Parenting with Love and Understanding: Using Somatic Techniques to Nurture Our ChildrenApr 04, 2023
A parent's love is whole no matter how many times divided.
It is the sunlight of parental love and encouragement that enables a child to grow in competence and slowly gain mastery over his environment.
Parenting can be a roller coaster of emotions, from overwhelming love to frustration and exhaustion. But what if there were techniques that could help you better manage those feelings? That is where somatic techniques come into play.
By focusing on the connection between the mind and body, you can tap into a new level of self-awareness and emotional regulation. You don't need fancy equipment or a degree in psychology to try them out.
And the best part? You nurture yourself and your kids, helping them deal with life better.
With simple exercises and practices, you can incorporate somatic techniques into your parenting repertoire and experience a newfound sense of calm and presence in the home.
Diving Deep into Somatics
Using somatics to help guide your parenting is like finding secret handshake of the parent-child world. It's tapping into the body's natural wisdom to work through emotional challenges and build a stronger bond.
When we engage in somatic techniques, we invite our physical selves to join the conversation. It's not just about discussing things or using our minds to intellectualize an issue.
By incorporating movement, touch, and other sensory experiences, we say to our bodies, "Hey, I hear you. You matter too." And that's where the magic happens.
And by treating our bodies as equal partners in the attachment process, we deepen our connections with our kids and strengthen our ability to show up as the parent they need us to be.
So if you're looking to amp up your parenting game, somatic techniques are definitely worth exploring. It's like the cherry on top of the parenting sundae. And who doesn't love a good cherry?
- It's a great way to model healthy coping mechanisms for our kids.
- It helps us better understand our own emotional triggers and how to manage them.
- Somatic techniques give us more insight into our kids' feelings and behaviors.
- It reduces stress in the home by allowing us to stay calm and regulated even when our kids are in the midst of a meltdown.
- It supports our own self-care, which is essential for strong parenting.
Many parents are also living through or healing trauma. And taking care of kids and our inner wounded child can feel like a heavy weight. But somatics can be an incredibly powerful tool to help you stay present and connected in the face of difficult emotions.
It does not always get rid of the trauma, but it allows you to manage it in a healthier way. For example, you become less reactive to triggers, empathize better with your children's struggles, and allow you to end the cycle of toxic patterns in your family.
Strategies on How to Parent with Love through Somatics
The best way to make the most of the benefits of somatics in parenting is by understanding its complex inner workings. You can read books like How the Body Keeps the Score or find a mentor.
But if you are looking for quick techniques that can save you from a parenting breakdown, here's what you can do:
1. Practice Mindfulness with Grounding
Usually, practicing mindfulness is about being still. But as a parent, who has the time, especially if you have screaming toddlers?
When faced with these kind of scenarios, you can still be in tune with the present through grounding exercises:
- Notice the feeling of your feet against the floor, the temperature of the room, and how you are breathing in and out.
- Do color grounding. For example, pick objects that are red, orange, purple, yellow, and blue.
- Follow the 3-3-3 rule to curb anxiety. Take a deep breath through your nose for three seconds, hold it for three seconds, and release the air through your mouth for another three seconds. In every movement, notice how the air fills and empties your lungs.
2. Use Sound to Rebalance the Nervous System
Have you ever noticed how a certain song can make you feel instantly uplifted or relaxed? That's because sound has a powerful effect on our nervous system, especially our parasympathetic, which controls our rest-and-digest responses.
Calming music, for example, regulates heart rate and breathing, allowing the body to enter a state of relaxation. A sound with a quicker tempo can energize us and stimulate the release of certain hormones, such as endorphins, that make us feel good.
And you can create and experience sounds in different ways with yourself and your kids:
- Sing a song, hum an old tune, or make up your own.
- Create silly noises like "buzzing bees," "lion roars," or "elephant trumpets."
- Chant a mantra or words of affirmation to yourself and your kids.
- Listen to healing-bath sounds.
3. Make Art to Express Emotions
Making art is a great way to release emotions, especially for kids. It helps them express their feelings in a creative and non-threatening way. And it can let us parents understand where they are coming from.
Even better, imagination is the only limit. You can make art out of anything - paper, clay, playdough, sand. And you don't even have to be good at it! Just let the emotion flow through your hands and onto the page or canvas.
Don't know how to draw? Then write. You can make a poem, short story, or journal. Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way teaches you about morning pages.
You can also dance, make a collage, or make tactile art with gooey, soft materials.
Whatever form of art you choose, the important thing is to just be in that moment and let go.
Somatics can be a powerful tool for parenting with love. It doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming - simple grounding exercises and mindful art can do wonders for your family.
So, take a few moments to practice these techniques today and see how they transform your parenting experience.
Do you need more support? If you want to dive deeper into somatics for parents or even help others become better, check out my online certification program. It’s designed to help you unlock all the power of somatics, so you can rise above your trauma, release yourself from bad attachments, and become the best version of yourself.
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