This is a topic I have been wanting to write about for a while now, but my research on it has been incomplete. I continue to gather data but I am realizing that my complete research on this will probably not be done for many more years. Therefore, I am releasing my findings to date because I think this is an important and fascinating concept.
It is my observation that parents do not raise kids. It is in fact the opposite. Kids raise parents. Why else do you think that kids do not come with instructions?
We are not parents in order to mold and change our children. Instead, we are parents to mold and change ourselves in ways that would most benefit our children. As we change ourselves, we become better people. If we are able to become people that treat our children with patience, love, and respect, that carries over into our relationships with other people.
My opinion is that the most successful parents are the ones that are humble enough to learn from their children.
By learn from children I am not suggesting that we take pointers from our children on how to throw a successful tantrum, get the most out of picking our nose, pester our siblings beyond their limits, or avoid cleaning our rooms.
What I am suggesting is that we follow the admonition of Jesus Christ to “become as little children“. Children have amazing attributes that are definitely worth emulating.
- Quick to Forgive
- Hard working
It is most likely that as you read that list of attributes you had the thought that I was completely crazy and that you have rarely if ever seen any of those attributes in your children.
These child-like attributes are difficult to see as prideful and selfish adults. We have to make a conscious effort to see these things in our children. Then we have to make more conscious efforts to emulate those attributes.
Think of your children and mentors, tutors, examples.
Can we mess up our kids? To a certain extent, I would say yes. I think that children become acclimatized to the environment that we provide them in our homes. I also think that they adopt habits that we exemplify. In other words, our children develop good and bad habits based on our own behaviors. We usually get upset with them for doing the exact same things that we do without even realizing that they are merely emulating us. However, children are quite resilient and I do not believe that we can change their natures. In other words. I think we can mess our kids up superficially, but we cannot mess up who they really are, nor can we change them.
I do not think that we permanently damage our children with our “poor parenting skills”, or lack of skills. I think our children are resilient enough to be amazing in spite of us. Yet this does not relieve us of the duty that we have to ourselves and to them, to also be amazing.
We cannot change our children. The only person that I can change is myself.
Have you ever wondered why you turned out as well as you did? Do you feel that your parents molded you? Or are you a product of your own choices? Do you think that your parents changed because of you?
In my family it has been said, usually in jest, that our father got his sense of humor from his children.
Let me ask and answer this question: How can we see the good attributes in our children?
The answer goes back once again to the Law of Attraction. The idea that you attract what you think about. The idea that your perspective is viewed through the lens of whatever pre-conceived notions that you hold.
The answer is to start really looking at your children. Look at who they are. Watch them, without instantly reacting to what they are doing. This of course requires you to be patient with them. See them as you would want to be seen. See them as the beautiful spirits that you know that you love. See inside their actions and their motives. See into their eyes as they watch you and see their mind racing and learning.
We, as adults, have developed habits of reaction. Certain things happen and we react instinctively because we have trained ourselves to react that way. If we are too quick to react to something our child is doing, we are apt to miss seeing them for who they are. It is easy to allow our children to become objects, constantly in need of correction. This happens because we are selfish. We get caught up in what WE are doing and what WE want and what WE think we need. When we are in that selfish mode, and our child comes to us with a question or a need or an interruption, it irritates us to be taken away from what we are doing. It is a matter of priorities.
If I am doing something and my children interrupt me it is frustrating to get taken away from what I am doing. However, I need to ask myself, “is what I am doing, more important than my child?” Sometimes the answer would be, yes. However, I am willing to bet that most times the answer would or should be, no.
Give your children some feasible expectations. Let them know when they can and cannot request time from you. For example, if I am in my office, working on my computer, my children usually know not to bother me because that is where I work. If I am in the living room watching TV they have no problem jumping on me or asking me questions. Those are expectations I have set for them.
But think about how you respond to your children and be careful. Their feelings and emotions are sensitive and they have good memories for how you treat them and react to them.
These are my thoughts on this topic so far. What are your thoughts?