again - he is testing things. But I just smiled - like a glowing little buddha - like jesus - like a compassionate mom who sees the love that is her child through all the nonsense. Amazingly, my older son said - "mom, you're making a funny face" and the younger troubled one responded by saying "Ugh - okay...I'll go make the other one too!"......with this strange almost "happy-to-be-over-the-role-of-jerk" kind of look. It was BIZARRE! And - it turned out to be one of the best pre-school mornings we have had ever had and certainly the best so far this year.
I am trying to navigate my way through rearing two active, competitive, energetic and smart boys. I am learning as I go along. I do not always do things right. I read a lot of parenting books and I make an effort to be open-minded. Parenting is a challenge for me. A beautiful, fulfilling but trying challenge. I ask God for help all the time. Now, I am going to work on coming more from my heart and less from my head. Enough with the over-used threat of consequences - those will surely come naturally. I am imagining the two boys now - at school, beaming with the love I am sending them - radiating peace and wisdom and a kindness that comes from feeling your heart.