I’ve got this bumper sticker on the back of my car. It says, “World peace begins at home. Be nicer to your kids.” It’s a sound observation and an excellent piece of advice, and it comes from the mind and heart of a teenager, my friend Kelly’s son, Cameron. He was maybe 17 or 18 at the time. His words have inspired many folks, and I feel blessed to have met him. And, I feel blessed to know his folks, who have given Cam the space and support to reach such conclusions. When you think about it, you realize that world peace is indeed, absolutely possible.
So, I guess you could say I’m all about world peace, and I’m here to tell you that world peace absolutely does start at home.
We, who take on this awesome job of parenting, often desire to parent peacefully and calmly and joyfully. But, we find ourselves ~ despite our best intentions ~ raising our voices, resorting to time-outs and other punitive tools that can approach or even include physical violence and verbal abuse. And, that’s frustrating because it’s not what we want to do. Furthermore, we are stymied as to what to do about it, and we’re not even sure we can do something about it! We begin to feel powerless to control our own behavior, let alone that of our kids. And, all this is hardly peaceful, calming, or joyful.
Indeed, children are resilient. Even when they don’t seem to like us, they love us, no matter what, and by and large, they “turn out okay,” despite the shaming and violence (either physical or emotional or both).
But, I ask you to ponder this: What if a child didn’t have to overcome violence of word, thought, or deed? What if a child felt peace and authenticity emanating from her parent in all situations and could flourish in a continuum from that first beautiful glorious day when you very first met her? What if a child were to be able to witness her parent’s evolution through anger and frustration towards growth and acceptance and enjoyment? And, what then might be the possibilities for future generations?
You might say that it’s not possible to parent peacefully. I’m here to tell you that it is possible. People do it all the time. You can, too. And, a parent whisperer (like, say, me!) can help you get there.
So. Why “whisperer”? A whisperer is defined as one who tames or trains by gentle methods and speech. This resonates with me. I see a whisperer as one who, through gentle means and holding space, allows the best to emerge in her clients.
My nephew, who completely approves of this enterprise, by the way, said, “But, you should call yourself ‘The Kid Whisperer.’ Sounds better.” And, I agree with him ~ it does sound better. But, that would imply that I’d be working with kids. And, that’s not what I do. I work with parents to help them see how their attitudes, responses, and behaviors can affect their kids’ attitudes, responses, and behaviors. So, I’m sticking with the long, unwieldy, less elegant name. That’s OK. It’s growing on me.
You sometimes hear folks shrug and say, “If only kids came with an owner’s manual.” And, it’s funny, when you think about it. There are classes where we learn how to do all kinds of things, from cooking to working on our cars to photography… we invest a lot of time and energy in learning how to do things we love to do, and do them right. But parenting? Well, we just kind of play it by ear. We go on instinct and trial and error, which often devolves to knee-jerk, habitual reactions. These lead, often times, to power struggles and regrets, and, trust me, history has shown that no one really ever wins a power struggle.
But, don’t you think that parenting is an important enough job that we might want to invest at least as much time and effort into perfecting our technique as we might put into perfecting our expertise in baking or tennis or bridge?
We learn how to parent from our parents, and not so much by watching them as an objective observer, but usually as a subjective parentee! This perspective tells us very little about what our parents’ motivations might have been. We, as young, inexperienced people with our own pressing needs, could not have had any way to understand the forces that were pressing in on our parents from all sides, influencing the way they chose to respond to our needs. And yet, most of us adopt the same “techniques” we learned from our parents. This could work out just fine for you and your kids, but it can also amount to something on the order of the blind leading the blind, because, after all, our parents only learned from their parents in the same way that we learned from our parents. The bottom line is, if you're not feeling happy with the way you are choosing to respond to your kids' needs, then there is work to do.
There is a lot to know when it comes to interpersonal relationships, especially ones like the parent-child relationship, which can be so fraught with all kinds of baggage and trauma and fear. As a peaceful parent whisperer, I can help you find alternative paths that heal and even transcend all the baggage and the trauma and the fear and restore peace, calmness, and joy.
You find the alternate path ~ I hold a torch so you can see where you’re going.
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Contact me for a free consultation to see if we’d be a good fit for each other. Click here or call 845 . 657 . 3111 or send an email to marji @ peacefulparentwhisperer . com.
Thanks for reading. We’ll talk soon!