Blog

My #1 Parenting Tip

by | Feb 25, 2016 | Uncategorized

There are so many parenting experts out there, and they all have an opinion about the way we should be parenting.

I have a library of parenting books I’ve collected since I first conceived of the idea of having a baby, and ever since I had my first baby bump people have taken it upon themselves to offer me parenting advice (even strangers in the street!).

While there are many parenting books that I do love (like this one and this one for example), I’m not an advocate of following one particular parenting lineage or methodology.  And I’m definitely not an advocate of over-riding your own intuition in order to do what the ‘experts’ tell you to do.

I love working with new parents. It’s an absolute honour to teach yoga teachers about perinatal mental health and to sit with new mothers and fathers and support them to navigate the ups and downs of having a new baby.  It’s a sacred time, and I feel so honoured to walk beside parents during this time.

A question I get asked regularly from parents is how to deal with their child’s challenging behaviour.

And my answer is inevitably, “you get your own needs met“.

You see, as parents, WE’RE the experts on our children.  And when OUR needs are getting met, we naturally and intuitively respond to our children’s needs.  Including their challenging behaviours.

This works in two ways.

Firstly, when our needs are getting met, we’re happier. And when we’re happier, the whole family is happier. Sound too simple to be true?  Trust me, it’s not.  My husband’s mantra since the birth of our first child has been “happy mama, happy baby,” and I’ve been endlessly grateful for this.  Children are sensitive beings, and they pick up on our moods.  When we’re stressed and strung out, they feel it.  When we’re happy and fulfilled, they feel that too.

Secondly, when we’re stressed, over-tired and unhappy, it’s very difficult to deal with the demands of parenting.  Our tolerance thresholds are low and it’s hard to cope. Children have needs, LOTS of needs, and we cannot hope to meet them if our own needs are not being met.

To meet the needs of others, our own cup needs to be full.  Giving to others when our cup is full and overflowing feels effortless.  Giving when our cup is empty, feels a lot like hard work.  Resentment is likely to build up, and this seeps out in all sorts of unconscious ways like yelling and storming out of the room.

Think of it like this; getting your own needs met is like putting on your own mask in an airplane crash before you put on your child’s.  Not because parenting is like a plane crash, but because we can’t meet our children’s needs if we have nothing left to give.

When we’re feeling fulfilled and happy in our lives, it’s so much easier to cope with the tears, the throwing things, the refusals to go to bed and the defiant “NO!”.  When our cup is full, we can allow our children to fully express their emotions and desires without feeling like we’re loosing control.  We can hold the space for them to do what ever they need to do in that moment and we can tune into our intuition and take clear and loving action that is in the best interest of everyone involved.

So, here’s my invitation.  Don’t read this article and let it be just another ‘nice’ idea.

Instead, close your eyes, take and couple of breaths, and ask yourself “what do I need in this moment?”

Then go and do it (or if you can’t do it right away, send someone an SMS and make a date for them to watch the kids so you can do it some time very soon)!

If you don’t believe me, try is as an experiment.  For the next week, make your own needs a priority.  And see how it affects your children and your ability to be the parent you want to be.

Leave me a comment below about your experience with getting your needs met, I’d love to hear it.

With gratitude,

2 Comments

  1. Brook McCarthy

    I do believe we have the exact same philosophy to parenting. It’s too easy to put your child’s needs before your own and that’s a short road to burn-out and resentment.

    Putting my needs first makes me far more generous with my children.

    Reply
    • Dr Lauren Tober

      I couldn’t agree with you more Brook. What lucky kids you have!

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ACCESS THE INNER WISDOM LIBRARY

Free meditations, eBooks + more

You have Successfully Subscribed!

LATEST eCOURSE

A Daily Dose of Bliss

NEXT EVENT

Embodied Rest

WANT MORE LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX?

Sign up to get the keys to the Inner Wisdom Library (free meditations, eBooks and more)

Simple Rituals for Letting Go

Are you ready to let go of something that is no longer serving you? Ritual can be a  powerful way to do this. I like letting go rituals that are simple. Here are some ideas: Write down what you would like to release (a list, a story, a letter, a poem, a drawing or a...

read more

What Do You Desire?

I’ve been consciously creating a life of meaning and purpose for myself and supporting others on their paths for many years. However it wasn’t until I met Dr Richard Miller and began the journey into iRest Yoga Nidra that I heard the term Heartfelt Desires, and fully...

read more

The Science of Willpower

If you’ve ever tried to let go of an old habit, or create a new one, you’ve no doubt found how challenging it can be.   I’ve previously written about the six steps to changing a habit - they include clarity, noticing, self compassion, acting consciously,...

read more

 

Sign up to stay in touch +
access the Inner Wisdom Library

 free meditations, eBooks + more for wholehearted living

 

Join me

WANT MORE LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX?

Access meditations, eBooks and more
in the Inner Wisdom Library.

It's yours.  For free.

Thanks

Start Your Journey

LET'S GET STARTED

Sign up to my growing collection of meditations, eBooks and more
in the Inner Wisdom Library

It's yours. For free.

Thank you