Are control patterns inevitable?
I first started Aware Parenting with my daughter, over 10 years ago
now, my aim was to bring her up so she was totally free from any
control patterns. My thoughts about control patterns have changed
somewhat in the ten intervening years!
And now I see that Aware Parenting is so much about expecting that my children will never have control patterns, but in having compassionate acceptance that at times I am a parent who is connected and present, who meets their needs, and creates emotional safety, and they feel free to cry and laugh and play to express their feelings. And at other times I will not be in that space, and neither will they. My intention is to keep growing as a parent, to become more present, more loving, more connected with them, and I am also no longer aiming for perfection!
From my way of thinking, most if not all babies do acquire some, however subtle control patterns, even after a few weeks. We are aiming to practice Aware Parenting without having being raised this way ourselves; having our own control patterns and unexpressed feelings; often in the early days we may never have seen others practice Aware Parenting; and within the context of a culture whose attitudes to closeness, connection and crying are about as opposite to Aware Parenting as is possible!!! Oh, and in a culture where women often spend many hours alone looking after a baby or small child/ren.
So starting Aware Parenting, I think it is inevitable that babies will pick up control patterns, however subtle. Control patternss exist, I think, to help humans - to do something with the energy of emotion (which means movement) when it isn't given space to flow. It is almost a natural human thing that we have this dance, this dialogue, between the flowing of feelings and connection, and times when the connection and the flow is not so present.
I see many parents beginning Aware Parenting with high expectations of themselves, and feeling disappointed, and judging themselves, if they don't live up to their early expectations. I see now that being a parent is about learning, growing, becoming more than we have been, and about learning to love and accept ourselves as we love and accept our children. Thus we become more compassionate beings.
Edited April 2012