Heather Nichols has worked with people her whole life. With a degree in Human Environmental Relations, a master’s degree in social work, and 13 years’ experience as a body centered psychotherapist, she had a wealth of information and theory on how to be the best parent ever.
The only problem was that it wasn’t actually working in reality. Her kids were out of control, she was miserable as a single mom, and she knew there had to be something different. When she realized the answer was being willing to throw out the theory and to live out what the world might deem a ‘Bad Mom,’ everything changed.
Heather, who now spends her life coaching and teaching classes about how to be you and create in business and life, including parenting and relationships, has worked for eight years as an Access Conscious facilitator. She is happy to say she believes you can actually have everything you want in life, even as a solo parent.
“Things are great now but I’m very open about the fact that for many years I really didn’t enjoy being a parent. I only realize now that it was because I was constantly in battle with myself around not being good enough as a mom. I spent all my time trying to do everything right. What I was missing was actually realizing the input my children might have – and also recognizing what I actually also know that is unique to me and my family.”
Heather believes we actually disempower our kids by constantly trying to guide them on what we perceive to be the right ways of doing things.
“By telling them they’re wrong to want to make the choices they intuitively want to make, we send a message that they can’t trust themselves, or the world. For example, by telling them they have to eat certain foods, or finish everything on their plate, we stop them from actually trusting themselves to know what’s right for them. On bedtime routines she says: “It’s much better for them to inherently understand how much sleep their bodies actually need, day to day, then to feel they have gone by the clock and be told how everything should be for them.”
Despite knowing all the theory or what was good and bad parenting, Heather found her whole situation got so much better when she realized that she knew some things intuitively and her kids did too. “I realized that if I stopped judging me and judging them, we could simply do what was right for them and me at any given time. When I released all of us from the rules of good parents and good kids – they began to make their own choices, and I began to allow them to learn from their choices. They now have a lot more choice and make decisions on what they know to be right themselves. They are happier, easier, and more successful – and so am I!”
Here are Heather’s top tips for parents who may be struggling in the same way she was:
- Trust them to know what’s right for them. Even when that feels like a stretch for you.
- Remember you are trying to raise kids who can make their own decisions when you’re not there to guide them. You want them to grow up to be functional and successful in the world, and on their own!
- Try and help your kids to find what makes them, really them! And what unique gifts they can bring to the world just by being who they are.
- Encourage your kids to connect with their intuition and learn to ‘feel’ situations rather than constantly overthink them.
- Recognize that there is no ‘right’ way to parent. If you try to get it right – you will probably end up making yourself, and your kids, crazy!
- Trust your kids as the experts. They are the experts on themselves. You are the expert on you. From this point of view, you can find something that really works for all of you as a family!
- Be willing to be different. Everybody is trying to conform to the standards of parenting that minimize the ‘risk’ of hurting your kids. That is disempowering! Be different – and trust you – and them – and you will have a lot more fun!
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