In our final set of Respectful Mom parenting tips, Kristin reflects on the importance of modelling and introspection to shift our own mindsets
Kristin Mariella from respectfulmom.com has become well known for her powerful parenting workshops, writing and social media shares. With a large following and global reach, her focus is on shifting mindsets to inspire parents to become more intentional in their parenting journey. Kristin shares relatable and engaging personal experiences, insights and knowledge as she opens up and connects on a deep level with parents and caregivers around the world. We’ve been thrilled to partner up with her on a weekly series; read on for the eighth and final entry in the series, and be sure to check out our Instagram Stories for more of Kristin’s parenting tips and mind-blowing insights!
“The true measurement of a good parent is not how the child behaves, but how the parent behaves” – Unknown
The fact that it all starts and ends with us in parenting is one of the most life changing mindset shifts that respectful & mindful parenting offers. At least it has been for me! It’s the idea that we should actually be spending much more time “parenting” ourselves rather than parenting our children!
Wait, what? “That doesn’t make any sense!” you might think… “Surely it is my job as a parent to teach my children the ways of life!”
You’re right, we are here to guide them, keep them safe and teach them the ways of life and the most powerful way to do all that is…
Who we are, how we show up in the world when times are rough, when we are under pressure or being challenged — that is what really sticks.
We can be extremely ambitious in teaching our children the way of living and being in the world…with our words. Telling them right from wrong. Correcting them, explaining, lecturing… but telling them is not the way — it doesn’t have a strong effect. See, no matter how dedicated we are at ‘teaching’ our children the ways of life, telling them how they should be doing it, our example is what truly counts, modelling will always tromp any other way of teaching!
So repeat after me:
Be what you want to see: Be it, to teach it.
If you want to see more emotional regulation, focus on staying calm, graceful and unruffled in stressful situations.
If you want to see respectful communication, choose your words and take responsibility for your own speech, tone & energy.
Read more: How to stop yelling at your kids
When we start understanding the power of modelling, we become more motivated to constantly grow and be a better person, aware of the fact that we are leading by powerful example. The knowledge that this is the way our children learn best brings about incredible trust in the process. Realising that our children are always watching us, that they are constantly learning, picking it all up (sometimes in more detail than we’d like!), we stop seeing the need to constantly ‘teach them’ every.single.thing directly. It is liberating and it brings us closer to creating an optimal, nurturing learning environment for them.
It might take a bit longer to show but the learning that happens through modelling is usually what will really stick.
So let’s all just drop the prolonged lectures, the forced teachings and the constant correction and start working from the inside out — investing most of our energy into being the best versions of ourselves and living what we hope to see in our children as they grow.
I know it can feel like a lot of pressure to see it in this light. It is a lot of responsibility. I know sometimes it’s tempting to take the shortcut and focus on “fixing” our kids instead of working on ourselves first.
But we cannot forget the fact that THIS is actually the gift. I honestly believe that the biggest gift of being a parent IS the endless GROWING that our children “demand” of us, the lifelong learning, healing and self-work.
If we are open to it, if we see it this way, then becoming a parent will put you on a light-speed path to growing and evolving.
What a gift.
Let’s put the focus where it should be: working from the inside out, being the best versions of ourselves, and living what we hope to see growing in our children.
It starts and ends with us.
Be sure to check out our Instagram Stories today for more respectful parenting insights from Kristin, and click here to see our archive of past weeks’ tips! And stay tuned for news on Kristin’s upcoming parenting workshops happening in June 2019!