By Jackie Hall
When I sat down to write about what the Parental Stress Centre was all about, I began by asking myself, Why?
Why did I want to create a centre for parental stress? What is it that I wanted to achieve? What is it that I want parents to know?
The answer I came up with was:
To help parents experience personal peace and to feel good about themselves – to teach them to be able to accept the ups and downs of life and cope with the challenges that we face. And for them to be able to pass these life skills onto their children.
But how do you teach that? I asked myself.
By teaching parents the real cause of why we experience struggles in the first place – how we perceive life and what we perceive it to mean about ourselves. I want to teach parents that at the root of all stress is an inaccurate perception of self-worth.
Being able to experience hardships and difficulties without feeling worth-less and providing the tools for parents to apply that knowledge to their lives (and their child’s) is what the PSC aims to teach.
By why are you so committed to teaching people this?
Because I have experienced firsthand that it hurts when you don’t know how to deal with life’s ups and downs. It hurts when you don’t feel like who you are is enough for the world. It’s painful and not enjoyable to be stressed about life . I have experienced myself, the fear that I would pass down these insecurities to my child and have witnessed in my work, parents who have done that too, because we just didn’t know any other way.
Information like this for parents is not readily available. We have lots of information that teaches us how to put band-aids over a problem through drugs, achievement, entertainment and the pursuit of more, or learning simple strategies to deal with events like ‘take time out’ or ‘walk away when angry’.
However, there is very little out there specifically teaching parents how to identify and change the thinking processes that are causing parental stress, depression and anxiety.
Our children are our future adults, our future leaders, decision makers and future teachers of the next generation. Parents are the key to changing our rising generation because when we learn self-acceptance and gain a solid understanding of how to handle life’s challenges without stress, then guess what we will be teaching our children?
When a parent acts angrily towards their child, or are treated badly by their partner, or their child misbehaves, there is a story going on behind that behaviour. There are beliefs that are causing them to behave that way. The PSC teaches parents to understand that story, the self-worth component behind it and how to work with those beliefs to create more inner peace or harmony with their child and others.
Most of us want peace in the world but we are often clueless about how to change or we look outside ourselves to get it. We blame the rules, the systems, the governments, other people, societies, money, events and actions, but what we don’t realise is that it ALL starts in the family home. It all starts with ourselves, right now in THIS current moment.
The Parental Stress Centre wants to contribute to societal change by focusing on teaching parents peace. Teaching them to look inside themselves to find the worthiness that already exists and start living lives of self-acceptance and the ability to embrace life’s ups and downs with meaning and equanimity. Only then can we understand our children and teach them these same skills.
We must BE the change we wish to see in our child and in our world.
As I lay here cuddling my sick son at the time of writing this, I am reminded that peace in the world starts right here. Right now in this moment. Loving him, teaching him, connecting with this little person who is relying on me to give him answers to life. He doesn’t know any different.
What I teach him will be absorbed and accessed for life. It will shape the person he becomes and thus shape the world he lives in. His influence, his contribution in life will come largely from his experience as a child and what he learns about life during that time.
What I want for my children is to feel happy with themselves, to feel confident in who they are and to be able to handle life’s challenges. But I can’t do that if I don’t know how to do this myself.
The PSC is not about branding you with the label of good or bad parent and adding to the pressure of whether you are getting it right or not. We don’t believe in good or bad parents. There are simply parents who know and understand peace and parents who do not. There are parents who feel worthy and treat themselves with respect and thus know how to treat others that way, and there are parents who do not.
And finally there are parents who had the blessings of teachers and influences in their lives that taught them a healthy sense of self-worth and how to handle life’s challenges with equanimity, and there are those who did not.
The PSC wants to educate those who didn’t have those teachers and influences. We want to be that influence that teaches parents what they need to know to pass on to their kids. We want to show them how to experience their own world of inner peace and to adopt an understanding that we are all acceptable and valuable JUST THE WAY WE ARE!
The task is huge, but the flow on effect if we can achieve this in even 10 people will ripple out immeasurably for generations. But we don’t want to just reach 10 people, we want to reach millions of parents.
Live. Learn. Grow. Share. Evolve – this is the purpose of life and this is the mission of what the Parental Stress Centre strives to teach parents.
We want parents to know how to….
LIVE with self-acceptance and inner peace
LEARN that life will always have its ups and downs and that mistakes or unwanted events don’t define our value or mean that life is going wrong.
GROW by looking for the lessons and the opportunities in our struggles and see the value in their contribution to our personal development.
SHARE this vital knowledge with our children.
EVOLVE – to contribute to the evolution of more peace in the rising generation of human existence.