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Parenting Authentically... It Works for Me

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Annapurna Base CampThe journey of parenting has taught me that my children and I will be okay as long as I am authentic to my values and myself.This insight came to me in the Himalayan Mountains, during my trek to Annapurna Base Camp.I was not prepared for the trek. I had not trained nor had I ever trekked before. It was a 12-day journey up to 14,500 feet where I felt completely overwhelmed and was wondering why I had chosen this journey. As hard as the trail was day in and day out, when I reached the ‘peak’, Annapurna Base Camp in this case, I felt at one with the world.I felt joyful and happy. I was aware and fully present. I compare my journey to ABC and the feelings I experienced during the trek and also when I reached the base camp to my journey of parenting. Many of us enter into parenting with little or no knowledge of the journey and only when focusing inward do we experience our own moments of joy in our parenting.
They say that when trekking in the mountains for days and weeks at altitudes so high there are huge risk factors is life changing. This was the case for me as well. During my trek I had time to tune into myself and listen to my inner voice without the distractions of every day life. Once I left the mountains behind me and returned to the daily grind, I slowly started incorporating steps that would allow me the space to turn inward and be authentic.
A few steps I take which help me and may also help you are:

1. Assess your mental, spiritual, and physical state of being.Ask yourself if you feel in balance? Do you feel that your reserves are full?If not, what will it take to make you feel more in balance or more able to handle what comes your way.

2. Practice the power of ‘pause.’Try pausing before taking action and ask yourself is this in line with my values?

3. Reframe: Try re-framing the situation to determine what you or your children can learn from it.

4. Address the concern: Try not to ignore your concern or the concern of your child. Talk about it. Open the lines of communication.

5. Set boundaries: Try to be consistent in setting boundaries that are in line with your values.

6. Be gentle with yourself: Parenting is a journey and the landscape is different from when your parents were raising you. Try and take some ‘me’ time to recharge.

As I practice the 6 things above, I feel more joyful and am truly enjoying the parenting journey. By taking time to be authentic, I feel what Marcel Proust says, ‘The real voyage of discovery consists in not seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.’

About the Author: Nita has lived in Holland and India and currently resides in Seattle, WA USA. She is a certified parent coach. To contact Nita or find out more about her please visit www.peakexperienceparenting.com

Parenting Authentically... It Works for Me