I’m so very proud of my kids. One thing makes me just beem with pride is their authenticity. They are who they ARE and it’s OK. When we are raised with shame, negative comparisons, and insecurities, it holds us back. As an adult, if you are always preoccupied with being accepted, not offending anyone, not being good enough, or any other it takes time away from enjoying and living life. I know all about that.
I was so proud of Mikaela last week. She has a learning disability and ADD. We were at the doctor for her routine check up and appointment with her specialist (who is amazing and really gives her a reality check) and she asked how she was doing.
“I’m good…I’ve been mouthy and I’m not listening to my mom that great lately, but other than that I’m good.” She was right, and as always flat out for real. I was so proud of my little mouth piece! So the doc asked why and they had a little pow wow about respect and punishment and responsibility. It’s always nice to have a second neutral party give advice. Kids tend to think your sooo unfair no matter what and really square. So when they get the same speech from someone else, it seems to stick better. So off we went and she apologized and I told her I was impressed by her honesty. “Of course mom…I’m for real” she says.
As she well knows and has been taught, we’re not perfect and we all make mistakes. She sees me make mistakes, go through stuff and own it, even laugh at myself and make light of my goofy mistakes. If I mistakenly upset them I admit it and apologize. I respect their feelings and even ask them for some ideas from their perspective.
If we own it, we can change or improve it. Even if it’s embarrassing, or just plain stupid, it’s still OK. And we’re still fabulous. My daughter is like that at school also. She has made some big mistakes but admits it, says why she did it (even if it’s ridiculous) and listens to suggestions to fix it. Mind you she doesn’t like to admit she is wrong (crazy stubborn) and will go down in flames before doing so, but in time she will admit it and she does show she gets it by her actions.
I love seeing people’s faces when my kids just flat out say “ya I did that and this is why”. Most kids will deny the obvious till death and then have their parents back them up for being dishonest. Well lying doesn’t work in my house….not with anyone. For one we are all intuitive and just KNOW. And two we all have that bad liar face and just wear it like we just got caught in the cookie jar. So after years of denial, they now just fess up. Tyrell is the worst one. He’s quite the “I didn’t do it” dude and pro finger pointer. It drives me nuts. As time passes, he’s getting better, but oh well. It’s age appropriate. He’ll grow and get it.
Another thing that has empowered them is knowing that screwing up is OK. If we own our actions, it gives us the power to correct them. Being OK with our imperfections puts us in the drivers seat of our lives and makes our path an easier one. We make choices and for every choice there is a consequence. If we don’t like the consequence, we learn from it and make a different choice.
When you teach children the process of “owning”, it opens up doors to healing and communication also. When one of my kids makes a mistake or they have a total horrid bitch fit, I let them be (violence is not tolerated or throwing things) and they can get it out (usually in their room). After we dig through the muck. Usually when you start asking “why” and help them dig through their feelings and actions, you will get them to figure out the underlying issue. Sometimes it’s just plain and simple being tired, or your sister called you stupid and your mad. Sometimes it’s finding out that the core reason for being frustrated for the entire day is pent up grief or anger at another deeper issue.
Teaching your kids to question and ask “why” to dig deeper helps them know themselves and gives them the power to heal life’s wounds at a deep level and move on. This is a powerful skill that many don’t have. It enables them to fix an issue on the spot instead of repeating the same defeating pattern over and over again in life and wondering why. It prevents the self defeating behavior of finger pointing and blaming and gives them control and confidence.
Teaching your children to be aware of the process of cause and effect, and making them own their choices both positive and negative is crucial for a successful adulthood. If we brush things under the carpet and don’t let them experience consequences, they won’t know how to cope during stressful times and won’t know how to problem solve in the adult world or be responsible.
Every child has a different purpose and a different path. Teaching them to be a successful individual which includes life and coping skills, is our job as a parent. Rescuing and pretending our children are perfect, or teaching them to put up a false front is detrimental to their success in any stage in life.
Take some time out and examine yourself. Are you OK with who you are flaws and all? Do you project your issues on your children giving them the same fears or limitations in life? It’s time to love yourself and own your life. When we are OK with where we are and how we got here, we take back our power to life out our true path and purpose and give those around us permission to do the same.