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Category Archives: teaching kids about emotions

Mother Yourself Up!

I am a busy mom (2 girls, 6 and 8), an artist and a teacher. My never-ending goal is to live life in a rich, thoughtful, loving and creative way. I overflow with love for my girls … and I need to make art (sing, write, play music, create smart videos…). My hope for my new two-fold site is to provide you with ideas to help you be a happier, more content mom (and woman) and also share thoughts that might inspire you in the parenting arena. And to provide fun, smart music for kids and families

I work at balance everyday… to balance the energy I give to my husband, family, friends, and to MYSELF…not to mention the house, the cooking, the bills, the pets and our school. I want to share what I learn, as I learn, about being happy and feeing that I am doing my dharma: living my life inline with that which I am actually destined to be doing.

I am  only child and realize that the connection between the child and the mother is magical, powerful, intense, scary, gigantic and mind-bending. My girls pick up on my moods and feelings – they are little psychic sponges. I felt my mom’s feelings DIRECTLY and still do. I believe that to be conscious of these connections as we are mothering will help us be better parents and help us to raise children who can individuate and thrive. The beauty of this philosophy is that, the better we take care of OURSELVES, the more connected and aware mothers we become to our CHILDREN.  Just like on the airplane, fasten your grown-up oxygen masks first, so that you can more effectively help your child.

I know I can live the rich, full life I have always dreamt of…. being an artist, a mother and a teacher. I know you can do it too! Really being who I want to be will support my kids in a positive way. By sharing my journey, I hope to inspire you and your kids. Living in tune with ourselves sets an example by showing, by doing. Actively honoring dreams, the inner world, the delicate balance of love, art and family AND sharing it here is the plan. Oh yeah! Mother yourself up baby!!

 

You get what you get, you don’t always get your needs met

Did this child get her needs met? Hmmmm

I never heard the saying, “You get what you get … don’t get upset” until I had little kids of my own. In fact, I once got into a passionate discussion over this phrase with some moms over organic salad in Santa Monica. A preschool teacher said it to Eli (a 3-year-old) and Eli’s mom was REALLY annoyed. Eli’s mom, Jill, said, “I don’t like the idea of anyone telling my son what he can or cannot feel”. I totally agreed with her,   but as we walked away from that dinner, I realized that I didn’t know what to do about it or how to fix it. Maybe we could create a  new phrase – a better motto –  that grown-ups could use to teach their children that they can’t always have everything they want when they want it. AND, that it’s ok to feel because of it.

Recently I have been studying spiritual psychology with Rabbi Mordecai Finley. He says when a person get angry,  (let’s call him Eli)  what’s really happening is that Eli is not getting his needs met. Finley recommends that Eli would understand more about his feelings if he could ask himself, “Why am I angry?”.  Now you are probably thinking, “How can Eli process this? He is only 3!”. That is where the parents come in.

As parents, maybe if we explained to our children that anger/sadness/frustration do not come from the world being “unfair” but from the natural order of things, kids might understand that their feelings are valid. Not getting one’s needs met are a part of life.  Maybe then, Eli might take his anger and translate it into sadness. Maybe then, Eli could experience the feeling of being “upset” and learn from it. He could grow into a more thoughtful person and use his emotions to teach himself about himself. He could learn that sweeping his feelings under the rug with the old “Don’t get upset” doesn’t work. All it does is create more frustration and a kind of “I’m bad… it’s wrong of me to have feelings” attitude. Shame.

After all, don’t we want to raise our kids to know themselves…first and foremost?

So – how about, “You get what you get, you don’t always get your needs met”
as a starting place for understanding disappointment? It’s not quite as succinct, but hey…it rhymes! And, most importantly, it works.