Raising Kids WIth Healthy Self-Esteem – Vol. 403, March 2, 2017
Over the past few days I have been staying at an Airbnb with a family that has a stay at home mom taking care of three kids age 5 and under. They live in a very nice home in a very nice neighborhood in suburban Southern California. The father is self-employed. He spends his weekends working on the home and the grounds and playing with his kids. The mother has a very structured schedule with the kids where they nap in the afternoon and are in bed by 8 pm. She spends her days actually being with her children, interacting with them all day long. She is a woman who truly loves being a mother, demonstrated by being quite patient and loving towards her kids.
The thing that I find most amazing is that this family really do enjoy being together. It isn’t that they don’t have their times when the kids argue or get tired, but mostly, they play well together and the parents are there to be the loving role models that parents are meant to be.
I bring this up because in my hypnosis practice I have had more kids and parents who seemed to be cross talking, meaning that they just weren’t able to communicate. They were talking “past” one another. Granted these kids were a bit older then the kids in this household. Because of the cross talking, there were many hurtful comments that were made by one or both of the parties that caused distress enough to bring the child in to have some hypnosis done, to deal with the barriers to loving and trusting communication. The presenting problems are usually anger, sadness, fear or guilt in the child. Usually when this sort of case comes in, I do my best to have the parent and the child do a shared session so we can heal the wounds and create better communication. It works most of the time, but not all of the time. Both the child and the parent have to be willing to work through the issues, and this isn’t always the case.
Instead of having a distressed relationship between parents and their kids, we need to understand how these issues arise. During the first seven to eight years of one’s life is when the shelf-esteem, self-respect and self-love are created. This is because kids are working in their subconscious mind, recording everything that they hear, see and do into their subconscious minds. It is during this time that it is so important to let kids know that they are loved unconditionally, that they are cared for, that the parents and the other role models in their lives can be trusted by being present with them. When this doesn’t happen, that is when the problems assert themselves making life miserable with the inability to communicate their their needs and desires.
In the two days that I have been here, I have never heard the mother raise her voice to any of the kids. I have never heard her make anything but loving, compassionate comments to her children. If she wants them to do something she ask if they need a bit of help. If there is something that seems to be causing a problem for one of the kids, the parents tell the child that they can only help them solve the problem if they know what the problem is. Remember, these are young kids 5 and under, and this is the level of communication that occurs in this household.
When I see kids with troubled relationships with their parents, it stems from a lack of trust in their parents being there in a positive manner. It happens because parents can say deeply hurtful things in an antagonistic tone of voice, without understanding how they are coming across to their child. Some parents expect their kids to be star students, athletes or musicians, trying to live through their kids. This is an absurdity, especially when the child is lacking the innate talent or interest in pursuing these activities. Worst is when parents are so self-involved in their own relationships or married to their electronics, they don’t pay attention to their kids. When these kids grow up, they are usually the ones that are left with a hole in their sole, finding other ways to fill it. Usually these are self-destructive behaviors.
If you want to have happy kids with healthy self-esteem, an ability to love and respect themselves, take a lesson from these parents. Be present with your kids, validate their feelings and do things that THEY find fun with them. In the end, you will find you have a wonderful relationship with your grown children, and isn’t that the best gift hat you can give to yourself as well as your child?
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