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Marie Forleo introduction

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I'm Avital.

You want a present, peaceful and playful family life? I'm here to help you make that a reality.

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6 Profound Mindset Shifts

As someone who is deeply committed to a respectful, conscious and peaceful parenting approach, it both embarrasses and despairs me to come face-to-face with my raging, lunatic, hot-red temper… often. There she is again, my True Self sighs, that hot-headed inner child who never runs out of tantrums. My son need only roll his eyes, make a snarky remark or spill the milk(!) again and I’m off like a switch.

Until I became a parent, I didn’t have much of a temper problem, I think. I was sensitive and emotional, passionate and intense (always), but not angry. At least, not since I was a toddler myself (when I was famous for my angry looks and incessant crying). But becoming a parent faces us with our own inner child in ways we might never have foreseen – mix in some sleepless nights (read: years) and a bucket-load of anxiety, and there you have it – the perfect cocktail of rage.

Many things have helped, though. I have taken, and continue to take, steps to actively work on my angry tendencies. I do not want my anger to be a staple of my children’s childhood, and frankly I do not want it in my own life either. My zen-ness has skyrocketed over the passed 3-5 years as I have actively worked from the inside out on understanding my own anger, anger in general, and anger management.

The most profound shifts for me are these concepts below. It’s my sincerest wish that if you suffer from losing your control to your temper that these concepts speak to you, too.

  1. Anger is inevitable. It’s time to reevaluate your thoughts on anger. In the peaceful parenting community there is a deep shame, taboo almost, around losing your temper. Getting triggered, yelling, screaming, hitting… in a quick historical role reversal these behaviors now induce shame in us parents. Whilst taking full on responsibility for our big, loud rage is a great idea, the shame and humiliation of the fact that we get angry in the first place is not. We need to understand anger and befriend it.
    In the spiritual community there’s a teaching:
    “What you resist, persists.”
    It’s a way of saying that in order to release something, paradoxically, you need to accept it as it is. Being in resistance to our own anger – suppressing it, avoiding it, pacifying it, denying it – is the surest way of ensuring it continues to plague us. It’s time to embrace anger as a valid, important feeling. But more than this is that anger is inevitable. Just like the weather – sometimes sunny, sometimes stormy – holding onto the idea (fantasy?) that we can always be sunny is delusional and harmful. All weather, and all feelings, have their valid place in our lives.
  2. Anger is a red flag. It’s a warning signal. Decipher the message. All feelings carry a message that can help us accurately proceed in our lives. Anger is a red flag message. Our body is feeling this feeling as a way of saying “HALT! Stop! Beware! Caution! Boundaries are being overstepped!”. When we have allowed others to overstep our boundaries, and we have not set limits to protect the well-being of the relationship, anger floods us. It might also mean “Danger! This situation is VERY SIMILAR to a dangerous situation from the past!”
    Our anger is signaling that we are being triggered. Transported to another time and another place with another person, where something of the current situation was present. Perhaps the same power dynamics, perhaps similar words, similar sights or smells… we are suddenly shown a moment from our history (that we may not even remember explicitly) that has left an open, raw wound. In this sense, anger is signaling an area of our psyche that needs tending to, healing and resolution.

    “The greatest remedy for anger is delay.”

    – unknown

  3. Anger is an invitation to take a time out. Anger always needs time to cool off. Speaking and acting in anger is basically never a good idea. Taking a time out isn’t optional, it’s mandatory, if you want to be a peaceful parent. Anger, like a cup of boiling coffee, simply needs a few minutes to cool. And then it’s palatable.
    So next time you’re bubbling up – yell, “Uh-oh! I’m getting angry! I need a few minutes to calm down, please don’t follow me so that I don’t say something I don’t mean!”. Switch the oven off, put the baby in the playpen, switch the TV on for your older child  – even if these aren’t ideal (and I’m not saying they aren’t) – they are definitely better than you blowing up at your kids.
    Use “I” statements. In their book How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, Faber and Mazlish offer an invaluable tool: the “I” statement. I statements are statements about our own self – our feelings and needs. When we use I statements we know we’re not attacking, shaming, belittling or blaming another – because we’re talking about our own experience. Dr. Marshal of Nonviolent Communication recommends this strategy also, and I use it on the daily to great effect. When I feel rage bubbling up inside of me, my default tendency is to lash out at others. But I’ve learned to quickly announce my status: “I’m feeling super duper angry right now!” This serves as a good warning for my children to “back off” and also models taking responsibility and control over my own out-of-control-ness. You could say, “I’m feeling so angry that I need to be alone to calm down” or “I’m worried I won’t speak nicely so I need a time out because I’m too angry right now.”
    “Anger is one letter short of danger.” – Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)
  4. Sit with the anger. Feel, don’t emote. The first step to overcoming anger is to feel it. Dr. Shefali taught me the difference between feeling and emoting. Here it is: Feeling happens internally, it’s where we experience a feeling. Emoting is the external expression of that feeling – it’s when we act upon it – it’s when we become emotional.
    I have discovered through painful trial and error that it is entirely possible to feel a feeling fully, without becoming emotional and acting it out on the outside. It’s almost like digesting food, digesting the feeling in the gut,  without speaking it, without acting it. “I’m feeling angry right now. Huh, that’s interesting. I wonder what this feeling is all about.”
    Feeling our feelings means seeing them, noting them, becoming aware of them, and treating them with an open curiosity. It does not mean talking about them, acting out, or expressing them in any way (necessarily). There’s no need to “self talk” yourself out of anger, or really to engage with it at all. Just like a cup of coffee loosing steam, anger needs a bit of time (and oxygen) to cool off. Watch it, don’t blow it.
    “If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.”– Chinese Proverb
  5. Decode the anger– discover the fear deeper. When you’ve gotten angry, it’s usually a “cover” emotion for a feeling of fear or sadness. Do a little archaeological dig (as you sit in your time out) and ask yourself: “What was the trigger here, for me? Where have I let my boundaries go? What wound from the past is being trodden on right now?” Begin to decode so that you can learn from and grow from this angry episode.
    Fear of not being loved, of not being worthy, or of not being valued and accepted for who we are. Typically, our deepest, darkest fears are universal.
    Why, then, are we triggered and angry when a child draws on the walls? It might go something like this (all of these thoughts happen in our subconscious and in a split second, so they appear automatic and logical to us, even when they’re not): “My child, who I am raising, is behaving like a wild animal. When I was a kid and drew on the walls, my father lost his marbles with me and called me a bad girl. Now I am raising a ‘bad boy’ also! Who is uncivilized and destructive! I’m a terrible parent! I’m a terrible person! I’m unworthy and unloved!”
    I know, I know – it seems far-fetched. And, you might be thinking, “It’s legitimate to get angry about drawing on walls, that’s destructive!” My answer? Sure, it’s legitimate, if that’s what you’re after. But much more to the point, it isn’t mandatory. We can teach our children the same limits (please don’t draw on walls, let’s clean this together) and still bypass the anger altogether.
  6. Repair and process. Once the anger has calmed, it’s time to reunite with our children and own our reactivity. Remember, taking full responsibility for our behaviors and words doesn’t mean our feelings aren’t valid. This is our opportunity to model for our children honest, authentic and emotionally attuned communication. To listen to their upsets. To validate their experience. To empathize. And to set intentions together for what we may do differently next time.
    A final word about authenticity. I think it’s critically important to expose to our children the true causes of our anger, so that they cannot come to the mistaken conclusion that they themselves are the problem. But equally important, not to stuff our emotions and become secretly resentful and bitter. We need to find ways of healthily ventilating and expressing our feelings, without shaming and attacking the “other”. This is the work of conscious parents.

    Do you come face-to-face with anger as a parent? What is your biggest takeaway from this conversation on anger?
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My 5th pregnancy took place during a worldwide pandemic, whilst I was running a business, homeschooling 4 little ones, and locked down like the rest of us... so it came with some challenges and some pretty profound blessings (amazing how those two always come together, isn’t it?).

During the pregnancy, I recorded a little series of videos that outlined the things that helped me - and might help you too if you are expecting or plan to be. In the coming weeks, I’ll share my tips for preparing for a home birth and how my partner prepped to support me during the birth.

These were all recorded when I was 9 months pregnant, and the entire process was - I’m ridonkulously grateful to say - smooth and healthy. We ended up welcoming baby K into the world in a peaceful, powerful, and very private home birth (my first) in the middle of a January night, and my hubby was very well prepared.

So, let’s dig into this brand new, 3-part series!

Starting with...

How to Be Your Best Self During Pregnancy
10 Pro Tips for Pregnancy Self-Care🤰

In this 23-minute episode, you’ll learn…
1. How to ___ for the day.
2. Why you should ____ your body.
3. Prioritize your ______.
4. A weird and unexpected ____ that helped me feel better this time.
5. __ well.
6. Address ____ and past _____.
7. Take care of your ______.
8. _____, _______, and decorate.
9. Make your ______ comfortable.
10. Incorporate _________.

Find it on The Parenting Junkie Show - YouTube, Blog, and Podcasts... 🔗 Link in bio!

💬 What are your best tips for self-care during pregnancy? Let us know in the comments below!

#pregnancy #pregnancyselfcare #mindfulpregnancy #pregnantwithnumber5 #pregnancytips #pregnancyadvice
...

Imagine that instead of brushing your kid’s teeth every day, you decided to wait until they’re 16. ⁣

The side effects of this choice would be…⁣
😝 Bad breath⁣
😬 Plaque build-up and discoloration⁣
🦷 Toothaches and cavities… ⁣
and eventually, BIG $$$$$ at the dentist for treatment.⁣

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!⁣
Of course, this is not a good plan!⁣

I'm going to assume you would rather create a small, manageable daily habit that invests in our child’s oral hygiene to last a lifetime.⁣

Because we know: ⁣
It might be a pain to get started and stay consistent, but over the long haul, it will save you so much pain, $$$, and grossness.🤢⁣

And it's the same with, independence.⁣

If you invest a little bit in your child’s independent play right now - taking small, manageable steps every day to maintain and establish healthy habits - you will reap the benefits over time.⁣

A tough-love moment here - it’s not realistic to wait until your child is 16 and then suddenly expect them to be independent enough to drive or get their first job or figure out a plan for the summer.⁣

These are skills you’ve got to build slowly and gradually.⁣

It’s also not desirable to spend the next decade suffering through burnout, exhaustion, clinginess - because you’re not making the little investment that it takes to establish healthy independent play habits (just as it’s not awesome to endure cavities, toothache, and bad breath for years - rather than invest in establishing healthy brushing habits early on).⁣

So I guess my message is: Don’t wait with this. ⁣
When we neglect our child’s need for independence - it gets worse, not better.⁣

But when you take the time to follow along with the small, daily, doable actions that are outlined in the Reclaim Play Challenge - it will pay off in spades years later! ⁣

That’s why you’re here.⁣

You can do this. 💪⁣

It’s SO worth it. The small actions you’re taking now are going to pay back dividends... forever.⁣

Reclaim Play is all unlocked! Link in bio
...

“𝗗𝗿𝗮𝘄 𝗺𝗲 𝗮 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲!” my daughter said. Not gonna lie, I draw a mean horse. 🐎 So I did. She watched me, wide-eyed, so impressed. So excited. So grateful! A beautiful moment, right?⁣

I thought so. “𝘎𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘈𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘭!” I thought, patting myself on the back.⁣

After she colored it in she said: “𝗖𝗮𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗱𝗿𝗮𝘄 𝗺𝗲 𝗮 𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗱 𝗻𝗼𝘄?” 🧜‍♀️ ⁣

“𝘞𝘩𝘺 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘥𝘳𝘢𝘸 𝘪𝘵, 𝘮𝘺 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦?”⁣

“𝗜 𝗰𝗮𝗻’𝘁 𝗱𝗿𝗮𝘄 𝗮𝘀 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘁𝘁𝘆 𝗮𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂.”⁣

oomph.⁣

My heart sunk just a little bit. 😟⁣

In my well-meaning attempt to answer my daughter’s sweet request - I had undermined her own creativity. ⁣

I had shown her that I, the adult, was more developed, more skilled, more capable - so much so that she might as well not even try. ⁣

Why try when she could never measure up to the mermaid that I can produce? ⁣

Look, it’s not a big deal. I’ll still draw for my kids from time to time - but I really try not to. ⁣

I try to say, 'No', to playing with them or for them - because I want to say, 'Yes', to something else...⁣

I want to say YES to their: ⁣
❤ Creativity⁣
❤ Independence⁣
❤ Personal Satisfaction⁣
❤ Development⁣
❤ Resilience⁣
❤ Problem-solving⁣
❤ Focus⁣
❤ Attention⁣
❤ Concentration⁣
❤ Inner World⁣

I want to step out of the way of THEIR self-expression, curiosity, exploration. And as an adult, if I interject myself (even if they’re begging me to!), I’m totally likely to overshadow and overpower - even with all my best intentions!⁣

So, my friend, if you ever feel guilty for letting your kids play independently, for saying “no”, stepping away, or becoming less involved, know this:⁣

𝗜𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘆 𝗶𝘀 𝗸𝗶𝗱𝘀 𝗯𝗶𝗿𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁!⁣

We owe it to them.⁣

I hope this is a liberating thought for you, as it was for me. ⁣

#reclaimplay #independentplay⁣
#childhoodunplugged #motherhoodthroughinstagram #letthembelittle #playpandemic #presentplay #intentionalmotherhood #intentionalparenting #loveparenting #enjoyparenting #parenthood #parentingwisdom #childdevelopment #playisimportant #playislearning #playisachildswork #independencebaby #toddlerdrawings #toddlerdrawing
...

If you're finding the days at home with your kids stressful and disorganized and you end up just waiting for bedtime to come - you're in the right place. ⁣

My work is dedicated to helping you to love parenting and to parent from love. ⁣

And one of the most profound (and under-used) tools for creating a life you love (even with little kids) is... ⁣

RECLAIMING PLAY! ⁣

When kids play independently - parents get a breather. ⁣

Even better: Independent Play is one of the healthiest things for kids' development. ⁣

That's what I call a win-win.⁣

Want to know how to inspire your child (age 0+) to play for looooong stretches of time? ⁣

I've created a fool-proof method to inspire 3 hours of independent play a day in just 3 weeks. Just imagine your child sinking into immersive, imaginary, nurturing play for hours every day... ⁣

Let me know in the comments if you want me to dm you the details of the Free Reclaim Play Challenge! ❤
...

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1 comments

One Reply to “The Place of ANGER in Parenting”

  1. Hi Avital,

    My name is Elizabeth. I am currently 37 Weeks pregnant and living with my partner in my parent’s house. We live with 6 dogs, and are preparing for home birth. Things can get quite overwhelming. I have been very angry these past few months, prominently in my relationship. I have been so triggered and upset when my partner says certain things/ touches certain subjects. I have had a array of emotional explosions. I have broken cups, thrown things, slammed doors (never at anyone or trying to hurt anyone). Simply out of frustration, and trying to get someone to “hear my plea”. After the explosions, I come to my senses. I do apologize to all parties involved. I am wishing to overcome this. I am tired of the feeling my body/mind feel while carrying this child and getting emotionally upset/explosive. I am open to all trips of how not to let the things people say trigger me and set me off. Reaching out in the name of Love, Elizabeth

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