Putting In The Pause

One of the first things I learnt when I became aware of conscious parenting was how to put in a pause. It isn’t always easy to remember, but when I do pause, it reminds me how powerful a tool it is to connect with our children. It has been truly transformational not only in my parenting but in all of my relationships.

WHAT DOES “PUTTING IN A PAUSE” MEAN?

It means to put in a space between response and reaction. It means taking a second or two to consider your reaction. It means waiting to respond until you have considered how you want to react. It is about putting in a little gap, a short moment between what our children say and what we say back. Think about how you might put in a pause before replying to a text, it’s the same principle.

Take a day to observe other people’s reactions, the speed at which they respond. Notice what they say and how they say it. So often we react in judgment, heavily based on our own ego;

“All of our responses unless they are conscious will be clouded in our own insecurities, our own defences.”

We may feel triggered by what they say and without a pause, we could react with anger, we could shout, we could heavily criticise. Our children will feel this response, they may choose not to tell us their thoughts and feelings in fear of the reaction. Conscious parenting is about deeply connecting with our children, so putting in a moment to consider our reactions will transform the way our children will want to communicate with us.

When my teenage daughter shows me her Instagram feed I so want to react and comment! I have often blurted out my views, my judgements, my ego. When we do this our children hear our reactions and they may then choose to disconnect with us.

In this example, my daughter may not want to continue to share her social media feed with me. You may say that we need to comment, it is our job as parents to discuss what may be inappropriate. I agree, but when I do pause, it helps me to consider what message I want to give and hopefully keep the connection through the tricky teenage years!

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PUTTING IN A PAUSE? 
It seems too simple to be so life-changing. Have you heard children say ”I am not even going to bother telling you as I know what you are going to say”? Well, with a pause, we can encourage our children to talk to us with less fear of judgment.

Children can easily pick up feelings of shame for what they say which can last a lifetime. Putting in a pause helps us reduce how much we project, so our children can feel that it is ok to be authentic, to be themselves.

“When we are judged we not only hear it, but we feel it. “

Children can easily pick up feelings of shame for what they say which can last a lifetime. Putting in a pause helps us reduce how much we project, so our children can feel that it is ok to be authentic, to be themselves.

“Children need to feel heard and putting in a pause can go a long way to create the right environment for this to happen.”

Isn’t it hard to remember? Yes! It is hard and with all things in life it takes practice. One of the ways that have helped me is to notice my breath as I am pausing, it acts as a stopwatch, a couple of breaths is enough to give you space to consider your response.

If you meditate, it is the same as when you start to notice your breath going in and out. If you haven’t done this, then it is simply putting in a second or two before you respond.

I will also add that it is definitely work in progress, we will forget to pause, but that is ok, the awareness of not pausing will bring us more lessons!
Will my children notice and think I am ignoring them? A pause can be so short that it will most likely go unnoticed. What will be noticed is how our children feel when we do not overreact, shout and judge.

HOW DO I START? 

Have a go today, observe how we all react so quickly and the effects it can have. Have a go at pausing. What do you notice? What comes up for you?

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Putting In The Pause

| Blog, Communication, Connection, Discipline & Conscious Guidance, Emotional Mastery, Parenting, Teenage Years |
About The Author
- Amanda is a certified Conscious Parent Coach trained in Dr Shefali Tsabary’s Conscious Parenting method. A fully qualified teacher, she has taught and worked in student support in both secondary schools and colleges. During the early years of raising her own children, she realised that the traditional ways of parenting did not help her connect with her children. Amanda realised she was fulfilling a parental role based on what she thought was right rather than what her children actually needed to thrive and feel they can be their true selves. She has a warm and friendly approach and is absolutely non-judgemental in supporting parents in the often challenging and difficult job of raising children. Her work can truly transform our relationships with our children.