31 Days to the Inner Rhythm of the Heart: Day Nineteen

Our 31 days to the inner rhythm of the heart, the root foundation of a house of peace, is in progress.  In the vein of those who are setting a New Year’s intention with “one word”, I offer the word of today to you: ho-hum.   Read on for more

Many mothers tell me they have boundaries, but the children rail against the boundaries, and then they end up yelling or giving in.  I am going to suggest to you that you are teaching your child how to guide him or herself; that is the ultimate goal of parenting.  You are also setting the tone in your home for the foundation of developmental change.  Parenting a teenager is much different than parenting a two-year –old (although some mothers have told me the teenaged years are the new two-year-old year!), but yet you are laying the foundation for the future in the early years.

Ho-hum, and learning to let go of your end of the rope, is such an important skill to learn. If you apply all the things we have talked about , and you are really spending time with your child and loving and connecting to your child with warmth (not just barking orders at them or yelling!), and you are consistent, fair and just with your boundaries, then the boundaries for the big things are there. Continue reading

31 Days to the Inner Rhythm of the Heart: Day Eighteen

Our 31 days to the inner rhythm of the heart, the root foundation of a house of peace, is in progress.  In the vein of those who are setting a New Year’s intention with “one word”, I offer the word of today to you: boundaries.   Read on for more

If you take the values and priorities of your family, you will automatically find the places where boundaries matter.  Boundaries will matter because they will help back up your vision for your family.  It is not enough to say that you don’t want yelling in your home.  It must be what you value and want to promote instead of yelling.  This will help help you be “relentless” (remember that word from day six in this series?)  in your pursuit.

Boundaries are also exceedingly important because many mothers tell me that they are, in fact, patient….the first ten times they deal with an issue or challenge with their children.  It is by the time the child has looked for the boundary for the twentieth or fiftieth time that they begin to yell.

The important thing with boundaries is to – Continue reading

31 Days to the Inner Rhythm of the Heart: Day Seventeen

Our 31 days to the inner rhythm of the heart, the root foundation of a house of peace, is in progress.  In the vein of those who are setting a New Year’s intention with “one word”, I offer the word of today to you: joy.   Read on for more

Mothers with one child tell me that often how their family life “feels” revolves around the moods of their only child; it has such a big impact on the family.  Mothers with multiple children often find it difficult and feel stressed to see their multiple children going through developmental phases and stages that they feel puts the entire family into disequilibrium.  In either situation, it seems as if the sheer joy of parenting is lost and the focus is on the negative.

Finding the joy can often be as simple as shaking up the everyday routine.  It may involve ditching the regular plans and going out to play in the snow, heading out for a hike, or doing something together that really builds up the connection and love between everyone.

This is not to “ignore” behaviors you find challenging within your family, but is to give you a chance to hit a “reset” button.  Sometimes we all, even as parents, need this second chance to Continue reading

31 Days of the Inner Rhythm of the Heart: Day Sixteen

Our 31 days to the inner rhythm of the heart, the root foundation of a house of peace, is in progress.  In the vein of those who are setting a New Year’s intention with “one word”, I offer the word of today to you: self-care.   Read on for more

Many mothers tell me they yell more when they are completely low on the “self-care” meter.  It doesn’t matter if this is caused by a mother being single, a mother who has to work full-time and also parent, or a mother who is home full-time and can’t seem to get any time to herself.  The result is all the same:  a lack of care for the self.

It is not a pretty place to be for most of us.  Here are a few points to think seriously about: Continue reading

31 Days to the Inner Rhythm of the Heart: Day Fifteen

Our 31 days to the inner rhythm of the heart, the root foundation of a house of peace, is in progress.  In the vein of those who are setting a New Year’s intention with “one word”, I offer the word of today to you: re-assess.   Read on for more

We are approximately half-way through our thirty-one days to the inner rhythm of the heart.  As a reminder, our words to help us on this journey include reconciliation, attentiveness, reverence, courage, love, relentless, unity, building, time, haven, steady, warmth and inner work.

I have heard from so many of you that have enjoyed this series, although there have not been a lot of discussions or comments made publicly on this blog.  I would love to hear about you and what process is working in your life.

So, today is your day to re-assess what is working and Continue reading

31 Days to the Inner Rhythm of the Heart: Day Fourteen

 

Our 31 days to the inner rhythm of the heart, the root foundation of a house of peace, is in progress.  In the vein of those who are setting a New Year’s intention with “one word”, I offer the word of today to you: inner work. (Yes, that is two words, but who is to quibble?  Smile) Read on for more

 

A lovely comment on the last post really made me think.  The comment was along the lines of, “how do I maintain warmth when I am trying to help a child with boundaries?”  Many mothers tell me how hard it is, that the reaction is to be cold, or stiff, or withdraw or pull away.

 

Some families do wonderfully with everyone going off to their separate spaces and having a little time to calm down before coming back calmly.  However, I have seen many small children in particular, who really need you to hold them calmly through their anger or tears or tantrum.  Older children and teenagers may need a cooling off period, but they don’t need an icy stance either.  What children need to hear and see most often is that “I love you.  We will work on this as a team together.”  And, this of course, requires, you to keep your ho-hum  and your warmth as much as possible.

 

I find if I am feeling emotions rise, or feeling as if I should withdraw, that something has triggered me and Continue reading

31 Days to the Inner Rhythm of the Heart: Day Thirteen

 

Our 31 days to the inner rhythm of the heart, the root foundation of a house of peace, is in progress.  In the vein of those who are setting a New Year’s intention with “one word”, I offer the word of today to you: warmthRead on for more

 

Often in our parenting we can end up feeling almost like a victim.  “Why won’t my child sleep?”  “Why is this so hard?”  “Why does my teenager slam and lock the door to her bedroom?”  “Why is our family so volatile at times?  Why is it so hard for everyone just to be happy?”

 

We act as if we are the victim and reactive to our children’s whims, mood swings; captive to a child’s thoughts of the moment.

 

I offer to you as the antidote to this the thought of warmth.  You are the sun in your home, and your children come toward your warmth and light.  You are calm and steady.  You are the queen of your home.  You love, smile and hug your children and connect with them. 

 

If things are not going well you do not withdraw your warmth but can warmly smile through the crisis of that moment and say, “I love you”, but also keep so calm that things are defused or everyone takes a break and then comes back to work as a team on the problem at hand. 

 

Warmth is one of the most important aspects of being with children. They must feel your warmth, even if you are upset in the moment.  Take a breath, the moment will pass and your warmth will shine through once again. The more you practice this, the better  and easier it will happen.

 

Blessings,
Carrie

31 Days to the Inner Rhythm of the Heart: Day Twelve

Our 31 days to the inner rhythm of the heart, the root foundation of a house of peace, is in progress.  In the vein of those who are setting a New Year’s intention with “one word”, I offer the word of today to you: steadyRead on for more

So far, our words to help us on a journey to a calmer, more peaceful home include open, reconciliation, attentiveness, reverence, courage, love, relentless, unity, building, time and haven . Today we are considering the word steady in creating a peaceful relationship with our children. Continue reading

31 Days to the Inner Rhythm of the Heart: Day Eleven

 

Our 31 days to the inner rhythm of the heart, the root foundation of a house of peace, is in progress.  In the vein of those who are setting a New Year’s intention with “one word”, I offer the word of today to you: havenRead on for more

In La Leche League, my favorite parenting organization, there is a good amount of emphasis and thinking about people before things.  This is rightfully so in regards to all people, but especially our children!  Children need our presence, our time, our attention.  They are far more important than things.

I hear a lot of chatter around the Internet of mothers being turned off by “beautiful” blogs.  Where is the imperfection, the humanity, the realistic look at living with children 24/7 we cry?  Living with children is a constant re-do of the cooking, cleaning, laundry – it never really ends and just cycles around and around.  That can be challenging for some parents who would love the home to stay clean for five minutes before the cycle begins again!

So we often say our children are more important than our things, and therefore our children are more important than cleaning our things and taking care of those things.  However, I am not certain it has to be as one-sided as we often seem to make it on the Internet.  It is almost this unspoken thing that if we are taking care of our children well, then we can’t take care of our homes well.  If we take care of our homes well, then obviously our children are being neglected and they will grow up and have to enter therapy!  And to be fair, some of us do have memories of our mothers cleaning, cleaning and we were to be seen and not heard, and it is not pleasant.  I do understand that!

What I am suggesting is a middle way of viewing the home as a haven.  If you read the last post in this series, I talked about time and being home.  Being home for copious amounts of time is a first good step to having time for this middle ground of caring and nourishing our children and the physical space in which we live.

I feel that this nourishing and care for the home may be more important than we make it out to be because I talk to so many mothers and they tell me their stress level is so much higher when their homes have clutter piled everywhere.  They tell me when no one picks up after him or herself and they feel as if they are the only one helping to care for the home they feel stressed and they tend to yell.

So I do think having a no-yelling home DOES have something to do with the physical environment and what routines or rhythms are in place to help take care of nourish the home.  The home is a very real extension of the people who live there.  When we have a baby, especially a first baby, and even into early childhood, things  in the home will not be done completely nor perfectly.  However, there is a difference between recognizing that and doing what can be done versus deciding nothing can be done at all.   Again, the middle ground is important.  For those of us who have completely perfectionistic tendencies about cleaning and clutter, learning to have realistic expectations is so important.  I know people who don’t have children.  Their things don’t mysteriously move places!  Some of them are exceedingly neat and clean from top to bottom after they cook – because they are not cooking three or more times a day for a hungry children! So, realistic expectations and finding that balancing point is so wonderful.  Many mothers do tell me that when things are reasonably picked up and reasonably clean, they feel lighter and happier.  This is the reality we are searching for in making our homes a haven.  A haven is not a picture from a magazine of beautiful homes where no one lives.  A haven is a home where children and children’s friends play, a home where pets are loved, a home where there is a certain harmony between the adults in the home.  And this really can start with a welcoming physical environment.

Many mothers begin by simplifying and reducing as much clutter as possible.  This is the first step toward beginning to establish routines and rhythms that take a little time each day that can be done together as a family.  This is the first step toward bringing order out of chaos.  This is an interesting back post for you to read on this subject:  http://theparentingpassageway.com/2011/03/30/an-ordered-outer-world-for-a-peaceful-family/   and this outside post that was an inspiration to many:  http://www.studyinbrown.com/writing/2011/3/22/order-and-routine-making-straight-paths-for-peace-part-2.html

Many mothers enjoy a system such as Flylady to help them reduce their clutter and get started on baby steps to cleaning.  I love Flylady.  My home is generally reasonably picked up, but I don’t spend hours and hours on chores and I attribute this to a foundation of many years with  Flylady.   I don’t do things exactly like Flylady, but I do have small step routines in place.  

You can start laying the foundation of working as a team to nourish your home as early as the toddler years.  Liza wrote a beautiful post about this here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2011/06/28/guest-post-meaningful-work-for-toddlers/  .  Work in the home, and as a team, is another way to connect to our children, to establish a family unity, to attach ourselves to one another in love.

A home as a haven.  What a beautiful thought for the day.

Blessings and peace,

Carrie

31 Days to the Inner Rhythm of the Heart: Day Ten

Our 31 days to the inner rhythm of the heart, the root foundation of a house of peace, is in progress.  In the vein of those who are setting a New Year’s intention with “one word”, I offer the word of today to you: time.  Read on for more…

“Time” is a simple shorthand to mean several different things:

If a no-yelling household is important to you, then you must spend time on building on the positive things you identify.  This requires time to be home and with the ones you love.

If a no-yelling household is important to you, then you must spend time connecting in a loving way with the people in your home.

If a no-yelling household is important to you, then you must be home and present without running a million places.

Simplify your time to reflect your priorities.  If creating a calm and peaceful household is your goal, then staying home will help you accomplish your goal because it will give you the time to stay centered, to not rush, to be present.

Most mothers have a tipping point of how much they can be out of the home and feel calm.  I know I do!  You can stay home and love it, and it can help you deepen your relationships to a level where yelling is not the norm in your household.

I listened to a speaker recently at my church who talked about Continue reading