Love And Inner Work

We must love our children enough to do what is right for them.  This includes our own ability to control ourselves, to display our own self-discipline, our own evenness in times of stress, our own self-equilibrium.

Working on your own emotional boundaries is so important.  If you can say no to things and not feel guilty, if you can release the people and things from your life that are so unhealthy what a wonderful model you can be for your children.

An important part of being this model for your children also means to bring an order to your children.  Rhythm is the best kind of discipline; it often shows us that we are trying to just cram way too much into our days.  There is a time and a place for things, and there is an order in which we do things.  We have lunch, and then we have a nap.  We play, and then we clean up.  We don’t pull out fifty toys in a big heap, but have an order to putting things back and putting things up.  Rhythm strengthens the will of the child, and brings the chaos of life into order.  What a valuable skill to model for young children!

Rhythm requires you, the adult, to stand with a certain amount of authority.  What is right in your home, and what is not right?  What can you allow and what can’t you allow?  I find many parents I speak with are so hesitant to use their own authority….they say things to me like, the children are making an absolute mess by doing “X” in the house, but I don’t want to squash their play or creativity. I think if it makes you feel uncomfortable, then it probably shouldn’t be allowed!  If you think it is not going to fly at a friend’s house, then probably it shouldn’t be allowed either! Our children need to be able to function in the world!

Stand firm.  Children crave this!  Stop couching your sentences with “okay, sweetie” and softening the whole thing.  Less words, less explanation, more rhythm of what you do every day and how you do it will diffuse battles,and will allow you to experience the reverence, awe and wonder that is part of raising children.

We are all striving; we are not perfect.  However, we should be doing what is right for our children out of our love for them.  Children have a way of making us want to be better people than we were before; they have so many things to teach us and show us if we can help them along their path through love, rhythm and authority.

Many blessings,

11 thoughts on “Love And Inner Work

  1. So true, so difficult. I feel I am constantly, and will always be, a work in progress when it comes to self control. I have a feeling I’ll be meditating on this article, and coming back to it over and again.

  2. Hi Carrie,
    Thanks for the post – it is very timely for me. I was thinking the other day about saying “okay” at the end of my sentences/statements and I realized that I’m not saying it because I want to get their buy in, I’m saying it because I want some sort of acknowledgement that they are hearing me and thus are going to comply. It’s also very automatic – I don’t even realize I’m saying it until it’s already out. Any ideas on other ways to get this acknowledgement from toddlers? Thanks, Renee

    • Hi Renee,
      Remember, singing and being right there physically is for toddlers..take them by the hand, lead them, hold them, love them..words in general don’t work too well with toddlers at all…Let your strong rhythm and how you do things repetitively carry things in your house..
      Blessings and love,

  3. it’s not “okay, sweetie.” it’s “okay, sweetie? (question mark)” I think like the previous commenter said, that we aren’t really asking for their okay, we want a response. A more precise thing to say, would be “do you understand me?” If you really mean it.

  4. I really needed to hear that just now. Thank you so much. I am struggling hard with my own emotions when dealing with our 9 year old son who is pushing every boundary there is right now. It can be a lonely place!! Everything I ask him to help with gets a massive complaint, whining, moaning and trying to escape from doing any of the ‘work’ around the house – we have 4 children and this boy is the sweetest one with his little brother and sisters. He has so much patience to play with them etc. But he and I seem to argue about every single detail of every single day. I’m getting near my wits end with him, almost expecting an argument as soon as I speak, but trying so hard to be patient. Any words of wisdom for helping live alongside the 9 year old boy? Thank you so much Carrie.

    • Janet,
      THe nine year change is something, isn’t it? I think go back and review the nine year old posts under the Development tab, I know none of them are directly boy related, but they will help you — and also many of the discipline posts…One book I would like to recommend to you is “Raising A Son” by the Eliums. I think I did a review of it here on the Parenting Passageway.


  5. Well said. I think as parents we have to remember that being strict isn’t being mean, even if the kids say so. I have three girls, and they’re quick to point out when I’m too soft with one of the others. It’s amusing, but it’s a reminder. We do them no favors by not giving them a rhythm to life. Not only in what we tell them to do, but also in what we model.

    I’d argue that the modeling is even more important than the enforcing.

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