Posted in healing, love

Looking at Children Differently

As a society, I can’t help thinking that society may have some healing to do when it comes to attitudes towards children.

Too often, I hear adults putting young people down. It’s as though some adults have forgotten what it’s like to be a child growing up in the world.

Children are sometimes perceived as demanding and needy. This may be because they are not getting their needs met. They try to get their needs met but maybe there are people around them who just don’t know how to meet them.

Young people are often accused of being rude and disrespectful. Have we not considered that they are confused about the messages they’re picking up? The adult world is full of mixed messages that don’t make sense and fearful messages coming from the media. Young people’s behaviour can be seen as a reflection of what’s going on inside them and there are times when the world today is enough to make anyone feel angry.

Some may think that young people are lazy, not making an effort, not trying hard enough, neither interested or motivated in what’s going on around them. Is it possible that they’re simply disengaged?

That might be the case if they feel disempowered or controlled. Are they feeling undervalued? Children are frequently put under pressure by adults. They may be told that their school days are the best days of their lives and that life is going to get a lot tougher. And that might make them feel misunderstood and unsupported if school’s stressful and they’re anxious about the future. Confusion causes frustration and stress.

Another common comment aimed at children is that they’re spoilt or entitled. Once again, if this is so, it’s a reflection of the parenting style they are subject to.

We may label children as troublesome or bad when they act in a way that makes us feel uncomfortable, and likewise, see them as good when they meet our standards and expectations. We must remember that we automatically embody a position of authority from our adult stance and we need to be aware of treating each child with the respect and acknowledgment that’s due from one human being to another.

Do you remember what it felt like to be a child?
Did you feel seen? Did you feel heard?
Were you given respect?
Were you validated and supported?
What are we choosing to pass on to the next generation of adults?

[Image: “Child Amongst the Ancestors: Stonehenge Summer Solstice” by Amenet Drago]

Posted in Inspiration, love

On Raising Apprentice Adults

Parenting is such an important and honourable role, it can become a little overwhelming at times. Here are some fundamental reminders about raising apprentice adults (children):

Give your apprentice adults space to explore themselves, the world and others, trust them.

Provide boundaries that gently enclose them in love whilst allowing them room to breathe.

Good boundaries are a balance between trust and nurture.

What is the purpose of each boundary you set, is it coming from your fear? Is it coming from your love?

Uphold your loving boundaries consistently and calmly.

Encourage creativity, free thinking, inventiveness, imagination, individuality and don’t put out their spark.

Allow your apprentices to have a true, clear voice. Really see them for who they are and validate them for being true to themselves, by letting them know you hear them and see them.

Let your little ones know they are loved without conditions.

Accept they are not you.

Accept that your job is to prepare your children for the world and then to let them go so they can explore it.

Remember, you don’t own them, they owe you nothing, you cannot live through them, you are here to guide them to be their best selves as they learn to step out into the world on their own.

Try not to label them as ‘clever’ or ‘pretty’ or such, because you may be setting standards they feel a need to live up to, and that might create a pressure for them that’s difficult to manage.

Instead, compliment individual accomplishments and behaviours in the moment, with sincerity. Celebrate all the little victories and achievements with them.

Don’t be fearful of the world yourself, or let them see your “what if…?” fears for them, or they will carry those fears with them, which will be crippling.

You are here to model unconditional love, respect, integrity, gratitude, trust and honesty.

Even though they are children and you are an adult, you are each souls of equal worth. Your children will have gifts and learning for you, allow them to teach you.

Even your mistakes are necessary and important for them to witness, because they need to know we are all human and that’s as it should be.

Be patient when they make mistakes, remember all the mistakes you made.

When they mess up, remind them who they really are.

If you get angry, take a pause. It only takes a few seconds to say something that could take years to heal.

As a parent, you won’t be perfect or necessarily healed of all your emotional wounds. That’s okay, show your children that you are okay with not being perfect and are stepping up to yourself, because you love and respect yourself enough to do so. This learning is the single best gift you can give.

Don’t forget to have lots of fun, laughter and play together. Enjoy each other 💖

Give yourself a big pat on the back because in being a parent, you’re doing the most incredible and important job in the world, with no manual, and you’re truly amazing.

(Image: “Working Myself Out” by Amenet Drago)