"Every stage in a child's life is there for a purpose. If we can respect and respond to her needs fully during each stage of her life, she can be done with that stage and move on." —Naomi Aldort
There is a certain show with a certain nanny who is British (or is she?) that makes me very angry to even think about. I have only watched it a few times. I always have to turn it off because I end up yelling at the television! She is so far off base when it comes to having a loving, authentic relationship with your child. I feel sad that some parents buy into her advice. I have such empathy for the children. I also have empathy for the parents because they must be so disconnected from themselves that they are desperate enough to reach out to a woman who doesn’t even have children herself. She has made claims that she has many years of child care experience. It frightens me to think she is deemed an “expert”.
There are so many parenting books out there by “experts”. My belief is all parents are experts, but only if they are tuned in to their own truth. It is sad to me that parents have been told for years to listen to experts outside themselves. How can somebody else know what is best for *my* child? The fact is, so many parents do not trust themselves to know what is best for their own children. I believe all parents want what is best for their children, and many now believe that listening to the so-called “experts” means they are following the rules of being a good parent. I believe it is similar to school experiences. We are trained to go along with what we are told to do; we are made to feel inadequate if we don’t follow the herd. Parents that do not follow the “rules” may get funny looks from other parents, and will most definitely get the advice to read a certain book that will help, or a suggestion on what is the best way to handle the situation.
For those of us who were wounded in childhood, it is sometimes difficult to trust ourselves as being the expert on what is best for our children and our families. It can feel scary to follow your heart when it may be different than what others around you are doing with their own children. It may feel scary to stand out from what is deemed “normal parenting”. Using our own childhood wounds as a starting point to find empowerment may not always feel easy. It is normal to question ourselves as parents all along the journey. However, once I got a taste of what it feels like to trust myself enough to know how to trust my kids, I was on the path to listening to the parenting expert within me. The main reason that many parents are afraid to listen to their inner parenting guide is because they have disconnected from their own inner child. I know my inner child was completely blocked out of my life until I gave birth to my children.
Something stirred deep within me after they were born. I feel grateful that I decided to breastfeed them because I think that connection helped my inner child speak up to say, “hey, there is something so much deeper here than just feeding your babies.” Connecting with them on such a deep level made me question all of the typical parenting advice and information. As they grew, I grew too. I started wondering why so many parenting “experts” were telling me things that didn’t go along with what my inner guidance system was telling me. I questioned why I should go along with something that did not feel right to me instinctually. I wondered why so many parents had trouble with their child not sleeping, why tantrums were so common, why children were “out of control”, if these “experts” were so right. Why were there still so many parenting “problems”? The answer is because parents were listening to the wrong “expert”.
Soon I found people that told me to listen to my heart, listen to my child, and trust the process; trust my child to teach me what he needs. This was all the validation I needed! Finally I found information that matched up with what my heart was telling me. From that point on, the only “experts” I needed was my own inner parent, and of course, my children. I want to encourage all parents to question everything they have been taught about how to parent their children. Listen to your heart, listen to your child. Stay connected to your inner guide so that you can stay connected to your children. We have all of the parenting information we need right inside of us. We may need some validation every once in awhile, but if we stay present with our ourselves, we can be with our children in the way that they expect us to be. Trusting our children never ends. But, don’t take my advice, I’m no expert, except with myself and my kids.
I write about personal growth and healing here, www.benurtured.com/. I hope you will stop by to visit. If you would like to read more about authentic parenting, you can start here www.naturalchild.org or www.naomialdort.com/.