Your relationship with your child, is like any other relationship your life: here to teach you something about yourself. It is has been said that
“Most parents will do anything for their children, but let them be themselves”
I think that this does and does not have some sort of truth to it: because we don’t do this intentionally. The truth is that our children, with their behaviors and actions, have the ability to pull out of our subconscious memories, actions and behaviors that we sometimes hide or ignore. Of course the majority of us don’t want to yell or treat our children in a way that we know might cause them emotional hurt (or any other kind of hurt), but often, when we are in a situation that we do not know how to handle, due to lack of example or any other reason, we are left raw and gnawing for any way to make sense of the situation.
Fortunately, the greatest lessons happen when the circumstances become tense and we feel powerless, weak, or defeated. These are the moments when we can learn about ourselves through the magic in our relationship with our children. When we stop and listen we understand. If we treat our relationships with our children as if it were a romantic relationship: one of equals, and mutual agreement, the possibilities of the relationship open up. We are better able to learn about ourselves - and our reaction helping us to change the way that we behave towards our children.
When I began to listen to my children, not to answer but to understand, the world opened up for me. I felt as if the skies rolled back and something magical happened. They began to listen to me more often and I began to understand them. I fell in love, with them (and do so over and over again), and they with me. Once I stopped trying to control them or make them do things (treating them as equals in a relationship rather than people for me to mold or create) our relationship changed from one of constant struggle to one of mutual understanding and more full of joy. Once I allowed them to be themselves we were both free. I slowly became free of the confines of my past and a lot of the beliefs that I had about myself: like the belief that I was only loveable when I was being a “good girl”or being agreeable and nice. Learning to let my children be who they are, helped me realized that that old childhood belief of being loveable when I was good, was crap. I learned to love my self, when I was moody or cranky whenever I loved my kids though the same.
When I learned to love them for being them selves, without changing them or trying to mold them, I gave myself permission to do the same. I love my children naturally, but I also learn and grow with, and because of them. Every challenging opportunity is a new chance to find another layer of love within me – a layer to uncover another lie, and find the truth, and with each challenge I am pushed to find another way. They are my teachers, and I am their guide. Looking at them in this light, continuously reminds me of how special they are, and how lucky I am to have them in my life. So today I ask you: what challenges can you turn into beautiful lessons?