Thursday, November 1, 2012

Intuitive Parenting

Have you ever read something and thought it was written specifically for you? That is how I felt when I came across Tricia Savoi's website called Absolute Awareness. Tricia is a Calgary-based mother of two and former teacher turned writer, speaker, clinical hypnotherapist and inspirer. Her site talks about how she rushed from activity to activity, usually felt stuck or guilty or both. How she longed for something "more" but didn't know what the "more" was. How relatable. Savoi created an integrity code for herself and tries to live her life as a soulful person so she can live by example for her children. She talks a lot about intuitive parenting on her blog geared toward busy moms trying to recover their true selves. Savoi also offers a free eBook to find more time in your day. Brilliant! 

What is intuitive parenting?

Intuitive Parenting is knowing that there is no “one size fits all” parenting manual; that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to parent.  It’s about equipping ourselves with knowledge, tools, and strategies, but then filtering all our decisions and choices through our inner knowing; our intuition, because each child is different and requires a unique blend of parenting that serves their personal soul needs.

 Where did you come up with this term?

I can’t take credit for coining this term, since I have encountered it before, but the reason I use it and it fits so aptly with what I do is because I believe that the solution to our parenting struggles and frustrations boils down to listening to our guidance system, which is our emotions; our intuition. 

Can you share an example of an experience where intuitive parenting had positive results?

To me Intuitive Parenting includes creating a safe space with our children, where they know they can come to us and share their thoughts, feelings and concerns without fear of our anger, judgment, or trying to jump in to fix it for them. 

I have set this up with my children by calling it a “safe place,” which isn’t necessarily a fixed spot, but is created by them simply saying, “Can I talk to you in my safe place?”  

My son (age 10) and I were not in agreement about a particular video game that he really wanted to play.  I strongly disagree with violence and it didn’t sit well with me.  After weeks of his relentless asking, and my firm no, my son finally asked if he could talk to me in his “safe place.”

We found a quiet place in his room, and he started by asking me my reasons for not letting him play.  I gave him my reasons, one of which involved the explanation of how violence affects our energy, hence our vibration (we talk about energy a lot in our house, so this wasn’t new to him and he could understand) , and I was concerned how exposing himself to this type of game would affect his energy, as well as condone violence.

We said he understood my views, however went on to point out that that doesn’t impact him energetically the way it does me.  And he reminded my of my own teachings (of course! Lol) that things affect everyone differently because everyone has different sensitivity levels.  He also explained because we talk about listening to what our bodies are telling us that if we could come to a compromise that he would really listen to his body and what it was telling him, so if he felt he was getting drained he’d stop.

I intuitively knew that by refusing to let him play this I was making it the forbidden fruit, therefore all the more appealing.  After some more discussion we did agree on a compromise, and he was allowed to play.  After that discussion he played the game about three times, and has never played it again!

But what I was most happy about was his initiation of that conversation and his ability to share his thoughts and feelings.  I believe because we started with the “safe place” a few years ago that it paved the path for having these types of conversations.  Instead of us dictating to them, we are able to communicate instead.  That goes a long way in easing struggles and frustrations. 

When you try to be an intuitive parent, are you also a more intuitive person in other aspects of your life?

YES!  There is no way to have one without the other.  I believe that by becoming intuitive within our own lives sets the foundation for being an Intuitive Parent.  

This is where it all started for me.  I had shut down my intuition, and because of that was encountering struggles in my personal and professional life.  I wasn’t happy.  I had a good life, BUT still could feel a void that something was missing. That is what prompted me to begin to open up and start to listen to the guidance I was being given.  It took time, and because I wasn’t accustomed to listening, I had to refine that skill.  I called these “intuition experiments.”

Once becoming more in touch with my intuitive side, I recognized that I also need to parent this way.  We get bombarded with so many dos and don’ts that it can be very overwhelming and paralyzing for parents to know what to do to raise children that are healthy, happy, and lead meaningful and fulfilled lives.  

Once again, it boils down to truly knowing our children, and knowing there is no blanketed solution to all our parenting frustrations, but when we are able to be more in the moment and tune into their needs, as well as create an open place for them to come to, we create a strong foundation to raise our children with confidence.  

The starting point is definitely with us learning how to listen to our own needs.  When we can listen to our own soul needs, it opens us up to being able to actively listen to our children’s needs.  We are able to respond and make choices based on knowing and trusting our inner guidance…for us, as well as our children. …And this also means allowing our children to remain open to their intuitive selves and letting them grow into who they are. 

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