“The first step to take is to recognize that ALLemotions are healthy. In our culture, feelings such as joy, peace, and courage are seen as good feelings, yet feelings such as sad, mad, and scared are seen as bad feelings. Let’s rethink this to understand that it is not the feeling itself that creates negativity; it is the lack of expression of the feeling that creates negativity.   And in children, this negativity is often expressed through poor behaviors.” ~ Heather T Forbes

I was truly blessed to read Heather’s book and see her live. She gave me the permission I was unconsciously seeking to parent my child from a place of unconditional love and acceptance…

“Children need unconditional love and unconditional acceptance from their parents; we all know this and believe this. However, do we ever stop to consider how so many of the traditional parenting techniques accepted in our culture work contrary to this primal goal? Traditional parenting techniques that involve consequences, controlling directives, and punishment are fear-based and fear-driven. They have the ability to undermine the parentchild relationship and because they are tied into behavior, children easily interpret these actions to mean, “If I’m not good, I am not lovable.” Thus, children often build a subconscious foundation that says that love and approval is based off of performance…

So the next time your child becomes defiant, talks back, or is simply “ugly” to you, work to be in a place not to react to the behavior, but respond to your child. Respond to your child in an open way—open to meeting him in his heart and helping him understand the overload of feelings that are driving the behaviors. He doesn’t need a consequence or another parental directive at that moment; he just needs you to be present with him. As your children learn to respond back to you through the parent-child relationship, they won’t have the need to communicate through negative behaviors anymore. You’ll both have more energy for each other, building a relationship that will last a lifetime.”

Please click the link to read the full article Feelings, Behaviors, and Relationships by Heather:  http://www.beyondconsequences.com/feelings.pdf

It always amazes me how a genuine and simple acknowledgement of one’s feelings will almost instantly relieve the tension and transform to positive energy. This often leads to feeling understood, accepted and normal. Being receptive, sensitive, and in tuned to other’s needs and unique qualities often shows respect and gives them confidence to move on. And even though I have witnessed this beautiful transformation time and time again, I still get caught up in the moment and react, especially when I am under stress. I have been blessed to have been introduced to the work of Heather Forbes which really help me learn to accept my children’s as well as my own negative feelings and that we all need a safe place to process those big feelings. I discovered that my own negative reactions to their behaviors were a symptom of me needing to nurture myself.
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