Hear the Lioness Roar
I am like a lioness. I am a Mother.
I am proud and I stand by my belief that Mother Nature designed me this way.
We all have it in us. It’s natures way. Why? To protect our young and ensure they are safe from predators, getting themselves into sticky situations, or just reign them in when they’ve over-stepped the line. Not only do we have a beautiful, deep, inner roar, but we have instincts second to none, that sniff out danger and raise our adrenaline levels so that we will fight to protect ourselves and our babies. We are no different to animals in this way.
So why be afraid of letting that inner roar out?
There is so much information on how to be or not to be the parent that supports our children and doesn’t screw them up for life. Of course none of us set out to be or want to be the one who affected our children’s behaviour to their detriment. Our desire is for our little darlings to grow up as kind, balanced, go-getters, showing compassion and empathy to everyone they meet, whilst succeeding in everything they lay their little eyes on. Yes? No?
However, the reality is that pressures are on us from every direction in our modern day society and to cut a long story short, that leaves us frazzled the majority of the time; resulting in our often quick-to-react automatic responses being harsh and leaving us and our kids weeping and guilty at our actions and reactions. The majority of the advice out there says, this is not the best behaviour or example to set our kids, and we instantly feel like we are failing.
What i’m getting at is there are two types of ROAR. One is as above; the pushed to the limit automatic reaction. The “Oh shit, I shouldn’t have said that” reaction. The other is the “Protector Parent” reaction. The one where you have had enough but are protecting them from themselves, or god forbid, falling into the road or off the banister, or out of the window! Then a ROAR is very much needed and it’s ok in my book to really let them know about it so that they won’t (or you hope they won’t) do it again!
There are many reasons why kids getting used to a good ROAR or two are a good thing:
Firstly, out in the world beyond your protecting arms, they won’t cope with seeing anyone shouting or worse, at them. Therefore, it’s helping with the following:
Resilience. We need to toughen them up (not too much mind), but on an emotional and physical level.
Respect. In the world we live in today, respect is still a vital life-skill to have. Not in the old-fashioned way, which was basically by instilling FEAR. But by demonstrating that authority has it’s place and is again, there to protect and guide our little cubs.
Core Values - to help to teach them what’s right and wrong. If we smile and say “yes” or just “don’t do that darling” to everything, then it’s not teaching our young cubs much about what’s right and wrong. Good and Bad. There’s a time and a place for a smile and a yes, and a time for a good old ROAR too.
Now don’t get me wrong. Yelling abuse at your cubs is NOT OK. Shouting at them using hurtful words is NOT OK. This has been proven to be damaging and of course, upsetting for them (and you). But a ROAR is not a yell. It’s a loud vocal/verbal noise that gets attention enough for them to stop and pay attention. It could also be a “Hey!”, “Listen!”, “Stop!”, “Enough!”, or “Back off!”.
I just like to do an actual ROAR. It gets the attention and does the trick, that’s for sure. It’s also quite funny really. So it doesn’t get the same fearful reaction that yelling at them does. Yelling often results in you saying things you don’t mean and that hurts. A ROAR stops that in it’s tracks.
According to Dr John Gottman, a world renowned relationship therapist, the balance needs to be at least 5:1 in terms of positive/negative interactions too. So if you do end up yelling or are a naturally “raisey-voice-kinda-person”, it’s worth making sure you do all the cuddles, kisses and apologising if you do have a tense moment. It’s important to tell your cubs you were sorry for raising your voice. Show them love and they will respect that and learn that we are not all perfect and that if they yell, as long as they mirror your actions, the cycle should continue.
The ROAR begins in pregnancy. Once we know we are pregnant and often instinctively before we find out, we are fiercely protective of our bodies. From traveling somewhere to how we take care of ourselves, that built in lioness is ready to pounce at any opportunity necessary to ward off danger and protect.
Obviously, if you find yourself being triggered by your cubs a little too much, then there are great ways to help train yourself to remain as calm as possible. For instance, practicing non-reactivity on a regular basis when, perhaps their noise levels are reaching breaking-point, is a life-saver (believe me, with 4 boy cubs of my own, i’m all too familiar with my triggers being switched by their noise levels!). So, next time they’re running riot around you and you feel your shoulders tense, why not take a few, deep belly breathes and tune into the noise instead of wanting it to stop. Listen to the noise with intent. Hear the varying pitch of their voices and as you notice them more, exhale fully and notice how you are feeling. Get down to their level and saying nothing, just continue to breathe deeply, then using a technique called noting, say out loud how you are feeling, continue to tune into the sounds around you and your deep breaths. Perhaps you could say, “I notice that this noise is making me feel tense and annoyed”. Repeat this several times and see what happens. Hopefully, the energy around you will calm, as will you and those cheeky cubs of yours!
Other ways of being protective: with the food we eat and what we feed our children. The Lioness in us goes deep into our subconscious and adapts our instincts and intuition on a primal level in our brains. Allowing us to have faster reactions and fine-tune our perceptions. Quite amazing really!
So before you give yourself a hard time for ROARING at your little cubs, or indeed anyone that brushes past your bump if you’re pregnant, be thankful we have an inner Lioness and give yourself a break. It’s natures way after-all!