Special Message To All You Amazing Moms and Dads (caregivers)!

“We are almost a whole year into the pandemic! And even with all the restrictions in place, our culture is still pushing for us to accomplish more, create more, and to better ourselves. We MUST eat healthier foods, we SHOULD exercise more, we HAVE TO be kinder, MORE flexible, etc. At the Autism Treatment Center of America®, home of The Son-Rise Program®, we have worked with hundreds of thousands of families, and we hear the same story over and over again. One in which parents and caregivers put a great deal of pressure on themselves to try and achieve more. Can you relate? As a society, we tend to judge the way we are currently doing things, when we think of bettering ourselves? For example, we beat ourselves up for being impatient with our children with Autism as we vow to “do better.” We label ourselves as not fun or creative enough when we offer new activities to our children. We feel guilty as we give our children devices so we can take a break, or get things done, etc.

“What if we let go of the judgments about how we did it in the past? Imagine if we were accepting of all our choices? Or we set about to implement change without added pressure? Wouldn’t that feel so magnificent? In The Son-Rise Program, we believe we are ALWAYS doing the best we can (based on our current beliefs). That doesn’t mean we can’t or don’t want to change. It just means that our actions always stem from what we are believing. So until we change our beliefs, how can we change our actions? We are taught to judge, and get unhappy as a way to motivate ourselves. For example: We think, “If I yell at my child, they will listen more,” or “If I judge myself for not being creative enough then I will think of better ideas.” Here’s some great news…WE CAN ACTUALLY CHANGE! YEP! OUR BELIEFS ARE CHANGEABLE!!!

“So if we want to change our beliefs, and therefore change our actions and go for our goals, let’s try it without judgments. Because when we are judging, we are definitely not experiencing comfort and ease inside of ourselves. We can always start over. No matter how we did it in the past, we have the ability to do it differently now. How about this year, we press the “reset” button and start over. We say “OK, I forgive myself!…That was the past…I was doing the best I could (based on my beliefs) and now I’m going to change.” “That I can do this without judgment” and that “I’m not going to pressure myself, or feel guilty about what I did before.” So we would do it this way…”When I don’t yell at my child, I will feel more relaxed, and my child might actually be more responsive to me.” Or “When I don’t judge myself for being uncreative, I actually leave more space to brainstorm new ideas.”

“The added bonus to this, is that letting go of self-judgments and creating beliefs that support our growth and our feeling good, will only serve as more support for our children. When we feel peaceful we create a space to love ourselves, to create more joy, and to be more available for our children. They are looking to us for how to be in the world. When we are happy and accepting, we become a shining example of human connection, inviting more interaction. That’s what we want at the end of the day.”

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