Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Fast Forward - Use this exercise as a way to set your intention for how you want to raise your children.
If you're like me, you often parent with only short-term goals in mind: to get the kids to clean their rooms, to make it through the grocery store without buying a toy, or to induce them to sit quietly through church or temple. It’s easy to lose sight of our long-term goals of raising happy, healthy, confident children when we are caught up in the minutia of life. I find that for most parents in my programs, it is helpful to be powerfully reminded of the end result of your minute-to-minute decisions. So I developed a visualization called Fast Forward to help parents create a picture that they carry with them through the six-week parenting course and beyond. Please read the exercise and then take the time to write down your response that follows the visualization, immediately and without editing, your first thoughts.
Fast Forward your life to a future scene. Your child, now 19, has just arrived home from college to join you for Thanksgiving (if you have more than one child, picture the child who challenges you the most). As you take your seat among friends and family at the dinner table, your 19-year-old clinks a glass to get everyone’s attention, stands and begins to give a speech in your honor. You feel overwhelmed with the feelings of connectedness, joy, and pride as you hear your child express his/her deep gratitude for the wonderful parent you have been.
|My amazing daughters Alexa and Brianna|
On a piece of paper write your child’s speech—the speech you would like to hear. Be as specific as possible, listing in detail the circumstances that created closeness between you and your child. Let your imagination go wild. Do not limit yourself by what you think is possible—write the dream.
This can be a very emotional experience for most parents. Many of us as children did not receive from our parents what we really want to pass on to our children—a high level of connection, appreciation, and unconditional love. Also, many parents fear they won’t be able to “get it” in time to become the parents they want to be. You will. It’s never ever too late to become a more effective parent. It’s never too late to create a more connected relationship with your child.
Use this exercise as a way to set your intention for how you want to raise your children, and let this bigger intention guide your daily actions and provide you with the motivation to change. You provide the desire and I will provide you plenty of ideas for getting there. If you feel like you did not receive the qualities that you want to pass on to your children, do not despair. One of the grand possibilities of parenthood is that we have the chance to experience gifts like unconditional love, connection, freedom, and being heard when we give them to our child. We get to experience unconditional love by giving it to someone else. We have an opportunity to create the connection we didn't feel as children when we connect with our child. And we experience the joy of hearing someone when we felt unheard. In the process we all get to heal.