“Parents, let’s stand up together and open up to our kids. Allow them to see you for who you really are. Stop hiding or trying to hide because they’ll know. The best teacher is you, the real you, the raw and uncut you. Your kids will learn to live openly and freely and will not feel as if though they have to hide as well. You don’t want that, now do you? You don’t want kids who grow up feeling ashamed of who they really are.” ~Lisa R. Charles
That’s a fantastic example of Life Design in full swing, and when I read Lisa’s juicy post this morning, I needed to pass the nutrients on to you, of course!
You probably know as well as I do that parenting is one of the biggest traps for our Presenting versus Being Present tendencies to surface.
Lisa’s words definitely echoes the environment Kris and I consciously create for our daughters, and for ourselves. Our daughters are 8 and 6, and we’ve already had conversations about sex, sexuality, sensuality, drugs, politics, and a host of other topics deemed taboo by many parents of children under age 10.
Our philosophy is that we’re raising adults, not children, and our goal is to impart the life skills we believe they will need to thrive as adult women.
Our 3 primary focal points are:
Self-governance – learning how to manage themselves when our availability is limited. We work from home, so there are many times when Kris and I are hitting deadlines, or I’m on a coaching call, or preparing for a project. During those times, we tell them (and have done so for about 2 years) they need to be in self-governance mode, whereby they limit their calling on us to emergencies only. Usually, I say something like “If no-one’s bleeding, stuck, dead, or being kidnapped” deal with it yourself until daddy or I tell you we’re done working.” Believe it or not, it works 99% of the time.
Radical Self-expression – Not unlike most of the work I do, this stems from my own life experiences as a woman, mother, wife, daughter, friend, student, lover, and creative being. I’ve always been in touch with my “outside voice” as I like to call it, and I believe it is in large part responsible for what sustains me in my life. We remind the girls that no questions or statements are off limits, and we lead by example where this is concerned. The girls are always privy to the type of mood their dad and I are in, and we tell them openly that we have the right to feel how we feel, and that it won’t always coincide with what they want, but it will never compromise what we know they need.
Listening Inward – this is the one that can be a real challenge for me in particular, but I know I must do the work. Kris and I know unequivocally that our daughters are not “ours”. They chose us to come through, and Creator trusts us with the blessing and task of nurturing them, but they are their own people, and must cultivate self-trust if they are ever to truly thrive. At this age, this can be difficult because their life experiences are limited. However, their divine connection with Source Energy is fully formed, and so we trust them to guide us just as much as we guide them.
This also means that anyone living under our roof gets to be themselves, and the rest of us work toward actions that honor that knowing. For example…
- open affection between Kris and me
- showing unfiltered anger
- saying no to a request of theirs simply because I don’t feel like it
- allowing them to openly express how they feel about something Kris or I said/did
- not altering my sleep schedule to match theirs o_O
Those are some of the ways we show our daughters that we are people first, and their parents second.
That realization was one of the integral saving graces for my own relationship with my mother. I had so many expectations of who/what she should (or shouldn’t be), and how she should have been as a mother. Over the years, I learned to value her own life experiences, move past her poor choices, and focus on the ways she was and is incredibly resilient, unabashedly expressive, and such a fine example of the strong, vibrant women I love and admire.
Overall, I think as parents we can either succumb to the ills of being fear’s bitch (remember that?) and guide our children with the long staff of Idealism, with a side of socially-acceptable displays of emotions, etc.
we can surrender to Creator’s wisdom in granting us the gift of parenthood, and juice the journey by learning who our children are, supporting them along their paths, and (this is important!) remembering who we are in the process.
Now to leave you with two wonderful related resources…
Here’s Lisa’s beautiful post. Have a read, and let her know if it moves you too.
Here’s my latest book about harmony in all areas of life, including and especially motherhood.