How can we teach our children to listen to their wisdom, desires, thoughts and beliefs, if we cannot do this ourselves?
For example, perhaps you have made the decision to limit or turn off technology in your home for the summer months, for you and your children. As you present this decision, of course, your kids will probably not be happy. Again, we are never going to please everyone. But making decisions is not about that. It is about coming from an internal place to decide what feels right for us and our family, in this example, and creating boundaries from that place. When we present this to our family, our energy, confidence and commitment need to be strong and unwavering. It is okay for our children to still be disappointed or upset, but the outcome will be better if they aren’t feeding off of the uncertainty of our decisions. We must commit to our decisions both internally and externally, no matter what they are.
Somewhere along the way, when many of us were kids, our voices were not heard or they were shut down in some way. What this left many adults with is the lack of belief in their ability to make a decision and stand up tall with confidence and positivity. So, instead, many look for validation externally, sharing the decisions with friends, family and, co-workers to get an idea of what the right direction to go is. At this point, how do we even know which opinion suits us when we are so far away from ourselves in this decision? Our voice is no longer heard because we are looking outside to hear what everyone else thinks and believes. How would anyone really know what is right for us?
As the models for our children, isn’t it time we venture back to our own voices, hearing ourselves, and validating our own opinions and desires?
One of the biggest steps in doing this is to sit with a situation (start small) that you need to make a decision about. Allow it to flow through you and listen to what you hear from the inside. Perhaps it would help to write what is coming up in your thoughts. Whatever comes up, listen closely. We all have this wisdom within us, but if we don’t listen, we don’t even give ourselves the opportunity to hear it.
As you listen, remind yourself that there is no right or wrong choice – there is simply just a choice. There is no good or bad in your choice, it is truly what feels right at this moment for you. In the end, it might serve you or it might not, but at the time of the decision, you choose what feels like the best choice. The more we listen and allow ourselves to follow the voice inside, the more we are training ourselves to tune in. The littlest decisions can offer the best practices in this exercise of introspection.
What happened to us as children can be adapted as adults and as parents. Our voices that were quieted as children can be heard as adults. It does take work and lots of turning inward, but it can be done.
Don’t we want to model this for our children?
Don’t we want our children today to grow up listening and believing in their own voice?
Step into your voice, allow yourself to listen and connect to your inner wisdom, beliefs, desires and choices and follow them.
Written by Sue DeCaro