By LOYLA LOUVIS
For Montclair Local
In “Mother Matters,” parenting and life coach Loyla Louvis, AACC, provides parenting tips. She is dedicated to eliminating frustration in the parenting journey by customizing solutions to fit the uniqueness of each family. A mother of four, she is experienced with single parenting, remarriage, home education, mentoring and teaching. Louvis runs Mothers in Training LLC, and is a certified professional parenting consultant/coach. More info can be found at Mothersintraining.org.
The roughest waves of ocean fare are no threat for the ship secured by an anchor. Properly employed, this steely hunk of crafted metal delves speedily through an underwater world of plant life and sea creatures to find its destination. In order to stabilize its craft above, it wedges uncompromisingly into a seabed of mud and clay.
Anchors, however, have another application that only the wise will understand and employ:
not all anchors are made of metal, and not all storms brew at sea.
In the turbulence of busyness and personal agendas, it may not take much for a mother to communicate with her child in such a way that weighty messages are cast over the threshold of her lips, anchoring themselves in the depths of her little one’s heart.
The vessel of the mind does not easily drift once these subtly powerful words make their way down into the inner world of a child, embedding in this hidden space.
In order to speak to children in ways that stabilize their minds and anchor meaningful messages in their hearts, consider the following:
- Focus on character traits rather than achievements when offering praise and affirmation. For example, if Ashley has just passed her test and received a new belt in karate class, a statement such as “Ashley, I see how committed you are to practice karate each week. I love how you give your all to whatever you do and never give up!” accentuates her character rather than an award she has received. The message anchored here is that her internal attribute of diligence is of greater worth than the external reward of achievement.
- Celebrate the uniqueness of the child. A sentiment such as “Jack, I really admire the way you approach tasks. I see how you think about things so carefully before starting, and that’s a special quality in our home!” secures a child’s attachment to the family as a valuable contributor. The message anchored here is that special characteristics which the child possesses are a significant contribution to the family’s identity.
- Nurture positive behavior by expressing an attitude of gratitude for intentions. A response such as “Tommy, I can’t believe how kind you were to your brother just now, but even more than that, I’m especially grateful because you showed me the kind of person you really want to be,” draws attention to the motive behind the behavior. The message anchored here is that who children believe themselves to be is reflected in their actions.
The busy schedules and demands of family life can often be a breeding ground for mixed messages and confusion in conversation. Once in motion, the resultant emotional waves threaten to create stormy relationships and sabotage serenity in the home. Deliberately casting out mindful messages and having an awareness of the power these anchors hold will create a peaceful home that is a secure harbor for every vessel.