Session Date :25th Nov, 2018,
Resource Person : Mr Kiran Gulrajani
Session – The Inspiring Parent
The session started with meditation & involved discussions on the following
- Four dimensions of Mindfulness. Clear Mind- Open Heart- Healthy Body- Loving Spirit: We experience things at 4 levels: the mind, heart, body & spirit. All 4 have to be engaged in parenting. Art of parenting is the art of learning together with children. It is about having an authentic, honest, sensitive relationship with ourselves and our children.
- Four skills and states of being for great communication and fulfilling relationships
We use different skills during our communication such as verbal skills, Non-verbal expression; voice modulation, etc. Holding a dialogue, encouraging participation, encouraging curiosity are also important. But there are 4 important factors that are the core of effective communication:
- Speaking from the heart: Most relationships break when we are not connected in the heart: “ The heart of a problem is the heart.”
- Pausing: Music, words, poetry are created because of pauses. But we have not understood the value of the ‘pauses’.
Silence: To understand silence we have to understand noise. Our relationships and lives are very noisy. We are afraid of silence & pauses. This is because, a pause is unpredictable and want predictability and control. We need to take a 10 min vacation daily. We need to learn to slow down and be silent. The life around us is speedy and in order to deal with this speed, we need to be silent and be the eye of the storm. The following points came up during the discussion:
- Parents don’t take a pause and give time for kids to understand
- Parents express to early
- How can questioning and silence go together?
Listening: Listening is the mother of all skills. Parents will be surprised to listen to their children; Children have such wisdom. Listening is about understanding what somebody else is saying. There are 3 facets of understanding:
- Understanding the point of view (What?)
- Understanding the feelings (How?)
- Understanding the positive intention (why?)
Dos and Don’t’s in Listening:
- Listen for accuracy, empathy & essence
- It is a good practice to paraphrase what the person has said to acknowledge that the speaker has been understood
- Validate the feelings of the speaker. Validating the feeling means naming the emotion the speaker is experiencing.
- Be present
- Come to the positive intention by addressing the deep feeling
- Don’t question pre maturely
- Don’t jump into problem solving
- Don’t advise
The Dos & Donts were further illustrated through role play using two volunteers from the parents.
- Certain mind sets that are transformative
We are all living in two states: Human & Being. Can we rest in our being? This is the key question. One of the challenges we face with ourselves is how to deal with our own feelings. Wars in the world and in families are fought because we cannot deal with our feelings. What is beautiful in children is their honesty, authenticity, innocence, forgiveness, curiosity, freedom and playfulness. But we supress their feelings which takes them away from what they really are and interferes with their natural growth:
- Questions & Answers
Parents raised the following questions:
(Q) Sometimes if children tell us something, we get carried away. How to deal with this?
(A) Be aware of what you are feeling and that you are getting carried away. Revisit the situation with your child when you are calmer.
(Q) We tend to overthink & get distracted in the process. How to deal with this?
(A) Locate where the feeling is in the body: whether it is in the heart, in the mind or in your stomach. The feeling is inside you. Not in your child.
(Q) There are so many dos and donts to be followed in listening. How can we be ourselves & yet be good listeners?
(A) Be in touch with the moment. Don’t react instantaneously. Talk after calming down.
(Q) How can we be like children when we have already matured?
(A) Be Childlike NOT Childish
For Sharing circle
Participants were divided into 6 groups. A handout with a poem was given to each group. Each group read the poem and discussed it and shared their takeaways from the session with other groups as follows:
- You can feel. But you can choose how to express your feelings.
- Listening makes us strong
- It is better to listen & let it sink in before responding
- We, as parents, always suppress the feelings of our children.
The session was attended by 42 participants