How can we be so presumptuous as to think we know what is best for our children, what is the right thing for them to do, what are the right decisions for them to make? Plain and simple – we don’t know. We simply do not know, and to think we do, to believe we should know because it’s our job, not only puts us on a very fragile pedestal but truly hinders our relationship with our children.
We are so attached to being right when it comes to telling our children what to do, we overlook what might actually be right for them — and we don’t ask what they think.
Letting go means coming to terms with the fact that so much of their lives is theirs to figure out.
And yes, parenting is the hardest damn job on the planet, but it’s so much harder when you think it’s your responsibility to fix their problems or that their problems are your fault. Either you know you’re right — and who wants to live with that — or you are exhausted under the shroud of this job that you fear you are miserably failing at.
Our kids don’t belong to us. We have the privilege of being in their lives, learning from them, and watching them blossom. Our job is to raise these children with love and acceptance, not to mold them into the adults we want them to become.
So what’s left if it’s not your job to tell your kids what to do?
Relationship is number one, first and foremost, most important. Relationship is your job — to insure good relationships you all can count on for as long as you live.
And when you are no longer controlling your kids to do what you think is right for them, you will be left with a good deal of doubt and fear. Because they are so much younger than you and know so much less. You have a lot at stake in their futures. You will have doubts and fears. It means you are conscious.
So, if you’re left with doubt and fear, you’d best make friends with them. You cannot live without them if you are going to let go of being right. But how can you put them on a back burner where they do not take over your life?
Accepting that doubt and fear are not only okay but important checks and balances in our lives, helps put them in perspective. When you fight feeling afraid and doubting everything you do, it’s where your focus goes and so it grows out of proportion into debilitating anxiety.
Just like anyone else, you have insecurities. ’Cause everyone has them. And no matter how high and great and wonderful you get, there’s still something will make you worry. ~ Paul McCartney
No matter how educated, successful, or wealthy you are, you will always doubt and worry. The more you try to be a good person, the more you will care about yourself and others. The more you care, the more you will have doubts, because caring means you are open and vulnerable to hurt and the consequences of making bad decisions. No one makes the right decision all the time.
If you never doubt your actions and decisions, you will be rigid, unthinking, and probably a bigot to-boot. Doubt means you are a thinking, feeling, caring, vulnerable, open person who knows you have no idea what the right answer is for anyone else. There is nothing wrong with this. The truth is that no one has the right answer. That might leave you feeling out on a limb, but if you know you’re in good company, that limb feels stronger.
To fear is human. It can save your life when the tiger attacks or the rigid person tries to control you. But to be stuck in fear means you are in struggle and resistance against fear. Let it be. Sit in it. Be conscious of it. Talk to yourself, I am feeling so afraid right now. I’m scared. The more you are aware of it and name it, the sooner it dissipates and comes back under your control.
Your job is to trust your child’s process and then step back and watch, thinking, “I don’t know what is going to happen. I have to wait to find out.” Then sit back and enjoy the journey.
Many of us live in fear of not being good enough. Much of that comes from the childish perceptions we had of our parents attempts at discipline and control. And much of it comes from comparing ourselves to others we think are better, stronger, more successful, perfect – and have perfect kids. These images of others drill into us. Your inner voices tell you I’m not doing it right. Something is wrong with me. I’m not enough. I’m not as smart as that person.
If we took the energy we spend on what we assume others think of us and focused it on ourselves and our children, we could shortcut a lot of pain and suffering.
Quieting fear and doubt may be the biggest battle you have in your life. Know that we all have it to varying extents. But fighting it keeps it alive. Believing that you are under its control keeps it strong. It comes from within us, not from without. It is not a condition put on you from the external world. You may see it that way, but that is you deciding that. Living with it, acknowledging its presence, accepting it into your life instead of thinking the only way you can move ahead is when it’s gone may seem frightening in itself. But the only way to the other side is through; and the only way through is acceptance.
The When Your Kids Push Your Buttons Audio Course
Have you ever asked yourself, “Why did I DO that??”
Wish you knew what else to do?
- Understand your reactions and gain control of them
- Interpret your child’s behavior
- Set appropriate expectations
- Defuse your buttons