25 Apr Check In, Don’t Check Out
Do you put the utensils handle side up or down in the dishwasher? Do you peel your carrots before eating them? Do you drink water or milk with your meal? Did you do these things as a child? I am endlessly interested in the habits people develop, especially the ones that come from childhood.
I was reading an article in Scientific American about good habits and bad habits. The takeaway I was left with was that “deliberate behavior becomes a routine.” If we parent deliberately then we can help our kids develop neural patterns that empower them. Many habits are developed early in life and persist into adulthood.
As a parent it’s not only our perspective on the world but physical habits that we pass down.
Habits formed in childhood are hardwired into the brain. They become automatic behaviors that the brain doesn’t have to think about, which makes them the default choice. My best friend was telling me how her college age son now makes his bed every day. He actually told her, “I just do it ’cause you had me tidy up me when I was little.” This is an example of how our parenting creates patterns for our eventual adults. (And who wouldn’t want to hear this from their grown child?)
I want to challenge you: When your child is not feeling well or is out of balance, create the neurological habit of Inquiry.
Questions lead to discovery. And not having to know all the answers (which is hard for parents to admit) helps your child explore and internalize their understanding of their own needs.
If your answer is always to give medicine, this bypasses the process of checking in with your child about their body. You are programming your child to suppress problems, not ask questions that can lead to creative (and healthy) new solutions. Not that there’s never an occasion for taking a pill, but if you’re programming your child, consider what habits you want to teach. The habit of giving both of you some time to check in, explore feelings and get connected teaches the pattern of presence.
And this is a neurological habit worth co-creating: the lifelong gift of self- awareness!
Remember, neurologically programmed habits are hard to break (ever try to quit coffee?). Let’s create a default program to check in and not check out.
So how do you inquire? It’s simple!
Ask your child:
What are you feeling?
How long have you felt this?
What do you need?
How can I help you?
What is your body telling you?
Why do you think this is happening?
What would feel good right now?
What’s our next step?
(And as a reminder, often the next best step is simple — water, nursing, nutritious food, rest/sleep or affection — not the arsenal of over the counter stuff from Walgreen’s.)
Obviously, you can’t ask a preverbal baby why he has explosive diarrhea but you can slow down and ask yourself these questions to gain insight and quell overreaction on your end. As your child gets older, start asking questions out loud, and soon, they’ll naturally start responding.
This process of inquiry is something I had to learn to do. My parents did not teach me this. I had to overcome my childhood programming of pouring things down my throat when I didn’t feel good. To me, this is evolution (revolutionary parenting): You can shift from an old paradigm to a new one by having conscious conversations in your family!
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Read on if you want to take it to the next level and work with me directly:
It was helpful to have role models and coaches along the way, which is why… I’m offering you my brain.
In our time together, you can:
- Fortify your understanding of the body’s self-healing capabilities.
- Break free of the medical model but so you feel confident about what the next step is.
- Get support as your child is struggling with a health issue and you’re not sure how to build positive health esteem.
Or just talk through your concerns with a confident expert (mom, researcher and holistic healthcare practitioner of 20 years).
For support while you’re figuring out how to be a Revolutionary, Evolutionary parent, I’m here for you, sharing years of expertise, laser focused on your needs.
This month I am offering the parents in my community VIP personalized coaching. Your questions, my insights — and your improved family health and awareness.
Here’s your VIP offer:
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3.) As a bonus: I will curate a set of readings/resources that are pertinent to your individual situation to support you on your journey.
Investment: Regular $349
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Want to know my story? Check out the About section to learn more about the education and life experiences that inspired me to start a health revolution.