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Guide Overview

Section 2: Reflecting on Your Parenting Journey: Growth & Self-Compassion

Help you uncover the beliefs and actions that shaped your parenting during each of your child's developmental stages.
May 8, 2023
Summary Notes

In this section, you will embark on a journey to explore your parenting experiences by reflecting on your beliefs and actions during your child's various developmental stages. The section fosters self-compassion and encourages you to take ownership of past parenting decisions. Key areas of focus include:

  • Examining your beliefs about babies and your responsiveness to their needs
  • Tackling the transition to toddlerhood and understanding your beliefs about behavior
  • Embracing the elementary school years and engaging in play with your child
  • Navigating the challenges of puberty, discussing sensitive topics, and supporting autonomy during the teenage years
  • Guiding adult children through milestones like leaving home and supporting them as they become parents themselves

Throughout the section, you'll be encouraged to take notes, celebrate your successes, identify areas for improvement, and seek support from a trusted confidant to process your reflections.

 Section two. Section two is what I wish I, this is the part where we really allow ourselves to look at the ways that we have related to our children, why we did that, what was going on for us. And we look at ourselves with compassion. And kind of set out a clear path on the things that we might wanna acknowledge directly with them and take ownership of.

We're gonna do this by developmental stages. So for those of you who have a six year old, you can kind of stop this part of the video at age six cuz you're like, that's as far as I've, I'm gonna do my best to go all the way through adulthood in order to give those of you who are grandparents a chance to process everything through the whole journey you've gone through.

So the first question I want you to reflect on is, what did I believe about babies? When Light Child was a baby, and this is obviously not gonna apply to those of you who brought children into your home through adoption at older ages, so skip this part, but for those of you who had babies, what did I believe about babies?

What information was out there? Was it Dr. Spock? Because that's a little bit different than what we think now, right? What information did I have about what babies need and how did that impact the way I interacted with my baby? In specific, I want you to ask yourself the question, how responsive did I feel I needed to be?

And do I think that the way I related to my child as an infant was responsive enough for their particular needs at that time, based on what I known, I worked with a lovely woman at one point who, when her children were babies, was in the midst of a really hard situation in her marriage and the kind of.

Flavor of the day around, um, how to handle babies was, you know, you let 'em grind out full on. And so that's what she did. And by the time she came to work with me, her child was highly sensitive and we were working on rebuilding trust. And so a lot of that work was her literally going to her baby and saying, listen, I read this thing.

There was this guy, they said that we should do this thing. This was what the book was called. This is Why I did it, and I really wish I hadn't done it. And. It was really incredible to watch as this child who I don't believe was further on than first grade could look back at her mom and say, I needed to know that.

That makes sense. Thank you so much. And there was a shift, so this might not seem like something you have to deal with cuz you think like, well, they don't remember it, but they might, they might have body sensations around it or that, just that general ilk or feeling of like, I, I don't, I was sad and no one was there.

Okay. That's something you wanna acknowledge at this point in the videos. By the way, you're not writing them a letter. We're gonna do some of that at the end, but just start taking notes. That's what you're doing here, making a little listy. The next area is how did you handle when your child burst into toddlerhood, which means they burst into a level of brand growth that made them, you know, a little bit.

What did you believe about behavior and your job as a parent? Where did you learn that? How did you react? What were you going through at the time that your child was developing their cod, their brain?

And in each of these sections, I also want you to make sure to take note of the things you're really proud of, because I promise you didn't mess up every step of the way. I promise that that's not a thing. There were moments that you can look back and say, oh, I'm really glad I did.

Moving on to elementary school age, you know, preschool to elementary school, when your child was at that. Wide-eyed open to the world. I wanna know everything. I wanna talk to you and ask you questions, and I want you to be silly with me a lot. Play on a trampoline, mom. Come on, let's go. What'd you do? What do you wish you'd done differently?

What are you proud of? And then when puberty hit, how'd that go? That pre-teen era of changes happening, what did that trigger in you? How did you respond? How did you talk to them about things or not talk to about things and avoid it with all costs because it was so uncomfortable. What do you wish she had known?

And then when the autonomy really kicked in and they started to be a teen, then what? What did you feel? How did you interpret their behavior? Where did you hold on Too tight? Where did you let go too fast? Where did you talk too much? Where did you not talk enough? What do you wish you knew? And then when they did the thing where they grew up, they left.

Maybe they went to trade school or college, or they just moved or they got married, what'd you do? What do you wish you had done? What did you do and what if you had the chance, would you do differently? What do you wish you knew? Here's one that I wish more people talked about. When your kids had kids, what'd you do?

How'd you react? What'd you say? What'd you push? Were you given 'em a lot of advice? Not enough advice. Did you kind of check out? Did you overstep? What do you wish you had known?

Ooh, that was a lot. But you did it and you did it on behalf of your children, so they don't have to unpack all of it themselves later by doing this work, by going through and processing some of the things you did without having really much of any other choice. You're offering them the opportunity to unpack it without feeling guilty about how it might make you feel.

If they unpack it, it's like they can go, you know what? I can unpack this because my parents already said that to me. They've already acknowledged it, which means I know they won't crumble under the truth of this. Again, I want you to take this to someone caring wise and supportive and process it with them.

Someone who knows you and your child. Who can reflect on what it is that you've just done, which is tremendously beautiful and can add to it, nuance it, support you, encourage you, help you fill in the gaps of all the things you did well that maybe you can't remember right now cause you're panicking cuz you're in that state where you feel like you failed.

But also maybe they can be like, Hey, you know, it might be also good to talk about that one time when you whatever, and you're like, oh yeah, what? Block that out. Okay, go get support around it and then take a breather before you come back to section.