Open Hearted Parenting

Over the past 6 weeks I have been taking a private parenting class while my son attends OT for ADHD and sensory processing matters. This is a progressive center that works with their patients to address the underlying root cause of behavioral and other neurodiversity associated challenges. At first, I was just excited to get my son the extra support, and it has unfolded into an awesome opportunity for me to learn and grow as his mom.

I had put an intention out into the universe that we were open to attracted the support of a place that would be both efficient and nurturing. And then the connection point came in through the referral of my massage therapist who was singing their praises with using more “holistic” approaches that focused on reinforcing his needs and tendencies from the foundation up.

We were signed up within the week and ready to get it a shot. I have learned with seeking professional support that you usually do have to dive in and try it on to know if it’s the best next right step. And be vigilant about adjusting course staying in tune with if this commitment is continuing to serve your needs in the highest or have you gotten what you need and it’s time to move on. I hear from parents in the special needs community that have literally exhausted themselves and their kids with over-scheduling support appointments. Intuition and trusting your inner wisdom is ALWAYS the next right step.

Scheduling these regular appointments would require commitment of time and energy, especially being an hour away commuting back to home in Metro Washington DC traffic. It meant sacrificing and making arrangements to support this decision.

But I knew that if growth is the goal, it must be intentional and you must be willing to stretch for it.
I have to admit I was even a little nervous at first feeling vulnerable in the ol' parenting skills department. I mean sitting down face to face to admit you are struggling or even challenged sure can make you feel exposed.
Thankfully, the facilitator is a kind man that makes me feel understood and hopeful- thankfully never threw any judgy shade my way. Always a warning sign to watch for with professionals… no one should ever make you or your child feel shame or inadequacy. So we began seeing each other for an hour once a week.

I learned and reviewed and learned and reviewed the basic tenets of Love and Logic parenting way. It was a parenting approach based on empathy and natural consequences instead of enforcing punishments. That felt better already.

Empathy is about a sincere desire to understand another’s feelings. Sending a clear message of caring while maintaining emotional boundaries.

And YES- mustering up that feeling especially when triggered requires for most of us (hand raised) practice and mental preparation.

In love and logic, mistakes are positive and seen as opportunities for learning how the world works. I am a firm believer that success is NOT a straight path and it is through our failures that we grow the most.
So, teaching failures are actually positive early on in life definitely tracks for me.

Through consistently trying the steps learned in love and logic in our home, it has made things go easier with parenting strong willed at times oppositional kids. I feel more aligned and expansive in the process. Which is a HUGE mom win.

It has always been a process of keeping an open heart as a parent. At times I’ve wanted to hide or run away when I have felt challenged by it all. I have felt unsure and endured anyways.

It feels reassuring to rely on a system, a strategy in place with navigating these most precious relationships. It has also softened my heart to stay open and receptive while parenting with a whole fresh perspective.

In modeling a coaching with compassion, I have learned to be less reactive and more of an observer. It a subtle shift of awareness that gives us healthy perspective on our children’s learning through mistakes.

These areas of opportunity have created empathy where there used to be struggle and irritation.

It is my hope in sharing this in writing and on the podcast that it will “pay it forward” to another family to help things go easier with power struggles and the energy in your home.