Caring for Caregivers

Be cared for as you care for your child.

Parents and caregivers that I work with come to me because they want to understand their kids better. They want to feel connected and to be helpful. Often, caregivers wonder, “is there something wrong with me? Wrong with them? Can I help them? Why are they so unhappy and difficult? You just want them to be happier, more enjoyable, and easier – you know they probably want the same things. It’s so hard, the behaviors make no sense and no books or podcasts seem to be helping. I also talk with a lot of parents who feel that once they learn the right strategy or find some techniques everything will be fine. And yes, some of it is about parenting, but it’s not about behavior management. It’s about knowing what your child needs, what their body is experiencing, and how to help them.

I have found that good parenting involves strengthening your own intuition. Just as the power of observation is crucial to understanding our children’s behaviors, we must also observe ourselves. It is pretty much impossible to help children connect to themselves if we as caregivers are not also connected to ourselves. Self-care begins with awareness, and it is our portal into gaining compassion for ourselves and for our children. How are our bodies and brains doing? How are our children’s?

No Wonder You are Exhausted!

I will help you stop and observe what is going on and what will be important to look for. When we practice becoming more aware, it leads to feeling more grounded and balanced and provides a momentary pause that can prevent us from saying or doing things that are not in our child’s or our own best interests.

I want you and the strength your child feels in your relationship with you to be the driving force of long-lasting change and the predictor of future outcomes.

ACTIVITY: Think of some of the coziest and most pleasurable joyful moments you’ve shared with your child. Focus on the feelings that come up in those memories. What kinds of activities or circumstances generate moments when you or your child have gleams in your eyes or a quieter feeling of connection?

One of the most challenging things I see parents struggle with is the idea that their trauma could impact their child. This could be experienced as intergenerational trauma, having experienced attachment and childhood trauma, or systematic issues that have led to chronic stress. It can also be parental trauma, medical interventions, or family conflict. It’s time to feel free from the pressure of trying so hard and redirect your focus to strengthening your child’s attachment with you as you heal the hurt of your own inner child.

As Dr Dan Siegel says, “Making sense of life can free parents from patterns of the past that have imprisoned them in the present.”