One thing I’ve learned over more than 25 years of working with others – and from being a Mom,myself – is that we can be very touchy about our kids! Not so much because it’s really about any particular child but much more because as parents, we so strongly identify ourselves by who our children have become. Are my kids well-behaved, doing well in school, holding down summer jobs, etc? Then I’m a good parent! Are my kids failing in school – or worse yet, dropping out!… doing drugs, loafing around the house all summer? Then I must be a bad parent!
See how that works? My children become the mirror that reflects back to me my level of success in having ‘shaped’ them ‘appropriately’; and subsequently, the measure of my value as a person. Any wonder so many of us press hard for our children to become who we want them to become, rather than who they know themselves to be drawn to becoming?
Today’s conversation is not about seeing ourselves through the products our children have become but being able to see our children for who they are unfolding to become. This affects us… profoundly. After all, we are the ones who can shape their worlds and their lives. The question really is: Can we trust the innate intelligence that comes with and guides every child? Or do we feel the need to control and shape our children, believing that they are innately harmful to themselves and others; and must be folded to an image we carry for them?
The following closing thoughts can be found at the end of:
Episode 13 of ‘Reclaiming Your Self: Women Unedited and Engaged!’ on the topic of ‘Evoking Potential with our Children’
Ownership of our children and bloodlines do not limit the measure of what we can bring into the lives of all of our (collective) children. What it does require is a willingness to awaken to what is missing inside ourselves, so that we will choose differently when the opportunities present for us to engage with our children that they might find that, within themselves.
Here are a few simple thoughts to take with you as you move through your coming week. You’ll notice that although we’re talking about the potential of our children, it begins with us as the keepers of their world.
- The next time you see your children, stop! In that pause, take the time to observe them… and watch them engage their world… and ask yourself: How much of who they have become is a reflection of how I move through my world? Do I like what I see?
- Make time to engage directly with your children beyond what you might consider your ‘usual’ routine. Instead of engaging with them in a group over dinner or while working with them on specific tasks, create an opportunity for you to be in conversation with them and listen. Notice what happens inside you when you anticipate the possibility of spending, say, 30 minutes or more…. just you and one child… without having an agenda. Let whatever is present for you in your body, move through your body with ease and comfort. In these moments, breathing is good!
- And finally, create the opportunity for you to engage with your child or children, and ask: What’s it like for you to be parented by me? To have me be your Mom/Dad? And then, pay attention! Not just to what they say, but to the way their bodies move; to their level of comfort or discomfort; and not just to the words that come out of their mouths. You might be surprised by what you see and hear; and by how that which you see and hear could change your life!
Thanks for being here, today. I appreciate your willingness to consider that in truth, evoking potential with our children really is all about us, as the creators of their worlds. If you want to know more about this perspective, you can find Guardians of the Vision: Parenting for the Birthright of Potential at the online Store or from Amazon, etc.
Parenting is indeed, the gift that keeps on giving!