Friday, October 26, 2012

Critical son is upsetting family

I’m so fed up with my son’s back talking! He is constantly criticising his younger sisters and then trying it on me. I’ve tried to tell him, but he just rolls his eyes and it’s really affecting the house. Can you help?

When our children, or ourselves, act with aggression and criticize others it’s often to build themselves up a bit, even if it means on the shoulders of others. At the same time, when we are around people who treat us badly, often their treatment can become our focus and the more we push against the problem, unfortunately, the more the problem grows. This can become a vicious circle and the energy of the group can become unbearable. You don’t mention how old your son is, but with younger daughters it’s important that it doesn’t become a situation of “bad kid” “good kids”. That will just compound the situation. There are four people in this situation: your son, your daughters and YOU. You need to find balance and I always say, that balance starts with you. When its night time and you find some quiet space in time, get yourself feeling good. Appreciate things around you, think on things you love and feel your way to seeing your son as the person you know he is, Who he is at his core, and not what he is presenting to you. Deep down your son is feeling things he isn’t expressing, his behaviour is mirroring those emotions, not representing them. In order to allow him the space to express himself better you need to feel your way to a different image of him. We can’t ask other people to change in order to make us feel better, rather we have to be the change first. Imagine him as a baby or before your daughters were born, he’s the same person he was then, just with a different perspective. Remind yourself of connected moments you’ve had, things he has done that have made you feel that awe-inspiring feeling of pride and joy. Lift yourself up with inspiring thoughts. Also, give focus to thoughts and feelings about your daughters so you can create the feeling within you of a happy, caring family.
In the day if you have a moment with your daughters, rather than discussing your son’s horrible behaviour and using it as a time to talk about him badly, seize the chance to let your daughters into the situation. Tell them that something is wrong, that your son seems angry and upset. Remind them it’s not about them and to try not to take it personally. He appears to be hurting inside himself and that is what he’s criticizing.
Then with your son, when he’s not angry about the house, treat him as you did before the behaviour began. Its easy to fall into the habit of seeing the bad behaviour even when its not present. We can walk on eggshells, expecting the bomb to fall, but in fact in expecting it we are laying the path for it. Help him feel normal in the house, not like he has a role of the bad guy to fulfil. Be kind and considerate. If you have any experiences of other people talking rudely or talking back to you, bring them up and talk about how it makes life so complicated. Follow your instincts and your own connection. When we are connected, words flow. However, if you have the instinct to not say anything, than don’t as it will come off as contrived. Often we speak because we feel we “should” speak, and it never works well. If you want a sincere conversation, than hold the truest version of your son in your heart and mind, and trust that the opportunity will come up. It always will and it will truly amaze you. When we make a request from our heart and leave it up for an opportunity to arise, than something always kicks in and the words flow from our mouths without anger. Sometimes, it can even come from the mouths of others and we can stand lovingly aside.
Most importantly, hold the true image of your son in your heart and mind and try to look past any current behaviour. When we make room for people to grow and change, they often seize the opportunity. When we demand they change, we put the focus on the problem, making no room for the solution, and they usually cut themselves off from ever treating us differently.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Jealous 4 year old

I have an almost four year old son and a 4 month old daughter. My son and I have always had a very close relationship, mostly co-slept, he has been very jealous (which is understandable) since his sister was born. Lately, he has become really really difficult to deal with. Arguing about everything. I try and listen and empathise and be present with him. He lashes out, hits, bites, spits, swears (honestly it is terrible and I think he has picked up some awful language from friends at daycare) his favorite is to tell me he doesn't love me anymore. I am exhausted. At night he wakes and wants to be with me while I'm feeding my daughter and yells at me to face him. It is getting out of hand and I'm exhausted, and I'd hate to say it but am feeling some resentment towards him.Help.

It sounds like your son is really feeling disconnected from his true self and he’s feeling scared, hurt and confused about the whole thing. At his core, and all of our cores, he is a positive spirit, and with that his natural state is to love, laugh and have fun. He knows this deep down, and his anger is simply an indicator that he’s not himself and he needs to reconnect to it again. With his hurt and disconnection, you have become the easiest target to blame. And with his level of anger he is crying out loud and clear to help him find a feeling of security, laughter and fun again.
Children know that’s it’s the natural state to feel good, to jive about, laughing and playing. They haven’t been conditioned to think that some things simply have to be done. Taking care of a 4 month old and being told that has to be done, really doesn’t sound like fun, especially when it probably puts off play for a later date. In some ways, on a deeper level, he sees you stressed, tired and involved with a little someone who he may feel makes you stressed, and he’s upset that you can’t be at the connected state of laughing and playing together like you use to. Motherly love of staring into a 4month old’s eyes for hours, as connecting and awe inspiring as it is for us, doesn’t make a 4 year old burble. So, although your son’s behaviour is a reaction to his feeling off, I find the best process is to take focus away from the problem and what he is presenting to you and focus on helping him get connected again, so he can deal with his new life from a better feeling place.
But how do we get our children connected? It sounds like right now, your son is feeling pretty at sea, so even if you tell him all is well, from his perspective he won’t believe you, in fact he won’t even hear you. He’s going to have to feel it in order to understand it.
We are sensual beings. We sense moods, atmospheres and people’s opinions. Children are so in touch with this. Therefore, often they sense our stress, they feel our looks and opinions and rather than change how they are in order to help, they tap in to the stress and cause more of it. It really can create a vicious circle. So, the first place is to start from is you and how you feel, because that’s where you have control. Take some time, even before bed, and get yourself feeling better. Take your focus off of the situation, avoid talking about your son’s jealousy or behaviour for a bit, because you can’t feel good looking at a problem, so appreciate a hot bath, go through happy memories, count your blessings, and then offer up the problem of conflict. One way to offer it up is to close your eyes and imagine life through the eyes of your son. Try to get into his skin so you can sense what he feels like. If you can’t do it, don’t worry about it. Rather, put some time in on focusing on all the things you appreciate him. Imagine his laugh, his smile, his eyes, think of him when he was a baby, and also, try to recall anything he did that made you smile in the previous day.
The reason I suggest doing this is when we shift perspective on a person, and stop seeing only what they are showing us, but remember them as Who They Are, we allow them space to connect again to that deeper level. Sure, what they are doing is “fact”, but it’s not them, so when we see our children as themselves, they can feel more comfortable getting connected again and start acting the way we see them.
The next day, try to only see the good in him. Thank him for small things, talk to him a little older. Involve him on an emotional level. I know this probably seems like a lot of work, and you’re probably tired and stressed, but I promise you, by feeling better the night before and shifting focus, you’ll start to see a change. A 3 year old can seem highly demanding, but they can also be so much fun. Ask him questions, make funny jokes, play games when the baby’s sleeping. Focus attention on fun with him and you will see connection starting to return. Even if it means setting chores aside for a couple of days to get connection back, it pays big time. If he’s not interested in joining in, go to a little effort to make him smile. Make his lunch into funny faces, put on a favourite movie that you can cuddle up together with, take him to the park and play in the sand with him.
If he starts to yell and get mad again, look at him with love and understanding and ask the important questions. Who is talking to him like this? Does he like being talked to like this? It makes you feel awful and makes the house sound horrible (yucky is a common phrase in our house), you need his help to make a safe and happy home. How can you do it together? Than go get some music and dance together, change the feeling space from where he was at. Sometimes he might not join you there, but keep your heart light and looking at the bright side, he’ll know deep down that it’s the natural state. Distraction is key so he can remember what it’s like to feel good and join you there. Feeling off and angry can become a habit and it’s easy to slip back into it all the time.
As far as while you are feeding your daughter in the middle of the night and him lashing out, as you start to see him clearer you will be able to start making deals and also, understand that he’s been feeling pretty lost. Facing him means actually a lot, as a back turned in bed can feel very isolated. Can you have one arm around him while you feed sitting up? Can the baby be in the middle for a bit? Can he sleep at the foot of the bed and you could hold his foot? Give a little bit on some things, but only when it feels relieving. If he’s learning bad language at day care I would clarify who is doing it and if it’s directed at him at all. If he is being an example of how people are treating him outside home, than he has more reasons to feel “off” than a new baby sister. It might not be so much jealousy after all. Therefore, love, love, love him, hug him, play with him, connect with him. Find that connection within yourself so you can clear away what’s being presented to you and see him as the pure positive, beautiful, growing, and vibrant young man he is.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Overwhelmed new mom with colicky baby

I’m a new mom and I’m totally swamped. I know that all new babies cry a lot, but my little boy seems to be crying all the time. I change him, I feed him, it doesn’t seem to help. The doctor just said it was colic and to wait it out, but it can’t be the right thing to do. Sometimes it feels like my heart is breaking and other times I think I’m going to pull my hair out. What do I do?

Colic is often a term used to generalize uncontrollable crying, and it has no medical cause. Yes, it can be caused by gas in a the stomach, but that can also be caused by the crying. It is said to be caused by stress sometimes, but then nothing is more stressful than a crying baby. Round and round the argument goes, and when a cycle like that begins I like to start looking for a different Source.
First, I suggest looking at our babies anew. Infants have come from a wonderful place. Before acquiring bodies, they were pure, positive spirit, who knew no pain, no contrast, no separation. In the womb they started getting a sense of what the world was about, through hearing and instinctual feelings from what we were radiating to the outside world. They sensed worry, stress and chaos, but still it was as an observer. Their basic needs were still tended to (thank you placenta) and then birth happened. Depending on the sort of birth you had, and whether it was traumatic or not, this can often be the first contrasting experience to what they’ve known. That’s alright, contrast is really what we’ve all come for, so we can define ourselves, what we want, and grow and expand. If birth wasn’t the first contrast, than the first hunger pain or dirty diaper will be. It’s a rough start and for some spirits/babies too much to handle. Therefore, in my mind, there are times in the day, or all day, when crying out for what use to be is the only solution.
So, how do we help our infants connect back to what they knew, and close the gap to Who They Really Are? It’s hard when a crying baby and feeling so tired can have us disconnected from ourselves as well. I find a change of scene, going for a walk outside for instance helps. Avoid talking to other people as a distraction for yourself, or even Facebook on your iphone. Put focus on creating a safe feeling environment for your baby. If there was music you listened to when pregnant, put that on, if you meditated when pregnant or did focus work, even for birth, do that. Create a familiar feeling within yourself so you can radiate back and your child will sense it. Talk to your baby, point out things you love. They are never too young to hear your voice and connect with you, we often talk to them when they are inside of us, and they are used to the sound of our voice. Therefore, sing, laugh, make yourself feel better, and take them for the ride, reminding them of the mere weeks before when they weren’t in the outside world.
The outside world’s feeling space can often be fast paced and frantic, it’s simply too much to handle for a small babe, therefore, shut it out, for yourself as well. Cut out newspapers and TV news for a bit and be aware of how they affect you. Your baby senses it. Breathe and relax and know that this is a process your baby has to go through; it’s the next step in physicalization.
So, make it an easier transition. You too are in transition as you get to know your new family member. LOVE, love, love and breathe. Carry her around with you through the worst of it, and when you can’t muster up better feeling thoughts/feelings, ask for help from the most secure person you know. Remind them it’s not just about carrying the load, it’s about radiating positivity and showing a baby love and understanding when they are feeling a little too far away from home.

Monday, October 15, 2012

9 year old shutting parents out

My daughter is 9 and up until now we’ve been really close. Suddenly though, it feels like she’s hiding stuff from me, like there’s stuff she doesn’t want me to find out about. How can I get her to open up and be honest with me?

Your daughter knows how close you’ve been together and in time she will want that bond again. However as parents we sometimes forget that we have to grow with our children, otherwise, quite honestly, they leave us in the dust. With 9 years of experience, your daughter has been observing life, getting a feel for it, feeling what’s off, what feels good, what she likes and what she doesn’t, now she’s beginning to feel confident in her choices and wanting to create a sacred space for herself. At a certain point, we all have to trust our children with the choices they make, only being the example of what we believe and offering subconscious alternatives if we think they are acting from a place of disconnection. By subconscious alternatives I mean offering up opportunities to experience things from a perspective that feels good to you, although we have to allow them to not feel good to our children all the time. I find that certain movies, chosen on a feeling space place rather than making “a point” is a good energy shift, or even just talking about something you are passionate about, experiences you had that made you feel good, and keeping her part of your life, even if right now, she needs you to be a bit in the dark about hers.
The most important thing I find is to come from a clear perspective ourselves. As a parent heads into dealing with teenage years, it’s easy to jump into fear based thinking “what are they up to” and going into stereotypical parental panic. Often it seems that parents forget their pre-teens and teens are still the same people as they were when they were born. They have the same essence. When we get connected to our truest selves, to our Source, when we feel like our true essence we can see our children at their deepest level as Who They Really Are. Then we can simply offer up the request to help in any way we can, if help is needed at all, and also the request to know how to be the parent our children need at this new age. Requests made on a deeper level like this are acted on quickly, as we open ourselves to seeing solutions rather than stick to focusing on the problems.
Trust your daughter, trust who she really is, and see her in that light. When she feels you seeing her on that level, than she will feel more comfortable opening up to you with her new thoughts and emotions which may have her thinking you wouldn’t approve.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Peaceful Parent has demanding daughter

I want to be a peaceful parent, but lately it feels like I’m more just a weak one. My 2.5 year old daughter has become really demanding, and where I thought I was being understanding now I just seem to give in to everything she asks. If I don’t give in, she just throws a fit, so I try to understand how she feels, and hug her, but she just gets mad at me. What am I doing wrong?

Good for you for sparking the desire to be a peaceful parent, it’s a wonderful journey. There’s one thing that’s important to remember, that is that in order to be a peaceful parent, or person, you have to feel it. If you’re feeling weak, than something is off. That’s fine, its good really, because when something suddenly feels off, it means we can shift perspective and stir things up a bit.
What is your perspective of your daughter? Often when a child is acting off, or in ways that make us want to cry, we form a new view of them and we see that behaviour in everything they do, rather than every once and a while. However, the truth is that our children have come here as pure, positive beings and when they aren’t jiving, when they aren’t feeling themselves, then they act out from the shear pain of it. They haven’t yet been conditioned to simply grin and bear it. They simply can’t hid their frustration and upset from not feeling themselves. So before dealing with how to not give in to her demands, the question becomes where are her demands coming from? She’s feeling off and she’s looking for things that will make her feel on again. When she isn’t getting what she thinks will make her feel better , than she’s mad at you because you won’t help her get on.
At 2.5 to 3 there is so much that goes on. A child is learning about how the world works and interpreting it for how they feel about it, what they like, what they don’t like and how to move forward and grow more. Things like walking and talking are no longer challenges, they’ve lost interest in their toys and their old games, they long for a new adventure. However, they are also old enough to start learning about consideration and taking care of others so I suggest this.
First find a grounded place within, focusing on whatever makes you jive. Appreciate the simple things, focus on things that make you feel better, watch a funny movie, stare at the stars, whatever makes you sink into wellbeing. Then offer up the image of a day with your daughter where you play, you laugh together and all is well. Then watch for opportunities the next day.
Set aside a time to spark your child. Get a cardboard box and make it something, have a tea party, play with figurines in a toy house, play together and show her a new way of playing, something a little older. Challenge her with nursery rhymes and do silly dances, find your inner child and play together. If at any time she has a fit and yells, than ask her simply if she wants you to talk like that? Remind her that if everyone in the house talked like that than it would sound awful. Then shift focus to a different game or topic so she can chose to stay feeling bad or jump on board the fun train.
Feeling off starts to be a habit for our 2-3 year olds. Sometimes it just takes us refocusing them to the little joys of life which can spark new life. Also, sometimes change in circumstance, holidays, fighting being sick, or visitors can chuck them out of feeling themselves and they don’t understand why so they react to the offness. You are right to be understanding, but rather than offer sympathy offer alternatives.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Work in Progress

Hi everyone, This is currently a site under construction as I sort out the details. However it is the new home of a project I'm really excited about. This site will act as an advice column on Spiritually Aware Parenting. Parents and carers are invited to write in and their questions will be answered, keeping them anonymous of course, here online. I often get messaged questions on my Facebook page ( and, although I've been running my own consultation business, I feel it benefits everyone to be able to read the advice here online and we can co-create together. Therefore, hang on a couple of weeks, while I sort it all out. In the meantime, my book about spiritually aware pregnancy and childhood up until age 2 is now available on kindle. For more info, please check out! Be well, happy and thrive everyone.