Welcome to Life With Joyful Courage

Parenting Without Consequences? Uh, what?

Are you committed to long term parenting?

Are you committed to raising your children to one day be adults with the skills they need to navigate the world? Skills like problem solving, self-regulation, organization, compassion, and solution finding?

When you look ahead, are you hopeful that your adult child can advocate for themselves, get out of tricky situations, fight for what they believe in, and embrace mistakes as opportunities to learn and take accountability?

Do you want them to be responsible, to use their voice, to know that they can get through even the toughest emotions and situations?

Then you must allow them to practice these skills - over and over again.

And consider laying off the consequences.

Wait, what did she just say?

Yup, you read that right:

I am inviting you to consider putting consequences at the BOTTOM of your list of parenting tools.

Why would I suggest this?

Well, there are a couple of reasons. The first one is that consequences often don’t teach the skills kids need for navigating situations differently. Instead, consequences are used as a “you had better do this or that or else” type of strategy. And that assumes that your child already has the skills they need to do better, and that the threat of consequence will somehow “motivate” them to handle things differently.

Read the rest on the Huffington Post.

Declare the Parent You Want to Be

I love the word DECLARE. It feels very official to me.  It’s like, keeping it real, making it happen, truly aligning with something.

When I work with parents, I often start off by inviting them to explore the parent they want to be…  Who do they want to be when the shit hits the fan and things fall apart? How do they want to show up?  What qualities do they want to embody in those tough, heated moments?

Because guess what? This is life, the shit hits the fan, and if you’re a parent, it happens pretty regularly.

So why not be prepared for it?

Never have I heard a parent say something like, “My child woke up in a great mood, appreciated the breakfast I made, and went upstairs to clean his room before school… And I feel so guilty about how I reacted!!!”

And why not?  Because it is easy to show up as your best self when things are going well, when you feel seen and respected and connected to those around you.

And like I said, this is life, and things get messy --- so why not prepare a bit for the messy?

Here’s what you can do:

·  Think of three qualities that are missing when you find your self triggered (mine are connection, compassion and love)
·  Write them on post it notes and stick them around your world
·  Set three alarms on your phone to remind you to take 30 seconds to practice breathing those qualities into your body throughout the day
·  When the shit hits the fan, choose to invite those qualities in (and trust that is exactly what the situation is calling for...)
·  Forgive yourself when your old pattern shows up and stay committed to the process

When we practice the way of being that we desire, it becomes more available when we need it.  Over time we can lengthen the pause between the challenge and the reaction, giving ourselves the chance to respond in a way that is helpful not hurtful.

We must be intentional about this practice.

So make your own declaration – declare the parent you want to be!  Share in the comments or in the Live and Love with Joyful Courage Facebook group.

Big love – Casey

P.S.  I am also declaring more regular blog posts in 2016 – yay!