Role model conscious parenting

Your child is not here to please you, to fulfill your need for popularity and self esteem. Nor to be a showpiece, nor to be molded by your preferences…Rather, it’s the reverse.

It is said that a child learns 95% of everything from role models. I don’t know who said that or how one can get to the science behind that statement, but the reality is, you are your child’s first model. And this is right at the years when the brain is first developing – in great leaps – the synapses are multiplying faster than any other time except perhaps the brain spurt during the teen years.

Your child absorbs every iota of your energetic nuance; mood, attitude, gesture, mannerism. What a responsibility! What a joy! What a challenge! What an opportunity? To use this little mirror for your self-knowledge and the inner growth of YOU, as well as your child.

You must not take these words to intimidate you. They are meant to inspire you to become the best parent you can be – the one you want to be become.

My first Guru taught that you cannot create something from what you don’t want. Many of us say, “My parents did such and such…I never want to do that!” But, you don’t create from a negative. You have to first complete that old picture; acknowledge that your parents had their drama, know they were doing the best given what they knew how to do at that time, forgive, study, reflect on what you want to put in the place of parental imprinting. Study, read, learn new information, reflect again. Learn more and incorporate new ideas, laced with love and compassion, into who you are. Have compassion for YOUR parents. Be in the NOW, pause and observe, be still and let inspiration guide your creativity.

Of course the main answer to all this is to Love yourself. What a great model to show your children. Use every trigger as a contribution, in other words, if your child is (for example) whining, here’s a formula: Ask, “How was that for me.” “Oh, I wasn’t listened to.” “ What would I have liked to happen?” “Oh, to be heard!” Practice that. Look, See and Open. Use our mantra of saying, “Yes”, which I trust you are still practicing from last month. Tune in, connect.

Don’t beat yourself up. I feel like the flood warning voice that says, “Turn around, don’t drown!” Turn yourself around from reaction to loving response. Don’t drown in self-pity or resort to an angry attitude. This might gain the behavior you want from your child, but may later be mirrored back as a stressed out child/adult with built up walls. If you need to, take a time out for yourself until you feel centered. Reconnect with the child with calm and trust. Then your child will likely incorporate the model of love, compassion and the attitude of “Can Do”, as his own!

Image Credit: Jane Hudson Stoller

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Liz Wertheim has trained with Virginia Satir, has her Early Childhood degree, co-directed two Sudbury Schools and staffed many years at the Hui Jungle Preschool. She also has facilitated a series of Parenting Classes. To chat with Liz call (808) 573-1819.