Genevieve was born and raised in Ireland. She was 1 of 9 children born into a life of struggle and tough times. Her father was very volatile and violent and she grew up very fearful. Her experiences during her childhood led her to become a very cynical, hurt, lost and troubled teen who got into the wrong company and wrong habits. It was only when she met a couple who were running a course for people like her that she had her Aha moment.
She got into meditation which really helped her focus and eventually started running parenting courses (even before she became a parent herself).
In her opinion, a big part of peaceful parenting is having good listening skills. And that’s not just pretending to listen and be interested but to actually “listen” to our children. It seems like a very basic and simple skill but it’s affects are profound. There are endless ways that we can shut our children down but there are also many creative ways we can open our heart and actually listen to our children, creating a safe space for communication.
The biggest misconception that moms have now adays is that everyone else is doing a better job than them. You see kids being dropped off at school and happily going in and think Gee, I wish my kid was like that. But perhaps you haven’t seen the struggle the mom went through earlier that morning just to get her kids clothes on or get him/her to eat breakfast or even get into the car.
Parenting is a really tough 24/7 job of juggling needs. It’s about equiping people with support and offering them safety. *Parents, specifically moms, need a space to offload their struggles without feeling guilty.* They need someone to normalise their struggles and the everyday stress that they feel.
Genevieve ended by sharing some relaxation techniques. One was music – choose a track that relaxes you and listen to it when to calm yourself when all around you is manic. When your child is throwing a tantrum or testing your patience. The second was to use visualisation techniques. At the end of the day, when all is quiet, imagine a moment earlier in the day where you’ve been really stressed. Visualise the moment and remember your hands, jaw, heart rate, how you felt. Then acknowledge it! Say out loud…”I’m really stressed and this is really tough”. Then out your hand on your heart and say “My needs are important as well, my feelings are important as well. Somehow I need to slow down and take the pressure off. I’m choosing to slow down. I’m choosing to take the pressure off”.
By centering yourself and accepting your feelings, you release that pressure valve. You have to name and validate your feelings before you can move on. And this is a technique we can teach to our children as well. Providing them with a healthy outlet will lead to far fewer chances of them lashing out, hitting someone else or taking it out on their siblings/friends/you.