Conscious Parenting Q&As May 2020

? Reconnecting with a 10 year old Indigo boy.
? My 9 yo daughter is addicted to youtube and complains that she is bored.

? How to help a 6 y.o. son with a major sleep regression?
? How do you manage 1 or 2 hours of a really angry child (4.5 years old) without being exhausted in the end?
? Looking for an advice on sleep training for a one year old.

All of you who have 10 year old boys, is this a “difficult ” age? I am trying hard to connect with my son. He is also my Indigo boy, a MIRROR of myself and has allowed my inner child to begin healing

Jennifer: Just the beginning. My oldest will be 12 at the end of May. It gets easier … Connection is so much more important then my agenda has ever been. His behavior is communication. Which has been a huge adjustment for me. Example he got insane mad over a normal home rule, destroyed something he loves; broke his own heart. After wards when he was able to cry & he told me how awful his day at school was. I had to work through my adult reaction. I wanted to prove MY POINT or MY LESSON …. I had to remind myself not a problem child BUT my child with a problem & how I could help him. Impulse control when he is angry still stumblingly through.
I did discover a love ritual that helped so much with his anxiety. I googled love ritual & conscious discipline and found us one that fit.

Margaret: I have 2 boys older than yours. Boys in their early teens tend to suddenly flip the switch and it takes time and attention to find what frequency they are on. There seems to be a strong need to be independent as well as a desire to be supported unconditionally while separating. The parental knee-jerk reaction to that is often more control and worry. If you react with trust, acceptance, availability you will probably spare yourself and him much stress. 10 is a bit early for that, so maybe he is processing something emotionally difficult. What might he be reacting to?

But, there is another side of this. Each time you project something out like that there is a part of you that is seeking resolution through solving of the external issue. So, maybe it is to find a peaceful moment and ask yourself “where did I disconnect from myself”

Jennifer D.: If you allow him to change and learn about the new him/show interest in what he likes now and stay involved, a new connection will form. Different yet similar but they just change as they grow, so does our connection with them.

Kath: I can relate. I felt that as a Mum I was needed more when my son was younger. I felt like he was gaining his independance. It hurt a bit at the time as he needed his male role model. It wasnt a bad thing it just took a little getting used to.

Kayla: My son turns 9 and is already so independent, and find it so hard to connect with some days…we still have snuggle time still before bed so I still have that connection with him but outside of that its difficult

My normally creative and imaginative 9 yr old girl has been super addicted to YouTube lately and complains she is bored. I try and ask her to help bake, crotchety, side walk chalk etc and she declines. Is this a normal stage considering the circumstances

Jennifer: I limit YouTube to one hour a day & block all of its competitors (over 10!) I noticed a huge difference after the adjustment was made. My argument is why would I allow them unlimited access to watch things I don’t fully approve of, or how rich kids distroy that poor kids get in trouble for.

Michelle: We quit youtube cold turkey. We had about three days of withdrawal and now my son does not ask for it.

Alanna: I would talk to her about how boredom is our brain asking for new stimulation and how things like screen time have trained or brain for instant gratification when really biologically that’s not really how our brain and body work. Could you ask her to use some of her you tube time to learn a new skill like crocheting or to find answers to questions she has? This could be a good training in self motivation and time management. And it’s also ok to let her check out for some unproductive screen time what ever gets everyone through the day is ok right now.

Jennifer D.: My 9 year old is having similar interests. Here’s what is working: supervision of usage, time of usage and limiting YouTube. YouTube, in my professional option…I am an Educator, is highly addictive. It’s like Facebook, it goes from one thing to the next and the next and some content is really not age appropriate. 🙂 When there’s limitation and unavailable use of the devices, imagination must be used. 🙂 Keep resilient. You’ve got this!

Hansel: It would be so so so wonderful if our kids could simply ignore the excitement which repeated causes a natural high – a dopamine rush.Wouldn’t be wonderful if our kids, (I have a 10 and 12 year old) would simply put the devices away and help us cook dinner, bake a cake or donuts and crafts with us, without nagging them…Ok, when they’re exposed to devices at a young age, generally speaking, to kids, other forms of amusement just don’t compare. They don’t light up the brain as easily as sugar or in this example, devices.So, other than the family not having any devices in the house or around the children from birth (? ), there’s no simple solution.But there’s hope. The earlier you make the decision that helping your kids develop good habits involving family, school, play, sports, nutrition and sleep, the easier it will be for your family to manage screen time.The good news is that it’s never too late that is if you have an intentional plan and you’re commited to see it through – whatever it takes ??I guess the devices are part of your family life however, your concern is only really been since lockdown when your daughter has enjoyed increased screen time – true?Think, status quo, situation and environment. What was the screen time use before… What’s the situation now – lockdown. Her whole schedule, the life she knew has changed. There’s a great deal of hidden uncertainty and possibly fear which can result in kids being even more attracted to the activities which bring them the most pleasure – devices ?

Our 6 year old son is going through a major sleep regression for the last few weeks. He typically sleeps alone in his room all night after one of us falls asleep with him. Lately he’s been waking up 2 to 3 times per night and calling us to come to sleep with him. He claims to be afraid of the dark though he’s got a nightlight and salt lamp. This has become very exhausting for my husband and I. We’ve tried to talk with him to understand what’s going on and to see if there’s anything we can do to help but we’ve made no progress. Obviously, we understand that there’s been a lot of change and we want him to feel safe and heard and supported, BUT we need to get some sleep. Any suggestions?

Kendall: Any chance you’ll just let him sleep with you guys for a bit…. I definitely would believe him when he says he’s scared, don’t just write that off because he has some light. If hes waking, he probably really is scared being alone.

Tammy: I agree with the above comment. Make him feel as comfortable as possible to say what is scaring him in the dark – and be open to ALL possibilities. Ask him one at a time if he sees something, hears something, feels something. Ask him what would make him feel safer and not scared? What would he need to happen to feel ok to sleep in his room?

Caitlin: Whenever my 3.5 year old has a bad dream she comes to our bed. I let her stay for a while & then tell her it’s time to go back to her room, once she’s calmed down. If I didn’t have a 5 month old who nurses allllll night long, I’d just let her stay but I wouldn’t get any sleep so that’s the compromise. Once she’s relaxed a bit I pick her up & take her back to her bed & give her a fun toy to sleep with. Toddlers tend to have BIG feelings but we as the adult need to make sure we recognize them, empathize with them, but also establish the boundaries. If sleeping in your bed isn’t an option, I highly suggest letting them hang out for a little bit before putting them back in their own beds. My daughter knows that we all sleep in our own beds but some nights she just wants to hang with us for a little while & we compromise.

Mary: That’s about the right age for their imagination to start going off the charts. Dreams become vivid and depict days activities. I’d just be mindful of what you watch as this can have an impact. It will pass. We have a cot mattress under our bed we can pull out and our boy sleeps on next to our bed if he needs. We get sleep and space and he feels safe with us.

Brittney: Do you have the option to bring his bed or put a mattress in your room? To this day, my 6 year old prefers to room share with us. We travel a lot, so it’s never been an issue and we all sleep a little better I think with the closeness in proximity. I’m not sure the age of yours, but some time around 3 there is a natural phase of “being afraid” of the dark. Just like everything else, it is only a phase! But to make all your lives easier, I would suggest room sharing. If bed sharing isn’t an option, maybe you could lay a smaller mattress down next to your side of the bed. Continue your regular routine of laying with him, then just let him know he can come in your room any time he feels ? hugs ?

Melissa: Our little people feel stress just as much as we do. As hard as we try to keep scary conversations and news away from their ears, they know when something is wrong. Right now there is a lot wrong. The whole world has been plunged into this topsy-turvy state of constant anxiety. I will bet your son is feeling like the whole world is not safe because even the grown-ups are scared. Are you able to put up a child’s play tent in your room? If your son gets scared at night, he could sleep there, knowing he is very close to mom and dad, but not in your bed. Other than that, just trying to make his world as normal as possible might help with his anxiety.

Heather: I COMPLETELY understand being woken through the night (our son is 5 and still does it sometimes) and it’s so exhausting, but kids are super sensitive to energy and there is so much happening energetically, I agree with the comments about comforting him. I like to remind myself that everything is temporary! ?❤️

How do you manage 1 or 2 hours of a really angry child (4.5 years old) without beeing exhausted in the end? there is a point I really think its enough even if I know she can’t handle the situation different yet.

Leimomi: For me I had to realize that I cannot try to fix the situation, I have to separate or detach my feelings from the situation as they let their feelings flow through. This isnt easy on me and I still struggle with it. But a lot of how you physically handle it I think depends on age. For a 4.5 year old, one of mine does well with hugs, another did well with a punching bag!

Samantha: Ask yourself ‘am I emotionally triggered by my child’s anger’ does it cause you any discomfort within?

Margaret: I’m with Samantha. This picture will be very different if you sit with your perception of what is happening, sit with what triggers you. What’s in it that is most difficult to handle? What does this situation tell about you? This is really worthwhile doing because with that you will be acknowledging your own feelings and you will be able to soften the triggers. When your child picks up on your emotional shift their behaviour may shift too. Children mostly react to our energy.

Sam: Observe yourself tomorrow if she gets angry.. If you feel emotionally triggered.. Feel into the emotion.. Pause.. Breath.. Take a moment.. By doing this you will be able to observe your feelings and see where they lead.. (unconscious pain from childhood) were you shamed/scared/unable to express anger as a child? This allows you to take control of your emotions by non reacting to your child’s.. The breather will allow you to be able to consciously be there for your child’s anger.. Your child will sense your energy so the shift into a more sympathetic comforting energy will help her resolve her anger.. Be gentle on yourself as its a process

Ema: I encourage the creation of a moment to connect, touch and really being in tune with the child: looking into his/her eyes first, showing up for him/her with calmness and devotion. Then communicating with words, drawings and symbolic play – where does that anger feel in the body, mindful breathing with it as a team, and then deeply listening and observing what is being said by the child or shown through the play/drawing… trying to guess with compassion, “I can see that maybe being far away from school or special people is hard, I’m here for you” giving a safe place for emotions to come, to be contained and heard 

I just wanted some advice on sleep training for a one year old. Since her birth (my first child) sleeping has been the most challenging for me. 
For the first month she only slept in our arms then i was able to lay her in her bed but only after nursing her to sleep. I tried laying her down drowsy but shed just cry for ages. Now the moment I lay her in her own crib she gets stands up and cries. I’ll try soothing her rubbing her back, rocking or even a bit more nursing ti get her drowsy again but still the moment I lay her in her bed she’s up. Since she was about 3 months we’ve introduced a bedtime routine bath, massage, reading, bedtime lullabies and lots of love and cuddles. Even play white noise. She doesn’t have a problem falling asleep it just has to be in our arms, next to us or nursing.
The only way we get any sleep is taking her into our bed. I don’t have a problem with Co sleeping actually really enjoy it. It’s just I’m concerned as she nurses on and off just helps herself that she is developing bad sleep habits / associations. 
Will she just grow out of this at some stage? and eventually naturally learn to sleep on her own?

Irene: I’m a mum of two kids. first one a girl who still can’t sleep alone with age of 4. but she stopped nursing to fall asleep by her own and also stoped nursing later on. I always could trust in that and also trust that she will choose to sleep alone or with her brother one day. what do you know about your child? If you and your child are fine why want to change?

Julia: I have experience with both. My son (now 5yo) we never sleep trained. He did learn to fall asleep without nursing but always needed us there til he was asleep. He still sleeps on a mattress on our floor and we stay with him until he’s asleep. My daughter (18mo) we just very gently sleep trained using Taking Cara Babies ~2 months ago. She already could fall asleep alone (started that at 4mo) but would wake many times in the night to nurse. I waited to sleep train until I knew she could understand what I was saying. She actually picked it up very quickly. It wasn’t a need she had, just a habit. I think the same absolutely would have been true for my son but I just didn’t know that and didn’t have enough of my own Center to help him through it. I see also that my daughter plays independently better and is more independent in general. Though this could be personality or second child stuff, I attribute it partly to laying alone awake before sleeping and putting herself back to sleep alone.

Claire: May I recommend you join the group The Beyond Sleep Training Project? You will find mountains of similar stories, amazing support and advice without any push towards detrimental sleep training.
What you are describing is COMPLETELY NORMAL for a child of her age. You are not forming any bad habits, you are meeting her needs. Please don’t feel pressured by society expectations that she “should” be doing x/y/z. Listen to her, trust your mama instincts and believe me that it will get better.
Imo it is entirely normal for a tiny person to need a big person to help them go to sleep. What’s crazy is the idea of a tiny person (with their under-developed brain) being fine with being alone in a dark room at night – we as adults don’t sleep alone so why should a baby?

Staci: I have similar stories and my last one was the closest to this. He started sleeping on his own around 1.5. I know it’s hard and oh so exhausting. It really won’t last forever although I know it feels like it. Take naps when you can. Loads of love sent your way.