Listening to your instincts

Should I let my 9 year old stay home by herself? Should I let my daughter hang out downtown? When should I let my son ride his bike to a friends house?

African-American single-parent family

Parenting is full of questions and decisions that don’t have an obvious answer. We usually look to see what everyone else is doing but just because it’s popular, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. The high technology use & helicopter parenting popular today is creating the most stressed-out, disconnected, anxious, depressed and medicated cultures in history. When your Mom, sister, neighbor, and the media disagree, and you can’t trust the dominant culture, how are you supposed to know what’s right?

Is my child ready for summer camp? Is my daughter mature enough to babysit? Should I let my child have an Instagram account?

Depending on whether you ask a teacher, a police officer or a pediatrician, you could get completely different answers. Even you and your spouse might disagree! As kids grow into adolescents, the questions become bigger and scarier.

Could my teen be depressed? Should I tell my teenager about my past experiences with alcohol and drugs? When do I talk about birth control?  Is my son addicted to video games?  Does my daughter have an eating disorder?

Luckily, worry, fear and helicopter parenting are not your only options!  You were born with a very handy tool, something I call Instinctual Intelligence. You KNOW what’s true and right for you (you just might not always have access to that information).

Everyone is born with instincts. It’s wired into our central nervous system. But over time we learn to block, ignore, and override these natural instincts and if we aren’t careful, we teach our children to do the same.  Instinctual Intelligence is the ability to tap into the wisdom of our body and use it to apply to everyday situations.

Try this:  Close your eyes and think to yourself “My child should obey me.” Notice how your body reacts to this thought.  It’s subtle, but you might notice a heaviness, tension or cloudiness. This is how your body reacts to a lie. (Many parents have this belief, that “my kid should obey me” but it’s not true. Kids aren’t robots, they are supposed to disobey, wouldn’t that be weird to have a kid who ALWAYS obeyed?).  Notice where in your body you feel it the most:  a constricted throat?  heavy ankles?  Pressure on your chest?  Now try this:  Close your eyes, take a deep breath and think, “My child is a unique spirit.”  You might notice feeling lighter, looser, relaxed, expansive, or clear.  Notice how your body reacts to the truth and where you feel it the strongest. “My child is a unique spirit” is a true statement for most people “My child should obey me” is a lie.

This is how we tune in to our instincts but it today’s modern world, it’s really easy to get distracted and ignore what our bodies are telling us.  When it comes to the health, safety and well-being of our teens and pre-teens, wouldn’t it be nice to regain that instinctual intelligence?

Imagine what it would be like to NOT WORRY and NOT FEEL GUILTY? Imagine having CALM CONFIDENCE in your parenting decisions?   Imagine having such PEACEFUL CONVICTION in your decisions that your children, parents and spouse don’t even bother trying to talk you out of it?

Re-introducing parents to their instinctual intelligence is one of my favorite things I get to do as a life coach. I love it at the end of a call when a client says, “I was going to ask you something else but I already know the answer.” It’s a great feeling to be able to trust yourself and your wisdom.

Want to know what your higher self is trying to tell you?  Check out these instructions for a fun little Pinterest Vision Board activity.

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