Want to help your child to change a habit or a behavior? Start by changing the environment.
Will power is necessary too. It's an essential part of balanced-living and overall development. But in our culture we can tend to overemphasize will power and ignore the influence of environment and then wonder why our children seem unmotivated, resistant or unwilling. There can be many factors at play but almost universally every individual can be helped or supported to move in the right direction by changes in their environment.
A mother recently shared with me about their family's move into a house that was newly renovated, with big windows, lots of light and friendly neighbors. Their previous home had been full of broken plumbing, rat problems, noisy neighbors and more. She remarked how much more energy she felt moving into this new place. She hadn't realized how much of her energy had been going into resisting the negative, down-pulling energy in their previous space. She shared about new habits she'd been wanting to adopt, projects she'd been wanting to finish that had been weighing on her. In this new space they now seemed almost effortless to complete.
The same can be true for our children. In the right environment, with good influences like nourishing food, calming music and positive reinforcement, we all have access to more energy and more support for our natural strengths to shine.
Many times negative behaviors or habits can be diminished or eliminated simply by avoiding negative, contractive or down-pulling influences in the environment. For example, another family shared that after just a week of eliminating screen time during the week their child's moods and tantrums had diminished! The child, just 9 years old, even shared with me how much better she felt and how much easier it was for her to get to sleep.
Certainly there are no quick fixes but we cannot underestimate the influences in our environment, both positive and negative. You are, and you become, who and what you surround yourself with. The same is true for our children. Rather than simply expecting our kids to behave, it's helpful to take a look at the environment and outside influences both at home and at school. Are those influences uplifting, positive, and energizing? Do they reflect higher consciousness and the values and behaviors you feel are important? If not, they may be working against your efforts as a conscious parent!
When we talk about "environment" it's more than just the physical space we inhabit (though having a clean, beautiful and uplifting space certainly plays a part as we can see from the story above!). It's everything that surrounds us and influences us, whether physically, emotionally, mentally or energetically. This can include the music we hear, the things we watch, the media we consume, the people we spend time with, the food we eat, the places we visit and more.
Take time to seek out or create uplifting environments. Experiment and notice how you feel when you're in a particular place, with certain people or after watching or listening to different content. Notice your child's response as well in their behavior, their tone of voice, their mood and their body language.
We wouldn't expect a plant to grow in a dark closet or if we fed it oil instead of water. Our children too need the nourishment of positive influences and struggle to grow and develop to their full potential, to be their best self, if they are resisting or overwhelmed by negative influences.
A good first step is to go back to the basics of environment and see if there is an adjustment that can be made. Take a few minutes to look at the Calmness Checklist and see if there is a particular area that might support you and your child and could use some extra attention or a slight adjustment.
If you're curious and not sure where to start, schedule a free Discovery Call to learn more and get some additional support and perspective to take that first next toward more conscious parenting.