The ecosystem of a family is truly the sum of its parts. In this ever-changing and fast paced society, it seems to be more of a challenge to parent and maintain strong families.
Soul Expansion offers specific programs and skills for this most important area. Additionally, our Conscious Camps initiative is extended to private schools (grades K-12) and local community centers (Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Westlake, and Conejo Valley) - often without charge!
Applying the principles and skills [of Soul Expansion] holistically brings harmony by allowing parents and children to accept accountability for their own feelings, thoughts, and actions. It nurtures love and fosters support, strength, and inspires the individuals alongside the whole.
Emotionally healthy children do better in school and find more success in their lives. They maintain balanced relationships throughout their lifetime. They are more fulfilled.
Here are a handful of strategies to increase your children’s emotional wellbeing:
1. BE OPEN ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS. The world isn’t always positive and you may have struggles. It helps your children understand your feelings if they have context for the reality of your experience. However, it is important to understand the difference between expressing your feeling with a simple reference about your struggle or seeking solace from your children. The moment you begin to blame circumstances, others, or display behaviors that are not congruent with accepting responsibility for your own feelings, thoughts, and actions, it becomes a disservice with the adverse effect.
- Children learn from their parents, so they’ll mimic your emotions, associated behaviors, and choices.
- As an emotionally mature adult, you’ll show your kids that it’s normal to express feelings and incur both positive and negative experiences. If you’re open about them, they’ll be able to learn from you.
- You may be tempted to protect your children from your real emotions. However, you won’t really help them this way, and you’ll also miss important teaching opportunities.
2. AVOID JUDGING FEELINGS. Adults sometimes (okay, often) criticize themselves and others' feelings and choices. Your children are always watching, so they learn to critically judge themselves and others too.
- When you judge and criticize the emotions of others, you show your kids that it’s acceptable to make fun or mock other people. They can suffer emotional damage because they learn to criticize others or become scared to express their own feelings. This often leads to emotional disconnect, emotional or social disorders, the need to control, and more.
- It’s also important to avoid labeling feelings as good or bad. As you'll learn through Soul Expansion, all feelings are actually neutral. Sometimes you may feel joyful, and sometimes you may feel sad, but both are fully acceptable. Kids - really anyone - shouldn’t be shamed for their feelings.
3. AVOID TELLING YOUR CHILDREN HOW TO FEEL. When you try to control a child’s emotions, it leads both of you down a dangerous path.
- You can’t control every aspect of your child’s life. If you try to tell children how to feel, they become scared to show their true emotions. They learn that they can’t be honest about their feelings, so they stifle or hide them. Something as subtle as a gentle "don't feel sad" or "there's nothing to be frightened about" is dismissive on a soul level, but the louder (and indistinct) message is that "whatever you are feeling is incorrect, so feel this instead."
Consider this for a moment and it lends insight as to why people don't reliably and accurately know what they are feeling; we have been taught from a very young age to "get a handle of ourselves," which basically translates into feel less, numb the pain, suppress it, and go on with what (tasks) need to be done. Most of us are not well-tuned to our emotions.
- When you tell your kids they have to be happy, you prevent them from figuring out why they are not (and this discovery is paramount).
- Parents often believe that their kids are an extension of themselves, expecting them to feel and behave the same way. However, each child is a unique individual. You can’t presume they feel the same way as you. The conscious gift of a raising, teaching, and shaping a child is often overshadowed by the less evolved intention of imposing the deficits the parent did not achieve.
4. RESOLVE AND HEAL YOUR EMOTIONAL WOUNDS. You’ll find it difficult to teach your children how to deal with their feelings when you’re struggling with your own. Kids naturally copy their parents, so they are likely to pick up on your interpersonal dynamics, behaviors, and traumas. This often comes forward during break-ups, divorce, or when families are disconnected.
In fact, both the Soul Expansion (Conscious Loving & Living) and Conscious Separation programs focus on elevating and honoring relationships and wellbeing - including the extension of family and friends.
- Make commitments and effort to prevent the emotional wounds from your past or present from carrying over to your children.
Need some guidance with moving beyond your past? Click here to enjoy the gift of a Complimentary Session (one-hour).
5. ASK QUESTIONS. Children benefit from opportunities to discuss their emotions. Ask questions and find out how they feel, rather than assuming what they’re feeling. Just remember to inquire and listen, subsiding the need to critique, fix, or be correct.
- When you ask about their feelings, your kids will learn to articulate them. They’ll learn to express their feelings and thoughts with more clarity.
Emotionally healthy children grow up to be successful and happy adults. They’ll also be able to use these skills when challenged throughout life. The ability to be emotionally available and knowledgeable is a powerful tool. Your kids (and the entire family) will enjoy considerable advantages from learning about their feelings.
You are cordially invited to the rest of your life! Take the next step towards Soul Expansion with the gift of a Complimentary Session or call 818.851.7880.
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