- Ricka Robb Kohnstamm
What does self-compassion have to do with complex parenting?
Self-compassion means being gentle with ourselves when we feel like we are sitting in the midst of an emotional prickly bush. It means being kind and tender with the vulnerable, scared parts of ourselves. Instead of running, screaming from the discomfort or covering over the prickles, we get comfortable sitting there, until the prickles start to resolve on their own.
And it has everything to do with complex parenting -- for our own wellbeing and that of our children.
I can provide safe, comforting space easily for others, but it's much more difficult to do that for myself. And I'm not alone. The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley says that 80% of people show more compassion and are kinder to others than they are to themselves.
Yet we have the power, through our own learned behaviors, to increase our own oxytocin and opiates, and feel better. We can model this powerful self-care for our children. It is slow medicine, it is evidence-based and it works.
And here's the thing...
"For teens, self-compassion appears to have a protective effect against trauma, peer victimization, depression and self-harm, and low self-esteem."
Self-compassion is an evidence-based way to help our children increase resilience to whatever life tosses them.
By increasing our own capacity for self-compassion, we model healthy, protective behavior for our children.
Today, I will actively model self-compassion, for my own wellbeing and for that of all of my children.
I'm in. You?