ZIAM Episode 35: How to Stop Being the NO Parent
Do you feel like you’re the bad guy all the time, always saying “no” to your kids?
You tell them to stop doing this and stop doing that… no, you can’t have this and no, you can’t have that?
As a “NO parent” you can find yourself cutting your children off from what they really desire and want to be doing in the world.
I want to share with you a technique that I use that helps me say YES to my son more often. Learn how you can say YES and provide more stability, happiness, and joy in your family.
Do you feel like you’re always saying no to your kids? Think about it for a minute. Does it feel like you’re telling them to stop doing something, to knock it off, no, they can’t have this, no, they can’t have that, or pretty much cutting them off their desires and what they really want to be doing in the world? Have you ever noticed it doesn’t really feel good? You just feel like the bad guy all the time? Well, I want to talk to you about that and share with you a technique that I use that helps me say yes to my son more often. It provides a lot more stability, and happiness, and joy in our little family.I adore my son. He’s three, almost four years old now. He has got the most joyous, beautiful, little heart. If you haven’t found me on Facebook, I recommend that you do. Go ahead and look me up. Check out my little family and where we live. I’ve noticed that there are times when I go through this period, if I’m not careful, where it’s a constant, “No. Stop jumping on the couch. Pick that up. Don’t put that glass there. Move this over here. Don’t take your clothes off.” All kinds of different things that are coming up for him at three. They’re not really coming from me being present and conscious with him. In fact, they’re a gut reaction to me being in my head, being in the hurried moment of life, and not really taking each situation as it arises and gauging it as to what’s appropriate for him in that moment. I started using my internal guidance system more on learning how to relax and decipher what are my priorities with my son, and what he should and shouldn’t be doing. The last thing that I want to do is make him grow up too early, treat him like an adult where he has to act like one, and lose his genuine exuberance for the world around him, and excitement. I noticed that my husband and I, if we’re not careful, that’s what we end up doing.
Now, if you don’t know what your internal guidance system is, check it out at zeninamoment.com. There’s a video on the home page that I walk you through feeling it for yourself. I don’t like to do it in every podcast, because it takes up a little bit of time. It’ll take you about three or four minutes. For those of you who do know that expansion feeling, I call it opening. That’s in relationship to what you’re thinking. Then there’s a contraction feeling. This happens between your throat and your upper solar plexus area. The contraction feeling can feel like a lump in your throat, or a tightening in your chest, or a lump in your stomach. It’s stress, anxiety, worry, fear, frustration, irritation.
A lot of the times when I’m saying no or asking him to not do something, I’m closed. It was a big aha moment. The irritation, the way that I was thinking about my son, what he was doing and his behavior, was closing. That means the way I was thinking about him jumping on the couch. There’s good jumping on the couch, and there’s bad jumping on the couch. There’s one that breaks it, and there’s another one that’s just him being a bouncy little boy who likes to move, and wiggle, and squirm around. I have to gauge where are the appropriate boundaries. Same thing with my little one running around the house naked. He doesn’t have to have his clothes on. I realized I was closed when I kept saying, “Keep your clothes on.” He was having a hard time keeping his clothes on. He loved to take his clothes off and race around the house. It made a lot of sense to me that I’ve learned to not do that, but he hasn’t, and he was really enjoying himself. When I checked in with my internal guidance system, “Does this matter? Is this something that I need to be stopping?” I closed. When I said, “It’s healthy and good for him to run around without any clothes on in our home, in a safe environment,” I opened. What happened was I found that in learning how to stop and check in, I’ve been teaching him how to do that naturally. What I’ll do is I’ll start to say no to something, and I’ll say, “Hold on a second. Let me think about it.” I’ll look at him, and I’ll check in internally. I’ll go, “No, I think that’s okay. You can keep doing that.”
Right now, it’s Christmastime almost, and we’ve been decorating the house. One of his new toys, which I probably would have never let him play with, is a simple string of white lights. I’ve never seen a kid with so much joy. Every day when he wakes up in the morning or when he gets back from daycare, he wants me to plug in the lights. Then he just brings his toys over. He’s made fake race tracks, and he’s stuffed all the lights in the back of his dump truck. My first reaction to him playing with a string of electrical lights was to say no. When I checked in, it wasn’t the right choice. I’m so happy I checked in. The reason is he has been so creative. His imagination has been going wild with this simple string of lights on the floor. He has done so many amazing little things with it. He tells me all about it. It has just been this really precious little moment. I want to encourage you, because I think a lot of times as parents, we get into our busy day. We maybe don’t want a mess. We might not think that what the child is doing is important. We can collapse everything into a big no.
Another time, just to share with you, it was dark outside. We live out in the country. My son kept wanting to go outside. We don’t let him out at night. We don’t have a lot of street lights or anything like that. When it’s dark, he’s in. He kept wanting to go out. I finally stopped and I said, “Did you leave something outside? Are you wanting to go out to get something?” He said, “Yes.” He was so frustrated. “Yes, Mommy.” He had left one of his toys outside. I kept just telling him, “No. Come inside,” without really checking in to find out why he wanted to go outside. As soon as I did, I went out with him. We got his little toy. He came back in, and it was fine.
There’s just a place and a way in which this divine center that you have, that we all have, can support you in keeping that exuberant child alive, giving him or her a level of respect. When the no does come, it’s opening. When there are times when your children shouldn’t be doing something, you feel an opening. What I’ve noticed is that when I have an opening to a no…It really isn’t an appropriate thing for a child to be doing right now or that thing in particular…it’s well received. What I have found is that opening begets opening. When you’re open, the person that you’re in a relationship with is opening, too, very often. Closing begets closing. When you’re closed, the other person reacts with closing. When you have a no and you’re doing it from a place of opening, your child feels that, and the no is respected and understood. There may be some push back, of course. I used to do a summer camp, and I also taught kids to ski. It’s so much easier when it’s not your kid. I would also check in with my IGS in being a good teacher. What I found was that the kids really responded well to my structure and discipline, because I came from a place of opening. They felt cared for, and loved, and really appreciated in the way that I created the structure for them. I hope this helps you. I would love for you to be more open in your parenting and have your children experience you in the flow, feeling light, open, and wise as you guide them on their way.
We have tons of podcasts at iTunes, and SoundCloud, and also at my website, zeninamoment.com. Please feel free to go through. Share, share, share. Let people know about this work. I really appreciate it. Sign up for our email list. We have programs and courses that we’re launching. The stress to happiness makeover is a fabulous program that will get you from hoping to be out of stress to eradicating stress in your life and opening yourself to your own purpose, love and joy. Check it out at zeninamoment.com. Of course, if you have any questions or a topic you’d like me to talk on, please go ahead and leave it in the comments or contact me through my web page. I’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, I’m sending you love and blessings.