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Trusting Your Gut: The Only Path to Whole-Hearted Parenting


Today I spoke to a father who was concerned about his children, 9 and 12.  They sounded like great kids who were highly connected to him; texting him about their day… and their disagreements. He was an all-in dad.

They were so different, like all children are. He had given them an equal $100 to spend at the Ekka. One child had spent the full $100 by lunchtime and the other one came home with $85 in his pocket. He wanted to bring them up with a financial literally which would equip them for the years to come.

But his gut was telling him he was giving them too much, too quickly and too easily. This had nothing to do with the money they were given for the Ekka, but with their use of money in general. He had concerns about them becoming entitled to things, without understanding how hard others had to work for them. 

 “When our children ask us for things or money, we (meaning his wife and himself) don’t ever seem to say ‘no’,” he said to me.  “Our parents said ‘no’. They had no trouble saying ‘no’,” he added. “We on the other hand seem to be always saying ‘yes’.” 

Whether he recognised it or not, his intuition was speaking to him. Solely based on logic, his kids were doing fine. Compared to other kids, they weren’t spoilt at all. But there was another nagging, quite voice tapping at his heart. This was the voice that was steering him in a slightly different direction. So, how do you know your gut feeling is right? 

You don’t.  (That’s reassuring isn’t it!)  

But you do owe it to yourself (and your kids) to be attentive to that little voice. You don’t have to dive headfirst into the unknown.  But you can dip your toe in the water and feel its temperature. You can test the waters, and then assess the results. With every action you will see an equal reaction. The universe has an amazing ability to confirm whether we are on the right path or not.

When should we listen to intuition?

  • When it nags like a little mosquito in the night. It keeps buzzing around your heart and mind, trying to get your attention.
  • When it presents as a quiet internal voice, or feeling, which is easily drowned out by external noise.
  • When it steals our peace as a final means of getting our attention.
  • When we argue against it, and WIN.  Yep! That’s the confusing bit. Humans create elaborate (and crazily detailed) stories to justify why their intuition is wrong or impractical.
  • When your most trusted friends or family members, back you. As with all things, including parenting decisions, there is safety in numbers.

This blog post is all about saying a big YES to what your heart is telling you. When we don’t trust and take action on our gut feeling, we go down the same path, with the same results. When we trust our gut, and take actions, we provide an opportunity for growth and ultimately alter the course of our family’s lives.

Take a moment this week to listen and then road test your intuition.  Don’t put decisions off any longer. You may have a gut feeling about your child’s internet use or school or friendship group. You might have a gut feeling that they need to experience more extra curricula activities or that they would benefit from some time alone with you.

Sometimes intuition says, “Everything is going to be okay.”  Sometimes intuition says “I need an outside opinion on this. I feel lost and alone in this. I am going to need some support to get through this well.”  Sometimes intuition says, “You need to make some changes now.”

Parent’s internal dialogue often contains dismissed gut feelings that are critical to listen to. Dig into these, and you find the answers you are looking for. Please LEAN into intuition parents! LEAN IN! You never know what great things lie on the other side.

RECOMMENDED READING: For more, check out Michelle’s book “Everyday Resilience: Helping Kids Handle Friendship Drama, Academic Pressure and the Self-doubt of Growing Up”. 

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