Needle in a Haystack: Two Solutions to the Problem

~ By Tangee Veloso-Pueblos

That was it!  It was the last straw!  I had come to my wit’s end today!  Now, I am normally a patient mama but I think after 3 weeks of being home with my sick son with only a chance to see the outside world 4 times in that duration was all I could handle.  Twice for doctor’s visits, once to go grocery shopping and another time when I went to a business event.  So I wouldn’t really call any of these exciting adventures, well except maybe those couple of cocktails I inhaled at the business event.  But other than that, my son and I had been glued to the hip almost the whole time (minus the times when I would make calls for work where he was glued to my computer screen watching his shows).

 

Okay yes there were moments where everything was great.  I took the time to create homeschooling activities that were fun for both of us.  I even opened up an instagram account and started a whole concept called 365 Days of Conscious Parenting with some great tips and natural remedies to help through the cold season.  But the days were starting to merge even blur into each other.  I think I was actually experiencing for the first time what cabin fever feels like!  Now add a fussy four-year-old who isn’t feeling good, sensing negative energy around him and having big feelings every few minutes – it was not a pretty sight!

Yep – I was starting to lose patience my 3rd week into it.  Both my son and I could feel it.  And he could feel it especially today.  Children must have this 6th sense that when they know we are tired, stressed out and annoyed that their feelings become just as intense. I’m sure you can all relate!?  And I completely get it.  Normally I would be able to empathize with him – knowing that he is sensing my energy and perhaps it is scary for him.  And normally I would empathize that he has been sick for the past 3 weeks and that lately the home environment just hasn’t been a fun place to be submerged in.

 

Yes that would typically be me, using the tools that I wrote about in my book.  Using the amazing tool with Staylistening as he thrashes about and releases his big feelings.  I guess today I had had it with the big feelings, the kicking and lashing out at me every few moments.  Yep – I blew my top.  Not just once, twice or three times a lady.  To tell you the truth, I actually lost count.  Today was definitely an off day for both of us.

 

Thank goodness my son was feeling better so that we could actually get out of the house and do something!  And thank goodness we still have libraries to retreat to to stay out of the cold – where the hi-tech world of iPads, Kindle, Nook and whatever else is out there in the digital realm just can’t compare to the solace of the comforting smell of old books.   There’s just nothing like cuddling underneath the blankets and being able to physically turn the pages of a book while reading to your child.

Anyways where was I?  Ah yes – the part where I was feeling frustrated. The part where I started feeling awful and guilty for using tactics that I swore I would never use; those oh too familiar tactics that I detested as a child and teenager that was starting to slowly creep back into my subconscious.  Was it happening?  Was I becoming a broken record and reflection of my parents?  Aghhhhhh!!!

 

Ok that was the wake up call.  I had to find my way back to my center.  I had to get really present and keep those old recycled patterns at bay before any foreign words like “Go to your room” (which would basically be our room since we co-sleep) or “Time out” could even seep its horrendous words from my lips.  Because I knew if that day ever came then there would have to be a serious check-in with myself.

 

Thankfully I knew what was happening.  The problem: I wasn’t getting any of my needs met.  And even though I do my damnedest to be as conscious as I can be, I have my days.  But the days were beginning to add up with how short my fuse was starting to amplify.  I knew if I didn’t find a way to fill up my love cup soon I was gonna blow!

 

And filling up our love cups are very, very important!  Heck that’s why I even started Family Love Village in the first place – was to have a sacred place for us parents to learn, to grow and support one another.  Because conscious parenting isn’t always easy.  Especially since we are constantly battling to stay clear of the parenting patterns we grew up in as children ourselves.

 

But wow…none of the tools I was suggesting for my son to calm his energy was working.  And when he gets frustrated, boy does he get frustrated!  It’s to the point where he is hitting himself.  I can’t count how many times after an episode where he had finally calmed down when I would suggest tools, such as counting down from ten to one or taking deep, relaxing breaths with me or to play Sea Monster (a game we play where he chases me and pretends to tie me up and runs away to hide)…none of these were working.  I was feeling helpless and seemed like there was no solution to helping him with his frustrations.  It was like trying to fine a needle in a haystack – that’s how hard it was to find a solution to help ease his pain.

 

And then it hit me – like a ton of bricks!  How is he going to be able to use the tools to calm himself down if half the time I am not using the tools?  Sure there were moments when I would be able to count from ten to one or take deep breaths where he would witness me more calm and responding to him with love but then those others times I wasn’t.  So how could I expect him to use these tools when he wasn’t seeing me use them consistently either?

 

Eureka!  I think I found the needle!  Actually two needles:

 

  1. Taking the time to get my needs met, and
  2. Consistently role modeling how to get through my own frustrations with ease so that it can help my son get through his frustrations with ease, too

 

Which brought me to another realization: as parents we are always telling our children to be patient but if we are not able to model patience to them when they ruffle our feathers whenever they have flooded feelings, then how do we expect them to learn about patience when we haven’t yet learned this valuable tool?

 

And to go even deeper, could the flooded feelings that our children are feeling that are frustrating us really be a reflection of old past hurts of how our parents treated us that we have yet to heal from?

 

I’d like to quote a few paragraphs from my book, “Taming Your Wild Child: 7 Proven Principles to a Deeper Connection that Fosters Confidence and Compassion While Transforming Behavior, Too!” that I felt was very relevant to the above question.

 

“In retrospect, if we are to lead the path for our children, one that imprints a conscious, loving and compassionate livelihood for their upbringing, we must also know what is and isn’t working in order to evolve.

And just as it is important to help children heal their trauma, it is imperative for we adults to heal our past trauma, as well. If you are not able to heal your past hurts, they will continue to trickle onto your children.

Chris Morasky, founder of Ancient Pathways of SoCal (a nature class for home-schoolers), shared his thoughts on trauma and an intriguing point of view about how our children’s ability to push our buttons is a gift. (C. Morasky, personal communication, March 20, 2013):

“Whatever traumas are not dealt with in childhood continue through adulthood, then through old age, and finally to death. Traumas that are not dealt with eventually are physically expressed as illness or injury and via a lower vitality (it is no coincidence that auto-immune diseases are steadily rising, partly due to this). And… you pass your traumas on to your children. The way this happens is fascinating and actually quite beautiful. Your child intuitively senses your traumas and unconsciously finds ways to engage your issues (we call this “pushing your buttons”). Nobody can push your buttons like your own child, right? THIS IS A GIFT. Remember, you can only let go of your limitations when your “stuff” is “up”. Children are born to raise up their parents, not the other way around.” 

 

And then this reminded me of another quote that I wrote from my book:

Parenting through connection may seem like it takes longer; but, when you look at the overall picture, it takes just as much time to connect with your child and find strategies that elevate towards empathy, trust and loving cooperation, as it would if you were to try and find ways to repair the damage that tend to usually follow the use of bribes, coercion and punishments.”
In the end, we have a  choice.  There is always a choice.  It is just a matter of whether we choose to respond from a place of love or to react from a place of fear.

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