How we feel about ourselves has a direct impact on our results. Whatever our talents, skills or physical features, we are perfect in every way, and under all circumstances we are fully capable of manifesting wonderful lives. Trouble starts when there is comparison with others around us, and we compare unfavorably. And who teaches us to compare? The people around us – not necessarily our parents, it’s just the way communication is set-up in our societies.
Take the example of the mother who says to her little one: look at how your older sister is doing things, that is the right way to do it, you must be like her. The little one then throws a tantrum and is given a time out. Why does the little one throw a tantrum. It is because they know that there is really no right or wrong way of doing things. They “know” that their way is just as good as their sister’s. The mother labels the outbreak as bad behavior. Instead, a better way to do things would be to say “my dearest child, I know you are having fun, and I know that you don’t need to stop what you are doing in order to please me, but I need your help to feel good, and at this time, I think it would help me to feel better if you stopped. Will you help me? An even better way to handle the situation would be to turn the other way and ignore the unwanted behavior. In fact, if at that moment the mother could soothe herself by saying, my child is wonderful and she is having a good time. She is enjoying this experience and if I let her be she will stop as soon as her enjoyment of the experience wanes, and then bring into focus an image of the child as you wish to see them, you will have a much bigger impact on your child’s behavior.
You see, it is not our children’s job to modify their behavior in order to please us. We must find our own alignment regardless of their behavior, and not let anything or anyone drag us out of our alignment. We have the most power as parents when we are aligned.
When we ask our children to change the way they are behaving, we are telling them that:
· I or other members of the society do not like your word and/or actions.
· You need to change your words/actions in order to comply with what we consider good,
· I and the society around you will with-hold from you our love/limelight/rewards until such time that this unwanted behavior continues
Terrible twos and teenagers respond very well to such threats; they throw an even bigger fit, because they feel that they should not have to change anything in order to be liked/accepted/loved. Indeed, they are right.
Your child has to learn to feel good about themselves regardless of how you feel about them. If your child only felt good when you smiled at them and offered words or actions to make them feel loved, then on the day that you had a bad day at the office and could not offer the same words or actions, your child’s word would be destroyed – they would think that they had something to do with it and they would start searching for the reason.
An extremely pointed example of this is a couple who are newly in love. They feel good when they shine their love on each other. They fall into the habit of expecting that their loved one will immediately forget about the rest of the world and anything bad that happened in their day, because they feel that being together must have that impact, because that’s how they feel. But one day, the loved one does not respond, in fact they feel so bad and they are so far out of alignment that they offer words or actions
As parents we have a big role to play. We can teach our children that no matter what someone else (including us) thinks, the only opinion that counts is their own.