You might know that I've got two young children (my daughter's seven/seventeen 😘 and my son's five.) I've also worked with hundreds of parents and families across the years so have gained a lot of insight into parenting...
And one thing I know for sure is that children are like a kind of magnifying mirror for any kind of stress or tension you feel....
Ever looked in one of those mirrors?! 😱 I'm sure if you have you only did it once- unless you're some kind of crazy person! You know how it goes, you think you look fine, perfectly fit for human consumption but then you peek into a magnifying mirror at which point it seems you suddenly have pores the size of man hole covers and a super hairy face 😫! Unless it's just me.....it's not just me is it?! 🤣
Well, I tell my clients (those who are parents anyhow) this analogy all the time. Because for me, kids are JUST like this! You can have just a soupçon of tension in you and your children act up BIG TIME, could be you're running a little late and that's the day they refuse to wear their school shoes, you have an important meeting to get to and guess what?! They dawdle over breakfast and refuse to play ball when it's time to go...
Ever notice this?! It can be easily missed in and among the craziness that is most people's lives nowadays but when you look out for it with an open mind and self-awareness you'll spot it, every time!
So what can be done?! It's too late to send 'em back now! With a note saying 'sorry, didn't realise this would be about highlighting MY challenges so I could allow them to pass- I've changed my mind!'
Well, really as I see it you've got two choices:
1-project all your issues outwards and onto them (frankly this is what most of us do- not on purpose, but without meaning to...) work on getting them to do as they're told, listen to you, learn good manners and so on....and set up the battle as 'I know more than you and I'm here to teach you!'
2-come at this parenting malarkey-the major challenge that it is- from a standpoint of being open....seeing that your child is here to teach you and allow you to grow at least as much as it's your role to guide them. When they play up or mess up use it as an opportunity to see where you can blossom, let unhelpful stuff go and develop. **And by the way this doesn't mean letting unacceptable behaviour go, it simply means focusing more on the root of the issue as well.
I promise you option two can lead to a beautiful, balanced, open relationship from which your child is allowed to blossom fully as you develop too.
Ever notice your young child repeatedly saying a word or acting in a certain way and wondering why, only to catch yourself saying or doing that very thing?! Then the penny drops- it must have come from you- only you didn't spot it in yourself until they highlighted it! THIS is exactly what kids do all the time- and you can let this be an opportunity or a curse!
Hey- I know sometimes it can really feel like a curse but truly it's a blessing- promise (say I with my fingers crossed and hoping I really have got this right! 🤣.)
With so much love,