Can You Give Your Children Permission?
"We worry about what a child will become tomorrow,
yet we forget that he is someone today."
Wow the last post really hit a nerve!
Thanks for your feedback and comments and yes as a Dad I know children and child raising is a work in progress and that there is no 'right' way. Having said that I'd like to share some of my experiences in the context of wanting to share some ideas and stimulate some discussion around raising children.
You see in my work what I've found is that the key aspect to how a person ends up living their life is their inner dialogue around who they really are. In other words, what's the story that they tell about who they are and therefore what they believe they deserve from life?
All of us, I believe, are here for a specific purpose and all of us have a 'path' that we can follow that will lead us on an expansive journey - A Sacred Path.
Our best guide on, or towards that path is our self - or more specifically our - higher self, enlightened self, inner guide - or whatever name works for you.
The problem is that as a small child other people - with all the best intentions in the World - try to teach us what is wrong and right and how to get ahead in the World. BUT they teach us from their often flawed perspective and if we disagree with them in any way they tell us that we are WRONG and that we should adjust our thinking to fit theirs.
All of which causes us to abandon our own sense of guidance and adopt theirs.
But is this the best way?
“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.”
What if we decided instead that the MOST important thing was to teach a child to trust themselves and follow their own guidance??
What if we decided to encourage a child to be fully emotionally expressive and to follow their passions?
Is this really possible?
I believe that it is and that the critical times for doing this are 2 - 6 years of age when the child is laying down their subconscious beliefs.
Think about it - looking back on your life - did your parents really know who you were and what your life path was? Or did you have a better idea yourself but were convinced by others who supposedly knew better (just because they were older) that you should drop your idea/passion and follow a 'sensible' path instead?
How did you feel as a child when you were forced to adhere to your parent's way of doing things? How did you feel when you were coerced by threat of punishment or withdrawal of love and/or attention into doing whatever it was your parents wanted you to do?
Did you feel like your parents gave you permission to be who you really were or did you learn to seek your parent's approval instead? Did this work for you in later life?
So, could you do it for your kids???
The keys I think are time, really listening and living by example.
"Children learn what they live
If a child lives with criticism
He learns to condemn
If a child lives with hostility
He learns to fight
If a child lives with ridicule
He learns to be shy
If a child lives with shame
He learns to feel guilty
If a child lives with tolerance
He learns to be patient
If a child lives with encouragement
He learns confidence
If a child lives with praise
He learns to appreciate
If a child lives with fairness
He learns justice
If a child lives with security
He learns faith
If a child lives with approval
He learns to like himself
If a child lives with acceptance
He learns to find love in the World."
So, give yourself permission to be all you can be, live by example and give your children permission to be themselves too.
In peace and love always.