Parenting With Presence, A Conversation w/ Susan Stiffelman

What does parenting with presence mean to you?

For me, it means being mindfully aware and alert to my internal state and my outer experience. 

It means not checking out or shutting down when I become frustrated by my daughter's discontent, but to take steps to contain my emotional upset.

My ability to be present, confident, and flexible waxes and wanes with my self-care practice. 

But without a doubt, when I take the time to self-regulate, I am able to connect with my child and be the guide she needs me to be.

In this enlightening interview, Susan Stiffelman, therapist and author of Parenting with Presence and Parenting Without Power Struggles, explains how her spiritual practice has not only been a cornerstone of her work and life, but also a passageway for her clients to learn more about themselves and their kids.  

Children need us to respond to their behavior with steady and predictable limits. But, they also require us to be what Susan calls "responsively flexible," taking into consideration new information or temporary challenges and adapting our responses.  

This teaches children that it is safe to be emotionally flexible. Instead of getting stuck in rigid or defiant behaviors, they can more easily adapt and respond to unique or changing circumstances. 

“To the children we are raising, and the ones who live within our hearts, may you discover that it is safe to come out to play, to dance, and to shine."

This is one of my favorite quotes in the book because the words strike me as so necessary for our children to hear

Kids often feel ashamed, embarrassed, and afraid of their inability to restrain their reactions because the traditional parenting landscape is simmering in blame, shame, judgment, and guilt.

This cripples a child's ability to make better choices.

In this TEACHable Moments episode, Susan will share with us:

    1. What gets in the way of letting our kids shine and letting ourselves feel.

    2. How to overcome obstacles and be present in our daily interactions.
    3. The secret to setting clear limits and boundaries.
    4. What we can do to protect our kids from suicide and life-threatening despair.

After you watch, I'd love to hear from you. What do you find most challenging about parenting with presence and what is one tool you learned today to help you bring more mindfulness into your everyday life? 

Share your thoughts in the comments because you never know when sharing your story may inspire someone else to make the changes they were looking for. 

Thanks so much for watching and sharing and pelase remember, it's about being conscious - not perfect!

Talk soon,

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