We’ve all been cooped up together for weeks, experiencing a very long summer, & with that we’ve all had to adapt to & accommodate all kinds of change & loss so, needless to say, the energy in some homes is getting a wee bit testy!
Part of the discomfort for parents is the heavy burden of feeling like we need to have all the answers for our kids, we need to fill their days on top of ours & we need to know what will happen next so they can be prepared.
I want to offer you some relief, that’s NOT YOUR JOB! There is not one person on earth who has the answer to everything, & our righteousness in assuming we should is, frankly, annoying!
It’s so alluring to share everything we do know because it makes us feel so good, we are ‘needed’, we are in control & powerful. After all, we’ve been told that “knowledge is power”. So parents take the liberty of bestowing all that power upon our powerless child any chance we get.
This is one of our biggest mistakes as parents. We “think we know” way too much! What we perceive to be ‘helpful’ quickly turns into a lecture, sermonizing all that we have learned in our 40 some years in some kind of teachable moment. Our children soon tune us out, roll their eyes, sigh, or storm off.
While we critique our child for being disrespectful, rude or out of control; of all the ways they could try to silence us, this is actually quite a highly sophisticated way of communicating.
If your child wasn’t terrified of losing their life line what they’d want to tell you is “SHUT UP”! (Perhaps with the addition of a few other choice words in there.)
It is not our job to have the answers & if we intend to preserve our relationships in the weeks to come, we will have to let go of this idea that we must.
Our only job is to make our child FEEL seen, heard, validated & prepared for the next level of life, so that they grow up confident in their abilities & with a healthy self-esteem intact.
How would you interact differently with your child if you didn’t have to ‘know’. If you didn’t have to be right, have an answer or fix their problem, without the “should’s & supposed too’s” expected of you as a parent?
Would you be stressed, anxious, rigid, tired & frustrated? Or might you be more relaxed, calm, co-operative, open & curious? Who would you rather be around?
It takes great courage for our children to speak & it’s our responsibility to meet their courage with the wisdom to listen. As the saying goes, we were given one mouth & two ears to listen twice as much as we talk. Listening is not only a form of communication, it’s the only way to form authentic connection with our child.
Let me share a bit about what I’ve learned to be true about Belief Systems! They’re ALL B.S!! (It’s no coincidence ... BS!)
Cleaning up my shit around what I believe has calmed the anxiety in my life! Let’s see if it can help calm yours too!
A belief is what we “know” to be true based on how we perceive something.
We BELIEVE what we SEE. So how we perceive an event becomes our reality, but that does NOT mean it's TRUE!
Our minds desire to "know" attaches a meaning to what we see because it makes us feel safe.
We then react to what we "see" which stimulates our nervous system to produce very real sensations or feelings in our body. Many of which are unfavourable, causing undo stress, anxiety & dis-ease in our bodies.
What if I challenged you to find 3-5 other possible “Truths” about what you believe to be true about any situation. Would you be able to?
How would this change your perception of events that you currently believe to be true? Would this then question EVERYTHING you know to be true?
Letting go of the need to cling, so desperately, onto our beliefs is what holds us back from living our most fulfilled lives.
So how do we change these deep rooted beliefs, most of which formed at a very young age through our family of origin & culture?
To do this we have to understand how these beliefs formed in the first place.
All that we “know” has been learned by cognitively understanding it or experiencing it, but did you also know that we can learn something by creating it?
This is amazing news! If we can create what we know, then we can create new beliefs.
If we uncover the BS that is keeping us stuck in a loop of habitual patterns & reactions, we can form new connections in our brain that will speak to our nervous system in a whole new way.
When we learn to do this we can stop the anxiety causing us to suffer & transform every aspect of our life, relationships, finances & overall health & wellbeing.
Imagine if you had learned to do this as a child! I highly recommend you learn how to now, it will change your life as it did mine!
Inspired by "The Work" by Katie Byron & The Lefkoe Institute.
Don’t tell anyone (especially my husband) but I’m always wrong!
That’s right, just ask my kids! …. Well, maybe don’t! LOL! … It’s not just because they’re teens, & parents are never right, it’s because I make assumptions! Do you do this too?!
Have you ever called out your child for not doing something you asked them because you didn’t see them do it, only to find out they had done it already?
Have you accused them of being disrespectful when they were actually referring to something else altogether?
Or, have you yelled at them for being on their device when they were using it to do homework?
All assumptions gone wrong! Any time I make an assumption, I’m wrong 99% of the time, even though I believe with great certainty that I’m right!
Assumptions are at the root of most arguments. We can never fully understand another in our need to be right. Assuming we KNOW the answer will usually find us, at best unlikeable & at worst in constant conflict with our child.
As parents we sometimes get in a a bad habit of answering, instead of asking questions. We make assumptions about our child without proper investigation, which can dangerously affect the trust & connection between us.
I have made, & will continue to make, my fair share of mistakes with my children & many relationships in my life, I’m human after all. Learning how to become MORE EFFECTIVE & LESS AFFECTED by asking questions instead of making assumptions is one of the reasons that I became a coach.
“Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player.” ~ BILL GATES
Getting a coach doesn’t mean that you’re not already doing a great job, on the contrary, it means you want to do an even better job! It means you acknowledge that there are places we all go wrong & skills that could be developed more.
If quarantine has taught us nothing else, it’s that possessions just don’t hold as much value as relationships. How much are you currently investing in learning to relate, communicate & connect with the ones you value the most?
Do a little experiment this weekend. ASK before you ASSUME. You may just be surprised how wrong you’ve been, & in the process experience an authentic moment of connection as you fully understanding your child.
Let me know what you find!