If you have children, this will be an important read for you. If you don’t have children, you will still find this post an important one as I am almost certain you will be able to relate to it in context of your childhood and possibly still now in adulthood.
As a mom of 2 young children I often get caught up in the DOING and entertaining instead of in the BEING and staying present with them. Even though I am a strong advocate of Conscious Parenting, this is still a lifelong process that needs a daily practice, sense of awareness and inner reflection.
This past week I have been reflecting on what I think is one of the most important things we as parents must remember when engaging with our children.
In order to understand the value of what I am going to be addressing here, I’d like to take you on a very short journey back in time…. Perhaps to one of your most happiest times in your childhood, and I’d like to ask you to recall a memory; Any memory where there are caregivers / parents/ adults involved that brings you joy and feelings of love and excitement. Take a moment to go there to that place. Once you are there, in your memory, reliving these good feelings right NOW, I’d like you to ask yourself :
“In this experience, AM I SEEN? AM I WORTHY? DO I MATTER?”
AM I SEEN?
AM I WORTHY?
DO I MATTER?
What answers are you getting while experiencing this memory? If you are willing to share please do so in the comments at the bottom of the article.
While observing my children this past week I noticed, on a conscious level, that they are more cooperative (both with each other and with mom and dad), there is less bickering and competition, they are very very helpful with each, they want each other’s company, they are kind and gentle with each other and with the people around them and generally things are going smooth. Our oldest is getting through his homework like a champ and he is loving the freedom and personal satisfaction that comes thereafter. Of course, we do have our regular bursts of not so desirable behavior which we attend to but that is part of growing up and part of being a parent… Guiding the child. My kids are 6 and 2 so there is a developmental gap which makes things tricky sometimes but so extremely sweet at others.
My point here is that I honestly believe that the most recent harmony and general calm, fun interaction between the two children and all of us is due to me and their dad consciously making an effort to ensure that each child feels SEEN, WORTHY AND THAT THEY MATTER! They need to feel that they are the most important part of our lives and that no-one on this planet is like them and that they too are like no-one else on this planet. The best way to do this AUTHENTICALLY, is by embodying it in myself too. I am unique. I have gifts to share with the world. I am here for a purpose. As are my children.
What are the best ways of affirming these three things to your children? Each family is different but the feeling is the same! And if you’ve read my previous articles you will know that our thoughts create our feelings. It all starts from the inside. Take a moment to think about yourself. How do YOU fulfill these things for yourself? How do you know that you are being SEEN? How do you know you are WORTHY? How do you know that you MATTER?
If you think about it, these are all needs. The need to be seen, to feel worthy, to feel that you matter in your place in the world…. are needs that fall under one of the 6 CORE HUMAN NEEDS for survival – THE NEED FOR SIGNIFICANCE.
The other needs are : CERTAINTY, VARIETY, LOVE & CONNECTION, CONTRIBUTION and GROWTH.
The way these needs are being fulfilled in your life greatly determine how your life is being played out from day to day, moment to moment. (THIS IS ANOTHER BLOG POST AND COULD BE A WHOLE WORKSHOP IN AND OF ITSELF. That’s how much pull these needs have!).
Getting back to your child now… if your child is not satisfied or fulfilled with his needs of feeling seen, worthy and that they matter from the inside, then you can be sure they will create the behavior to attract what they need on the outside to fulfill these needs. All types of behaviors (good or ‘bad’) grow from this ‘gap or hole’ that needs to be filled in your child’s spirit. ALL BEHAVIORS ARE A COMMUNICATION FROM YOUR CHILD! It is our job to look beneath the behavior to find out what is at the root of it.
So, how can you assure your child’s bucket of needs are filled?
Buying them endless toys or gifts, smart phones and tablets will NOT fulfill these needs.
Keeping them busy with activities after school will NOT fulfill these needs.
Giving them an extortionate amount of money to spend at the cafeteria or the mall will NOT fulfill these needs.
I could go on but you get the picture.
So what does fulfill these needs?
• YOUR TIME! (not the time you spend carting them to school or activities, but the time you spend on the floor with them, tickling them, pillow fighting with them, offering encouragement with a school project, teaching them ways to have courage and be brave, having conversations about silly crazy stuff that interests them. Daily, age appropriate Conscious CONNECTION time with your child will fill his/her bucket!)
• YOUR FULL PRESENCE & CONNECTION WITH THEM!
• BEING CONSCIOUS AND AWAKE AS A PARENT!
• LOOKING AT THEM FROM THEIR LEVEL AND EYE TO EYE!
• BEING HONEST WITH YOURSELF AND WITH THEM!
• SHARING YOUR SADNESS AND YOUR JOY WITH THEM! BE REAL! BE VULNERABLE! BE HUMAN!
• HAVING A GOOD LAUGH WITH THEM!
• BEING INTERESTED IN WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY!
• BEING THEIR BIGGEST FAN WITHOUT EXAGGERATING OR GOING OVERBOARD AT THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS (THIS HAS A BOOMERANG EFFECT AND CAN MAKE THEM FEEL LIKE YOU DIDN’T THINK THEY COULD DO IT AND ARE ASTOUNDED THAT THEY DID!)
• ADMITTING TO THEM THAT JUST BY BEING BORN THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE! THAT THEIR PRESENCE IN YOUR LIFE HAS HAD SUCH A HUGE POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOU!
In time, the child will FEEL that he is important and that he matters. He will feel this on a deep level on the inside and as he learns to nurture his inner self while growing up, he will be able to navigate himself through life’s most challenging obstacles. He will know and deeply believe he is SIGNIFICANT to the world but most importantly TO HIMSELF!
If you would like to learn more about your Needs and how they are driving you and your life results please get in touch for a Mini Session!
Always with love, Alexia