Addressing Positive and Negative Patterns
The following is an excerpt from my soon-to-be published book: Meditations for Middle School Mothers (And, Fathers, Too!) Expanded. In this book, the 100 meditations already published in Meditations for Middle School Mothers (And, Fathers, Too!) will not only include writing space for parents, but will also include my interpretation and suggested parental strategies. Each of the 100 meditations will include a full page of my explanation.
I can choose to guide my child to be an empowered self-observer of his or her own life by analyzing noticeable patterns. If she repeatedly complains about a teacher, I can be the guiding agent to bring the pattern into her awareness and then together create a list of empowering and positive options to “fix the problem.” Enjoying together the positive vibes that come from being freed from a stuck negative pattern, I can encourage her to notice other patterns in her life as well and follow the same path of creating options to eliminate or reduce problems.
Patterns help us define our Earthly existence. Some patterns, such as daytime and nighttime, provide positive stability. Some patterns, such as habitual complaining, strong 3 pm sugar cravings, and prolonged evening couch-sitting, provide negative stability. Being aware of both kinds of patterns is part of what is defined as mindfulness, which is an empowering way of living.
Even children and teens can live their lives with empowering mindfulness. Parents can play a huge role in developing such an awareness of life by noticing what is happening in The Now moment to create a desired future. Bringing both kinds of patterns to your kids’ awareness is one step to living mindfully in the present moment to not only creating, but to experiencing empowerment as much as possible.
For example, your child comes home every day complaining about school. The conversation goes something like this: “Honey, I’ve noticed a pattern, which seems to be disempowering you and your life. I think it is making your life less than it can be. I think it’s…quite possibly…probably…making you miserable! It seems that this pattern is keeping you stuck.” (addressing the issue without personal judgment)
“Life is full of options and choices so you can decide to change this pattern if you want to. I am just telling you about an observation I’ve been noticing. The choice is yours to change it to something lighter and funnier.” Sing: ‘You’ve got the power!’ (keep it lighthearted)
“Just like when you pointed out that I was saying too much about that cute boy who has a crush on you, I changed that pattern. It was actually nice and kind of you to tell me and bring it to my attention. So thank you. I felt relieved to know about the pattern. It felt good to release it and replace it with different actions. Thanks!”
Patterns are beneficial, but also can keep us stuck. Without blame, these can be addressed to mindfully experience life with empowerment. Eventually, your child will self-regulate and notice his or her patterns independent of you. Now, that’s empowerment!