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I am at the Immigrations Office, its 8.30am and I have just been told I still have to wait 30 minutes to pick up my daughter’s passport. Somewhat impatient, I sat down and my eyes caught a glimpse of my daughter’s baby picture on the screen of my smart phone. In this picture she is calmly asleep, beautiful and so precious to behold and my feelings suddenly turn to pleasure as I could not help but wonder what a privilege it was for me to be blessed with such a precious soul.

My pleasure was quickly interrupted with these words; how is this young life learning to handle and cope with difficult or challenging situations of being here in this human body? What am I or we within her current environment collectively modelling and teaching her about life, living and thriving instead of surviving?

I painfully recalled going off the handle with her older sister who is 5years old this morning. As I really wanted to be out by 7am, I needed to get her ready to be out early as well and she was whining for what “I felt was nothing to fuse about” (apparently it was important to her). Our morning battle woke her sleeping sister who started her day with a cry. Agrrrrrrrrh! Honestly, I felt upset. Not this morning I thought.

Now, it comes to my awareness that you can’t choose what is important or not important to another human, even a child; at least not when it affects their emotions and within safe boundaries. I realised then that I could have done a better job in handling my emotions. While she was whining and crying, I was ranting, lecturing and was very far from listening to exactly what her inner frustrations were; yet I am aware that a “misbehaviour is an expression of an unmet need”.

Ok. Maybe I’m being rather hard on myself. I reckon that sometimes, I am in control of my responses. However, at other times, I lose it when I focus on the temporary goal ( the immediate goal; whether rushing off for a meeting or enforcing bed time) and not the holistic goal; a mix of today’s goal, family goals and the goal of raising authentic, whole, happy, responsible, resilient and confident children. It makes me wonder at what my little ones are picking up from me about how to live and deal with the energy I’m creating and encouraging in my home and the future consequence of it all.

Do you find your child yelling at others? Check yourself, maybe you yell a lot.

Do you find your child out of control when upset or unable to manage an emotion? How conscious are you of your own behaviours and responses at different situations. Do you fly off the handle?

Many times, I wonder what our children would be like if we as adults constantly live in a state of peace, practise love at its core, empathy, calmness, cooperation in problem solving, kindness in speech and in deed as well as faith in God and in life.

Yes, being very firm even without a raised voice or becoming a nagging or perpetually angry mum. This could even be Dad. This can be tough, I know, but possible.

Unknowingly, we daily dictate the beliefs and attitudes our children pick up and carry on for life. What are we teaching them to believe about life? Are we focused on the positive possibilities life holds or the pains and perils of life?

If a child lives with honour and respect, he learns to respect and honour himself and others.

If a child lives with a healthy tolerance of error, he learns to dare, unafraid to err.

If a child lives with fidelity he learns integrity

What are we unconsciously or consciously permitting our children to live with knowing that every day, with every experience; we are handing down lessons (more unspoken) to our children?

I am learning that one effective way to influence a child is by becoming the authentic version of what we intend to pass on. When life’s pressure deals a hard blow on us, we should find our way back to who we are.

Without words, they pick up wisdom for living if we but live in truth, love, tolerance, discipline, cooperation, compassion, patience and self-control.

With a few words then, they have a good example to follow.

Remember Children Learn what they live with. What is your child living with?

Love and Light

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