Your message to your child starts within you. That means that you communicate your thoughts and beliefs in everything you do, just by being yourself. It also means that any useless negative voices within (how did I guess you have them too?) will get in the way of the message you intend to put across – unless you notice and choose. Now, I would like to expand on this, because I believe that constantly noticing and choosing thoughts is key to communicating the messages and therefore developing the relationship you want with your child.
I have had times of success and times of disappointment – disappointments with myself, with others (including my children), about a project that failed or did not even take off… You know what success feels like and does to us, it sends lots of positive messages to our brain, it increases our confidence and it’s motivating. But adversity and disappointments, not so much. Right? They bring on more useless thoughts. Yet, we need to get through adversity and get over disappointments to achieve success.
Useless inner-messages can be about parenting or anything:
“I’ve got it all wrong”, “I can’t do this”, “I’ll try but…”, “this is so difficult” , “I don’t know what to do”, “why are my kids so naughty?”, “other parents seem to cope better”, “people must think…”, etc….
We have not chosen these voices that feel bad. They are those of fear, shame, etc… and they come from our conditioning from the past. They are beliefs, interpretations and associations that we have not chosen, and that we are not even aware of! But one thing is sure is that when thoughts feel bad, they are negatively critical, deconstructive and limiting.
But when you notice a useless thought, you become aware, and you are free to choose. Since all freedom comes with responsibility, this freedom is your responsibility to choose for yourself – choose a thought that feels good and works for you.
When you hold on to a useless thought, give it value or too much attention, it becomes important – more important than your good intentions. It sabotages and replaces creativity. It limits your potential. It becomes real. It becomes you:
‘Argue for your limitations and sure enough they are yours’ (Richard Bach)
If you say and feel something is difficult, then it is – for you. No one can convince you it is not. Only you can open up to the possibility that it might not be that. After all, it is what it is. That’s a fact. You can call it difficult, you can call it exciting, you can call it what you want. It’s your choice.
Our brain is like a machine sending messages all the time (often the same repetitive annoying thoughts). It’s a machine without an on/off switch. It’s always on! We cannot switch it off but we can manage it. And the more we do it, the easier it becomes.
How do we control our thoughts? We notice and choose.
For example, notice “I can’t do this” – does not feel good, not helpful, right? So, choose not to take it seriously, and see what happens… It just feels great! And that’s what you communicate to your child/ren. Look at the difference it makes on them and around you !
By Emmanuelle Betham, Parent, Educator and Life Coach.