Tea Time with Trish: Going Against Our Nature
My kids had a day off from school, and we went for a drive that spontaneously landed us in Bragg Creek…about a 40 minute drive (well, the way we went anyway). The beauty of taking drives is that it provides a space for solitude and time with your thoughts…if you allow it.
As we quietly drove (admittedly the drive home wasn’t as quiet!), each of us in our own world, my son suddenly said, “Mom, isn’t it funny how as kids we aren’t shy, but as we get older we are more shy?”
I thought this was very interesting coming from a nine year old, so I asked both my kids why they thought that was.
My daughter, who is seven, said, “It’s probably because when we’re little we don’t know better, but as we get older we learn to know better.”
Hmmm? I believe the opposite is true.
As the conversation continued with my kids, it became obvious that when my son used the word shy, he didn’t necessarily mean shy in the context that we know it as. From the feel of the conversation, what he really was trying to convey was that we lose our sense of self.
As children they have such an innocent outlook on life and an amazing sense of self. The younger they are the less they have gotten caught up in the programming and conditioning that comes from the adults that are trying to teach them “how life really is.” They have not bought into the need to be people-pleasers, perfectionists, analyzers, achievers, and how to properly conduct themselves so that it’s socially acceptable…although we have to admit we do start this programming quite young due to the fear of not being “good” parents.
Overtime, with the best of intentions, they do get bombarded with messages of how things “should” be, which many times can go against their very nature…hence why some battles ensue.
As frustrating as these battles can be, and how it may ruffle our feathers that they aren’t listening to us, many times it is because they are rebelling against the need to live their lives with the structured set of rules that we try to impose on them. They are fighting for their innate desire to retain their authentic selves.
As a child I could be quite stubborn (okay, and also as an adult!). I recall my mom telling me that someone had said to her that she should embrace my stubbornness. At the time of hearing this I laughed. But now having my own children, this statement comes to mind over and over whenever I am in battle-mode with one of my children. I remind myself that the fact that they are willing to resist, rebel, and question why things are to be done as they are told is really a sign of them having their own minds, and holding onto their genuine nature…which is exactly what I want as a parent.
Granted at times this can be difficult, and of course I am not saying that we cave to all our children rebellions, but I do believe that children need to be heard. And when we do actively listen, we have our own lessons to learn from them.
Interestingly, the fact that my daughter said that “as they get older then know better, ” indicates that she has already begun to develop a belief that adults know best. And although I think that respect of adults is important, and that we most definitely are their guides, I also believe that if we remain open to it, we can learn so much from children on how to live authentic, fun-filled, and open lives.
I venture to say that most of us would be so much happier if we could tap in to and live from our child-like side.
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Trisha Savoia is founder/owner of Absolute Awareness, and creator of the Moms Who Want More Program. Through her programs, writing, and speaking she uses her skills and experience as a mother, teacher, & Clinical Hypnotherapist to mentor moms who want more out of their lives – mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. She teaches moms how to slow down, peel away the layers to find their true selves, and to listen to their intuitive sense so that they can create a sense of fulfillment, meaning, and happiness in their lives.