The Holistic Parent – Sinead Kavanagh – Transcripts

The Holistic Parent – Sinead Kavanagh – Transcripts

I have decided to call my video podcasts Learning through different voices and different eyes as I am interested in having a chat with people who are experiencing and encouraging learning, play, education, parenting and anything to do with children growth and well-being, on a different angle. Hopefully, you’ll find the podcast interesting, entertaining and fun.

On this 1st podcast, I have a chat with Sinead Kavanagh from The Holistic Parent. She is a parent, a mentor and educator supporting parents from the early years throughout their lifespan. When I was reading about Sinead and her your heart-warming and supporting parenting programmes. I realised that, as I stand, a mum of two teenagers and two young adults, I am anything but a holistic parent! I’m struggling. I don’t seem to get anything right. I have asked Sinead to explain what is a holistic parent?

Podcast notes of our conversation:

We all struggle but that’s ok…
I suppose the first thing I’d like to say for you and for anybody else that’s watching, we all struggle. You are doing things right. You may look back and think, I could have done it differently. And there’s the learning. The reality of it is if your children are still standing, they’re fed and clothed and watered and they know that they can come home and come to you, especially as they get older. You’re doing everything right. You know, we can very often have massive expectations of ourselves as parents and we can have massive expectations of our children as our children. And I think the first thing that we really need to do is to be realistic. So the work that I do is very much practical and pragmatic, and it’s very much embedded in compassion and empathy for ourselves, first of all. And if we are consumed by or bogged down or troubled by our sense of failure, our sense of inadequacy, our sense of incompetency, that’s something that needs to be addressed hugely because each day we wake up and have those thoughts were modeling that behaviour pattern for our children and without saying a word, we’re already teaching them.

Be self-aware
And so that’s where I think the holistic element lies. Holism is about the whole the body, mind, spirit, the soul, the very essence that makes you you your uniqueness. And so when it comes to being a holistic parent, it’s about being aware of who that person is. So self-awareness would be the absolute bedrock of every single intervention or program that I offer. It’s how I live my own life. It’s how I’ve raised my own child. It’s about being self aware because when you’re self aware, you have no choice but to be autonomous. You have no choice but to understand the level of self efficacy you possess. That’s that belief, the inherent belief that you have it within you to find the answers to the issues that arise for you. You may not have the skill set in order to do that alone, but you do have the ability and the resourcefulness to look outwardly and find out where those people are. That can help and that’s really important. So the autonomy and the self efficacy and the two other cornerstones that I sit upon, the bedrock of self-awareness, are resilience. We have to be resilient in the world because there’s no point that we can decide to lie down and give up if we want to actually make something of this life.

Be resilient
And there’s nobody coming to pick you up unless you actually sit up and put out your hand. And that’s really important. So, you know, people think resilience is that thing of doing it all on your own. It’s not. It’s having the ability to sit up and put out your hand when you can’t do it on your own, as well as being able to have fortitude. And that’s the mindset with which we look upon our own lives and decide, do I do this or do I wait for somebody else to do this? So we’ll all know somebody in life who. Whenever anything goes wrong, we’ll hang their head and go, Oh, what else can go wrong? Nothing ever goes right. For me that shows an external lack of control where we are giving up our control of our whole lives and everything that happens to some things, someone and other presents out there. And that’s not the reality. The reality is, is that internally we have to take control of our lives. There’s very little that we can have massive control over, but the things we can control are our response to our lives. That’s the one thing we can have a huge impact on. And when we model those four behaviors before we open our mouth, once we get up in the morning and we are there and present.

Know yourself as a parent
We’re already modeling that for our children and that’s where they learn. So where we see the children perhaps are struggling in terms of their confidence, in terms of their ability to bounce back, nervousness, super hypersensitivity and things like that. There is a root and we need to stop for a second and we need to have a little look. And I know from my own perspective and my own experience and my teen is 16 and a half now, and I know that there’s the times when I’ve had to stop and go, What’s, what is this behavior in front of me? And then you go, Ha! What’s this behavior here? What have I been doing that has either promoted this response or has this response has come as a result of my behaviors? So there’s a lovely one when it comes to communication, when we speak as a parent, people will react as a child. So as a parent, we have that sort of authoritarian. When I say that, I don’t mean in an aggressive way. It’s just that parental aspect. And when we do that, people will very often respond. And that’s slightly childlike response to it. When we speak as an adult, people respond as an adult, when we speak as a child, people respond as a child. And so it’s very important to remember that, that when we’re speaking to our children or to other adults that were meeting them where they are.

I explained to Sinead that I find the world my teenagers grow up in, scary, moving too fast, and possibly I do not understand what they face and how they react and how I should react to all of that.
I am struggling to connect with my younger ones the way I have connected with the 2 eldest who are now 21 and 22 years old…I think I have become 100% parent and not a mum anymore…

Be a mum, be a parent and be yourself
I can totally identify because there is that element that, you know, I always say to, I’ve always said to my daughter, I am your parent, I am your mum and I am me. And there will be times in life where I will have to pull one of those ranked higher than the others. So when it comes to personal safety, when it comes to learning to be in the world, when it comes to the world that we live in today, I will say to her, I need to be your parent and you need to hear me as my child, because my job as a parent is to get you to adulthood and to get you to adulthood where you can actually be in the world. Feel comfortable and confident and be a well-adjusted adult in the world. If I. Mom, you. I don’t need to be your friend. Darling. You have friends. I am not one of them. Some stage in the future, when you’re no longer dependent on me for anything other than my love, we will be friends. But right now, it’s not my job to be your friend. You have friends.

Get children through each age, don’t skip any chapters…
And I’ve said that a lot of times over the years, you’re never going to be ten again. You’re never going to be so enjoy it. It’s only 364 days of it. Please enjoy it because you’ll never get to be time again. Kids need these little reminders. They want to be older, they want to be able to do they want to they want to watch the older movies. They want to play the older video games. They want to wear the older clothes. They want to go the older place. And you kind of have to stop because that’s the parent and go, no, my job is to get you through each age and to do what you need to do in each of those ages, because it’s about a process.

Sinead asked me how I felt after our discussion and I have to say that I was uplifted. First of all parenting is tough and does not come with a book. I think it would be fair to say we all have these moments of self-doubt and “I’m doing nothing right…” but that’s Ok. I find that talking to other parents and sharing my doubts is helpful. I never considered the self-awareness part before but I know that I am resourceful, I have a positive view of life, an endless energy, I surely I can pass that on to my children.

Many thanks to Sinead Kavanagh to the Holistic Parent for this uplifting and informative session.

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