Monday, November 06, 2006

Time Out for Parents

Cheri Huber is a Zen meditation teacher and author that I discovered years ago in a bookshop in Cannon Beach, Oregon. The first book of hers I read was called “That Which You Are Seeking Is Causing You To Seek” , and it really blew my mind. Definitely provided many valuable life lessons. I feel like everyone should read that book.

So now I collect Cheri Huber books and press them upon my friends whenever possible. I just got her book about parenting, “Time-Out…for Parents. A Compassionate Approach to Parenting” returned to me, and I am once again struck by her sound wisdom. Check this out:

How do you want your child to be as an adult? Do you want your child to be repressed, to feel anxious and fearful of losing control? If that is the adult you want to produce then be that way with your child.

If you want a child who has the full range of his or her emotions, then you must begin to allow yourself the full range of your emotions. Once you are able to do that, and to knw that emotions are to be welcomed, not rejected, then your child will learn to do the same.


That feeling of about-to-lose-it is actually a gift: it is the self signaling itself that a need is being neglected.

It is sort of like emotional hunger pangs. When you get really hungry, you do not consider that you have “lost it.” You might have learned that it is helpful not to get that hungry, because when you do you tend to gobble your food, eat the wrong things, overeat – it’s not a good system.

But does letting yourself get that hungry make you a bad person? No, of course not. It makes you a person who is out of touch with your body.

When you get to the point of screaming with anger or frustration, does this make you a bad person? No. It makes you a person who is out of touch with your feelings.

Screaming, then, is to emotions as gobbling is to hunger.

When we’ve gone too long without a basic need being met, our reactions become HUGE.

“Losing control” is really about finding feelings that have been neglected and now refuse to be ignored. The crucial information is what happens inside ourselves right before we “lose it.”

The one I think is most powerful is:

Consider that how you are treating your child is probably how you were treated.

Being familiar with Cheri Huber’s books, I can tell you that she’s talking about feelings. For example, if you remember growing up feeling anxious or not a priority or having lots of guilt about stuff you now see as an adult was unwarranted, you might consider in what ways your parenting style creates similar feelings for your kid(s).

Anyways. Just some random ramblings. Here is the book on amazon if you want to pick up her book for yourself. I really recommend it.

No comments: