Many parents I work with are not happy with who their child is being at this moment…
Parents often tell me how challenging it sometimes is to even like their child which results in feelings of guilt for having such thoughts.
Parents looking from the outside see how simple and easy the solution is for all the stress, chaos, conflict and power struggles to stop:
It is not uncommon for parents to feel like their child is literally ruining their lives and taking away their enjoyment, free time and rest!
Underneath all this turbulence that is on the surface are still murky waters of sadness and grief over the lost dream of parenthood which was initially full of joy, love, connection, possibility, and play…
Before you move on, I invite you to close your eyes, take a breath and touch this grief inside you… Just take a moment to recognize it and embrace it as part of you that is suffering. Send it some compassion. Shed a tear or two if it arises….
Having these thoughts and feelings about your child means you are just like any other parent!
It does not make you a bad person nor does it mean you have failed in your parenting.
It just means you are a very normal human being with your own needs and desires, or perhaps you are still carrying some unresolved traumas from your own childhood.
This is where you get to rise above the circumstances, and what is because the truth is no-one will do it for you!
There is no knight in shining armor to come to save you, nor is your child likely to magically change their challenging behaviors.
Nor are you powerless in facing your situation and doing something about it!
No matter how bad your situation may be at home, be it your teenager lying, running off, stealing, or doing drugs, or your toddler being in the stubborn terrible twos that drive your crazy, you have the opportunity to already see them as who you want them to be, and who you know they are underneath all the difficult behaviors!
And you may say “BUT Paula, all I see is talking back, arguing and them not listening!”
This is because you have not yet been trained to see through the appearances. You have not been trained to see into the heart and soul of your child which is pure, full of love, and joy but also pain and suffering which is why they act out.
In the Diamond Sutra, it says “Perception is Deception '' which means whatever we see is just a compilation of what our physical senses pick off from our environment matched with our past experiences and filtered through a lens of fears, worries and limiting beliefs.
Learning to see you child in their highest, most magnificent and noble self, you get to learn to look deeply beyond all your own stuff and the stuff of the child, so you can actually touch what is true and real; The beauty that resides inside your child, and is available for you to connect with when you develop solid trust, safety and connection.
The way you perceive your child is the way they will be because the perceiver becomes the perceived.
It doesn’t matter if on the surface you pretend to like them and be kind, but if inside you don’t truly connect with their goodness, this strategy will fail.
The practice is to learn to love unconditionally, looking deeply into the true being of your child and to water the seeds of kindness, joy, love and compassion that is dormant inside their psyche.
It might be buried deep in there, but trust me they are there!
This way of being with your child, or any human being for that matter IS like saving them from drowning. Saving them from a future of struggling in social relationships, feeling lonely, isolated and unloved.
It truly is being in service to humanity!
And in the process, you will also transform as you are aligning yourself with your authentic self and who you really are: empowering, generous, loving, kind and understanding.