Apr 21, 2021
Oona Alexander is a leading UK parenting expert, helping exasperated parents radically love their children to happiness and naturally great behaviour, so that the whole family can experience the joy of a calm, happy home.
In today's episode ....
Oona and I talked about how exasperating it can be as a parent to connect with them, whereas what we really want is for them to be happy and we don’t want constant battles with them. The first thing Oona says is that we need to be compassionate with ourselves because the only experience we probably have is being parented ourselves. If you want to learn how you can do things differently, then tune in to this episode as there are lots of handy tips here.
Why do I do this work?
It all started with my Irish Aunty Bunty, a fountain of love and tea.
“Come in! Come in!”
Her farmhouse table is piled high with china teacups, cake and scones.
As we children chatter, she smiles.
Her smile is my safe harbour. I feel bubbles of excitement:
It’s ok to be me, after all.
I make a decision about my life:
I will be kind like her, and go around creating safe harbours so everyone can feel:
It’s ok to be me.
At home in London, it’s not always ok to be me.
I’m three, eating fish fingers and peas. My father is standing in his suit and tie, reading my mother’s letter to me. “Grandma and Grandpa send their love.” The cold green peas roll round the plate. I feel my insides draining down, down through my tummy.
Mummy and Daddy, amused, tell me: “You were a mistake… Mummy was furious when she found out she was pregnant with you.”
I try to do my best to make up for past events.
I make sure my legs are always firmly together, as my mother has shown me.
I try to look pretty, sucking in my round cheeks in the mirror.
I try to be quiet, but not too quiet, or I’m mumbling and that’s not good.
Crying, because I'm going back to boarding school later, I'm told off for being like Grandma, who was mentally ill and spent her life worrying instead of enjoying herself.
I do well at school and I get my 2:1 from Oxford. Friends go off to their jobs in publishing and media.
My kindness project starts.
I’m kind to children, first caring for them, then teaching maths and English, then telling them stories.
Joy of joys, I have my own child. Acres of room to practice kindness.
I don't always get it right. My son hits me with his building planks, and I lose it, throwing the planks out of the back door.
I haven’t quite mastered kindness yet.
I meet wise women whose understanding of kindness makes every cell in my body flip.
I sit studiously with them in various European capitals, my ears like jug handles.
What if parents around the world knew THIS?
I lead groups for more than a decade - inspired by the wise women - practicing kindness with hundreds of families.
At home, I’m changing, too.
We have happy school runs, mealtimes, bedtimes… hugs and laughter… he tells me everything.
I am the mum I want to be.
On the journey to kindness, I become the one who is curious about what a three-year-old with mummy-ache is really feeling.
I develop laser vision for why a six-year-old out of the blue, lashes out at his sister.
I understand how to help a nine-year-old who’s scared of being snatched in the night.
I help parents be the ones who dare to reach into their children’s souls and wrap them in words that hold them while allowing the ache, rage, or fear to be there.
I listen to my own pain, too. I wrap my arms kindly around myself, giving old wounds space, time and attention.
Until they aren't there anymore.
I have become my own safe harbour and I know: it’s ok to be me.
I want to live in a world where all parents feel “It’s ok to be me”.
They don’t lie awake at night, worrying about how it went with the children.
they no longer saying to themselves “You're no good at this. This shouldn’t be happening.”
Instead, they enjoy each moment with their children.
Feeling comfortable at the school gates.
And being in their body, where their children are - playful, light, happy, and accepting.
I want to live in a world where all children feel “It’s ok to be me”.
“Whatever I do, I feel loved. Whatever my parents say, I feel their love. We have fun together. Even when they say ‘No’, I feel loved. They understand me. So I know it’s ok to be me.”
Imagine for a moment:
A world where all parents and all children feel: “It’s ok to be me.”
Because they’ve discovered the power of kindness.
I want that world.
Parents and children being who they truly are.
It’s ok to be me.
CONTACT DETAILS / LINKS
Free Guide - https://www.oonaalexander.co.uk/solvethestruggle/
ABOUT WENDY CAPEWELL
Wendy is a Psychotherapist, Coach, Counsellor, Public Speaker, and Author. She helps people who are stuck either in their personal, professional or relationships, get to the root of the problem which is holding them back, let go - and move forward into a happier more successful life.
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