What Our Children Can Teach Us About Ourselves
Have you witnessed behaviors or heard words from your children that are familiar? Do you recognize yourself in your children? It is often said that our children are reflections of us. What does that mean, and is it a bad thing?
Children are like sponges. They absorb information all day long, whether it’s positive or negative. Since we are our children’s primary role models, we have the most influence over how they act and react. So it makes sense that we would often see them as mini versions of us.
With that in mind, let’s consider what might be reflected back to us.
Do you have a fear of taking tests? Does your little one have similar anxiety? This is just one example or situation where a fear that stems from a parent, can be transferred to a child. If you see this early on in their school life, take steps to help them release that fear. Put the test or quiz into context. Perhaps it’s okay to score low on a 2nd grade test. They are just learning and that’s why they go to school. Offer them any insight or wisdom you now have as an adult, and take some of your own advice!
Do your children fight with each other? Is it similar to your sibling relationships? Take an honest look at your relationships, and see if there’s an opportunity to make amends in your own friendships or relationships. If you see a better way to communicate with someone after observing your child, use that insight to make better choices yourself.
What we believe impacts how we see the world. Discontentment can be rooted in a belief system. If you suspect your child is behaving in a certain way because he or she has picked up on your own outdated personal belief system, take the time to update and shake up that belief. It could be a belief based on religion or gender, or something else that has been deeply ingrained.
Our children teach us about how we were raised. Being aware of our own childhood experiences sometimes causes us to consciously decide to raise our children differently. Sometimes, though, we operate on automatic pilot and mimic the relationship of our parents. Here, too, is an opportunity to be mindful and honest. Making the choice to change a few aspects in your family’s life can cause a positive shift that can benefit every member.
Our children can teach us so much about how we are in this world. What we see may not always be pretty, but taking advantage of the opportunity to live our lives in a positive and conscious way can only be a gift to us all.