By Jessica Williams, www.LoveParentingLA.com
When parents of young children are attuned to their children’s wants, it can be challenging for a parent to make a change that is not to their child’s liking. Parents fear they are letting their children down and causing pain, disappointment, sadness and/or discomfort.Whether this change is moving across the country, changing schools, or putting an end to something such as co-sleeping or toddler nursing, empathetic parents often struggle with upsetting their children.
This 4-step L.O.V.E. Parenting plan serves to honor the parents’ need for change, support the children’s feelings and offer a tangible place to locate gamut of emotions present.
1. Make space for your own feelings of grief, guilt and sadness at needing to make a change. Write a letter to close this chapter. Outline what you have loved about your current paradigm, all the good memories, why it has worked for you thus far and what you will miss about it.
2. Tell your children that there is going to be a change and make space for their feelings. First, “there is going to be a change and this current situation is coming to a close.” Next, allow space for all the children’s feelings with love and compassion. Make space for your child’s sadness, anger, resentment and feeling powerless over the decision by listening with empathy and not trying to convince or persuade them out of their feelings.
3. Memorialize the current situation. You can do this in a thoughtful and intentional way by offering:
- a journaling session; you can follow dictation or your child can draw pictures
- writing a book that illustrates & describes the current situation
- writing a poem/ode to what you are leaving behind that you can print and frame.
4. Present the new plan. Once you have processed your own feelings, allowed your children grieved the old chapter and memorialized the current situation in a tangible place of honor, it is time to present the new paradigm. Lay out your expectations of the new plan with upbeat optimism.
You have a good chance of a smoother transition into the new situation because you have created a deliberate place to feel all the feelings, you have created ritual around your transition and you are walking into your future with love and consciousness.
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About Jessica Williams
Jessica Williams created L.O.V.E. Parenting with a series of techniques for effective communication, deepened connection and more joy in parenting and life. Jessica is also the creator of www.UltimateParentingCourse.com with the best of today’s progressive parenting experts together in one program. Jessica is a featured expert internationally on both Mothering.com’s Ask An Expert and the upcoming www.KidsInTheHouse.com. Jessica is a regular contributor to Mothering Magazine’s All Things Mothering, LA Parent Magazine, LA Mom Magazine & DailyBuzzMoms. She has been interviewed on television and radio and taught workshops at family wellness centers, schools and doctor’s offices. Her BirthKit has helped women have a transformational & empowering birth. Jessica maintains a private coaching practice in her native Los Angeles where she lives with her husband and their three children. “Truly amazing woman. I love her advice.”—Carrie-Anne Moss. “All you have shared has helped tremendously.”—Lisa Bonet. “I am experiencing nothing short of a miracle thanks to your laser beam approach.” –Andrea Bendewald.