It’s so difficult to not try to control the person in front of you.
Let me explain.
The person in front of you is your child. A child that you care for. A person, small, and not yet able to understand so many things, because their brain is only so far in its development.
They have their own will, their own agenda, their own things that they say are important in their lives.
And we are the ones, the parents/caregivers, in charge of making sure they have what they need to grow into adulthood.
How could you not have a clashing of wills? A battle, a struggle, conflict, difficulties that arise? Of course there will be. Constantly. There is a little person, a PERSON, in your care.
(“Why the heck does she keep emphasizing ‘person’ so much?” You may ask. This is the point of me writing today.)
A child is not a thing to control, but a fellow human, one who is just as much deserving of respect as an adult.
One who is deserving of having their boundaries respected, their emotions acknowledged and validated, their desires taken into consideration.
It’s impossible to do these things for another, if this is not something we practice for ourselves.
To have our own boundaries respected, to have our own emotions acknowledged and validated, to have our own desires taken into consideration. To do these things, for ourselves.
It makes sense, really. If we were brought up in a culture where it’s uncommon for parents to respect their children’s boundaries, emotions, and desires, then we grew up seeing that these things are not important.
We would have adopted this way of being simply by it being modeled to us. So, to learn this new way, of respecting our own boundaries, emotions, and desires, we must PRACTICE the act of doing so, every single day, until it becomes something we really know how to do.
“How can I do this?” you ask. Well, this is what helps me:
Slow down, tune in. Meditate. Listen to what you need yourself to hear. Trusting yourself cannot happen all at once, it happens step by step. Reflect, and see if you can respond to these questions: “What are my boundaries? What are my emotions? What are my desires?”
What other steps can you take to respecting yourself and your child(ren) more today?