The Keys to Practising Aware Parenting
The first key is self-awareness and self-responsibility. If we are stressed, then our children will probably be stressed too. Finding out what we are telling ourselves, what we need, what we are feeling, and doing our own healing; all of these are essential when we want to be “Aware Parents.”
The second is asking the question – is this expression of upset indicating a present need, or is it releasing a feeling from the past? This can often be the most tricky - most other parenting methods tell us that an upset child is expressing a present unmet need, and so do everything to stop the feeling, They believe that if a feeling isn’t being expressed, then all is well. With Aware Parenting, being present with feelings related to the past leads to true calmness, rather than suppression or dissociation.
The third is finding the balance of emotional safety and connection with the feeling. A baby or child needs to feel safe enough to heal. If a baby is left alone to cry, this is not safe but traumatic. A baby needs to be held in order for healing to occur when he cries. On the other hand, an older child might sometimes need a little distance from their parent in order to feel the feeling enough to let it out, whilst the parent still giving their loving presence and aware attention. For each child, at each age, in each situation, there is a point at which the balance occurs and the healing can happen.