The compassion cure


“Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.” ~ Louise L Hay

One of the toughest aspects of parenting in the modern age is the smorgasbord of conflicting parenting advice on offer. As a mother of two young children, I have found reading parenting books has often led me down a path of guilt and shame because, just as I think I’ve made progress, another challenge comes along and, with it, a barrage of “tips” that are conflicting, confusing and, at worst, damaging.

Feeling guilty about parenting failures does not result in change but, rather, a feeling of defeat and futility. The medicine for these feelings is self-compassion — nurturing yourself, establishing healthy boundaries and modelling self-care for your children. Every time I cultivate compassion for myself I am blessed with a fresh perspective on how to solve behavioural challenges with my children.

Self-compassion is about observing and controlling fearful or negative thoughts as they arise in relation to your children. I often notice a futile voice that says things like, “I can’t stand this any more” or “Why can’t you get this under control?” When these voices start shouting, it’s time to replace them with, “I know you are doing your best right now”

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