Friday, September 30, 2016

Day 171- Creating Agreements With my Son

Something I have recently discovered when interacting with my 4 year old son is how to better our relationship by how we interact. I could not previously define it but i am able to see it now.
I realized I have been using a forceful "technic" with him for the beginning of his years by trying to show that I am in control and he must do what I say when I say and if he does not then I saw it as he is not listening to me and yes I used "time outs" to which he did not respond good to.  This way of interacting with him created a resistance to his stubborn personality that instead of showing him why he had to do something- I created a point within him where he will resist my directions even in times where what I wanted him to do would make perfect sense.
In his day care I got reports of him not playing nice with others, becoming a little physical towards others and having a difficult time listening to the teachers when he really did not want to do something. So I had to humble myself from trying to be in control of him. I had to see how to work with his personality design (which is copying the mind systems of myself and his father). I had to realize that his behavior was the mirror of my his father and mine and really humble my ego of "Im the adult, I know better and you need to listen to me" attitude.

So what I began to change was first let go of my attitude I had created towards my son when he does not listen to me. Then I realized that when talking with other adults- we typically make agreements on how to go about things (yes there may be disagreements but things get worked out to a point where I and the other person can be willing and agree on the terms of things). I realized that when he was giving a hard time about something- it was because he was not agreeing (for whatever reason) on what he was asked to do. Thus me coming as a form of control of TELLING him what to do when he was not a point of agreeing to do it. And who likes to be told what to do just because they have to do something.

So I decided to try working on agreements. For example, I will express what I would like my son to do and why, and then he will express what he wants (even though his why sometimes makes no sense). I will chose to listen to what or how he wants to do it. Then I will explain why the choice he is making may be or may not be a good idea/way and suggest maybe we should try this way. Then he will reach a point of agreement on doing it along with me and there is no tantrums or whining majority of the time.  And when there is I need to look at to why he is experiencing himself like this at this particular moment. A lot of the times it is about something that occurred previously he was not happy about and now he is just reacting.
Another aspect I had to change about me is having to look the world from his perspective as a child in an adult world.  Where most of the time he is told what to do by adults and he has little room to express his voice. And with someone with a stubborn personality that becomes problematic.  So for example, before I say no you can't do something, I check myself with the question: "Why NOT?" Is it really that serious that he can't explore that moment of expressing his voice and choice?
We were at the grocery store the other day- and he wanted the yellow cart (which is made for children). The purple one was closer and to me it made sense to take the purple as it would be faster. But he wanted the yellow one which was blocked by many other carts. At first, I wanted to tell him no and lets take the purple, but he was so determined to take the yellow that I said "Why NOT?" We were not in a hurry. So instead I took out my camera and recorded him as he began to figure out how to take the yellow cart out by pushing all the other carts around. It was like playing TETRIS in reverse....LoL And it became an enjoyable educational moment. At that moment I agreed for him to take the yellow cart BUT HE had to do it without my help (I did use some directions because other people were coming on the way).

So this leads us to looking at what is parenting really about. I as the parent am a person of guidance. So yes I am present to provide guidance to provide moments for learning, for understanding, because my goal is not to tell him what to do, but to teach/guide him how to make effective choices by expressing himself. That way he is not being spoiled, but he is also not being drilled. That is what it means to GUIDE. And this takes practice and building an understanding within oneself about the relationship between adults and children and how to make this process enjoyable and effective.

I would like to provide for my child the opportunity to be smart which means that he is able to make choices that are smart on his own by understanding why those are smart choices....and not fearing his parents which then results in teens hiding what they are doing and rebelling or being suppressed and self conscious. A good relationship is built on agreements, understandings and willingness to work together no matter what.

Day 170- Living "Gratitude/Grateful"

I have been watching one of my friend's on Facebook gratitude videos and am inspired to do so myself.
I have been observing how "life" in the current human created dysfunctional system can become pretty depressing and suppressing in different degrees for people in general.  So as my starting point, I want to focus on appreciating and being grateful for the small things in my life that add up to the whole picture while living in a depressing/suppressing system. It is to refocus all the energy/time used to self sabotage me in the current system by feeling sorry and depressed and how "sad"/"bad" "life" can be- INTO seeing what is here that I have from the perspective of LIFE in the physical and to be aware of it and be grateful for the opportunity/potentials of it.
I am not saying to ignore or suppress the created reality of depression/suppression but rather focus on being aware of the LIFE force that is here that provides the life for us to exist in the physical and let this be a motivation to enjoy life (while living in the current system) rather than live like a zombie everyday slowly dying from depression and suppression.

Ways to sound out gratitude/grateful
-great attitude
-great full
-grade full
-grad (city in Bulgarian) full

REDEFINITION of Gratitude/Grateful: Allowing myself to notice the small things in my life that add up to the whole picture= my life, and within this allowance to be grateful for what is here in my life and show my appreciation towards it by being aware of it and enjoy it.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Day 169- Self Appreciation

In a recent point that I have been walking, I realized that I barely appreciate myself for the things I do and accomplish. Most of the time I am in the moment of looking at self dishonesties and directing points and questioning if I directed the points "correctly", that I have not made it a point within myself to appreciate myself and the things that I have walked/directed successfully. I noticed that if I don't appreciate myself than it's like I am putting myself down for the things I messed up on. I saw this in reflection of how I felt others are not appreciating the things that I do....and my first reaction was to go into blame that I am not appreciated by others- but then bringing it back to self (in self reflection) I realized that I am the one who is not appreciating me.

So I commit myself to visibly show my self appreciation for the small or big things that I do accomplish in my process of life.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Day 168- Living Words- Dancing

This is part of the series “Living Words"

I really enjoy dancing but sometimes I feel like my dancing is forced. I tried recoding myself dancing and when I watched it I did not like it. While dancing I was aware of my recording and I can feel a lot of thoughts going through about how I appeal to the camera. And then there is times where I don't have thoughts going through while dancing and I am able to feel the flow of my movements.

Some ways to sound the word dancing:


Redefinition: Dancing: A movement of self to express with a sound/music/melody/beat. Feeling the music itself and having my body respond to it with direction-to be one with the sound.

Day 167- Living Words- Self Motivation

This is part of the series “Living Words"

When it comes to motivation I am not very motivated for a lot of thing. Most of my life I have spent with “going with the flow” which at one point I used to think it was the way of life. But walking with Deteni, I have come to realize that motivation is something that needs to come from within as self expression- not for manipulative reasons. So riding on the “going with the flow” wave is only 50% of using what is here physically in my reality- the other 50% is how I direct myself in relation to what is here. So the self direction is the actual motivation (self motivation if you will). The self motivation starting point is the decision of how to move myself with what is here in my reality and what I can do and create.

Some ways to sound out the word motivation:

-motive-action (as in give myself a motive)

Redefinition: Self Motivation: The motive is a movement- to be self motivated means to move myself using what is here in the physical.

Day 166- "If you don't....., I'll leave you!"

"If you don't....., I'll leave you!"

This is a common used phrase by many parents towards their younger children. And I am guilty of having used it with my son-especially when he was a toddler. It seems harmless because I know that I would not leave him behind and I am only saying these words so that he would come with me. When looking it at it it is actually a scare tactic used by parents to "keep" their children in control.

I recall we were at the store and my toddler son was having fun by a fountain in the store area and we were ready to go but he was not. So I told him that if he does not come I will leave him there. And I walked away (hiding but still having my eye on him). At the time he did not seem to care as he was engaged with the water in the fountain so I had to go pick him up and we left with him screaming on top of his lungs in the whole store. Regardless I kept using this phrase as he was growing and he began to not like it when I said it. He would start crying and still did not end up coming with me. But I am sure this works on many children in one way or another.

So I have not used this in a long time- I realized that what I was saying to him is that he can't trust me. How can his mother leave him behind? Even though he was not realizing that concept (me leaving him behind) when he was younger, he did grow to dislike it.

When you say something like this to your child, what are you really showing them from their perspective of hearing it.- That you would abandon them if they don't follow your directions? How is that building support and trust relationship with your child in the long run? It is not. And today may be this but tomorrow this scare tactic can be something else- and children will remember subconsciously.

I have learned 3 important things when it comes to building trust with your children:
Don't lie to your children (even in good faith), Don't break promises and Don't say you will abandon them if they are not listening.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Day 165- Parenthood Is Just the Beginning

Four years ago I began my journey of parenthood. I thought I had it understood to a certain degree, but nothing prepares one like living the actual life of a parent.

There have been many emotional moments as my son has been growing up and here I want to open some of those moments particular to my experience as a parent and then I want to move on into how those experiences have changed based on my understanding/growth/self development and stabilizing myself.

One very particular experience I recall is wanting my son to grow up faster because I did not want to deal with certain baby stuff I am required to do as a parent to support the physical being of my child-
One-I wanted him to sleep longer so that I can sleep
Two-I wanted him to eat grown up food so that I don't have to worry about cooking separate foods
Three-I wanted him to walk so I don't have to carry him everywhere
Four- I wanted him talk so that we can have actual conversations
Five- I wanted him to be toilet trained because dippers are a pain

I basically was in a hurry to skip the baby stages because there was something I did not like or particularly enjoy, something I did not want to adapt my life to. Something I was holding on to (an experience of pre-parenthood)- My FREEDOM. This was of course in a suppressed/hidden way to where the result was that I was often irritated with him especially when he was crying. I am sure lots of new parents may experience such moments even if they are very subtle within and may not even realize it.

Fast forward to recent months my son was having some behavior problems at day care- in particular it was hard for him to play with others in sharing or waiting and he would hurt others by hitting them and in a few occasions biting them. He has been very stubborn since he was born actually and instead of finding a way to address this in a stable manner I had always reacted to him being stubborn to where I would spent evenings with him screaming over a toy he wanted and I would not give into him because I wanted to be in control or I would ignore him as a sort of punishment.

And I really needed to look at myself and I had been refusing this for the longest time because I need to be in control. I had been refusing to work with him which escalated his behavior- he was whinny, he would scream, he would cry, he would try to hit me (even if it was not hard- but it is the gesture that counts) and my reaction was to "punish him" in some way- like taking a toy or TV time away, or ignoring him. And Man, was I annoyed with his behavior.

I realized that the key is in me- it was about how I interacted with him, about my attitude and the possible hidden/suppressed reaction of him "taking my freedom away" that I never wanted to admit to myself because in my eyes I wanted to be the best parent/mother for him but I was failing at it since I did not have myself sorted out in relation to him.

The last REAL tantrum he threw (about a month ago) was over a toy that first he did not want and then minutes later after I had put it away he wanted it. The evening was long because I was refusing to take the toy back out to prove a point. He was screaming, he was hopping and had a very difficult time calming down. He was talking out of breath and was so stuck on having that toy that he refused to shower, he refused to go to bed. Finally he got tired and eventually went to bed but it was a struggle.  I later (in like a week or so) began to reflect on why those tantrums were happening. Was this really about the toy or was there something deeper to it and the toy was something he could cling onto. After talking to my DIP buddy regarding this issue, she said that it was not about the toy itself but rather him wanting to have a say in something and I was not giving him that chance.
After this discussion I began to reflect on moments where I have not allowed him to voice himself or have something his way or really listen to him and come to a point of agreement/understanding about the event/situation. I admitted lots of things to myself that I was previously refusing and realized that I had to change and adapt. I realized I was not adapting to his growth. Here he is finally passed those baby stages and I could not see it that he needed a different approach/understanding. He needed to be able to express his voice for his age. And this will continue changing as he grows older.

I gave him the opportunity to make some decisions on his own with my suggestion. I spoke to him without getting irritated. I presented him with a solution of how to deal with other children if he was getting upset at them. We spoke about when NO really means NO and that it is OK to not get something at the moment. We made an agreement of when he would be able to get what he wanted.
I am in the process of establishing basic communication/understanding/agreement with him to stand as our mother/son foundation.
I know he is a stubborn child and I need to work with this to redirect it into a productive way- where stubbornness becomes determination in the right direction. There is lots of things that will change as he grows older but the one thing that remains stable is the foundation/agreement that is created/built.