By Anntionet: Parenting at one point or another is hard. Difficulties, conflict, and chaos come with the territory. When someone becomes a parent or guardian, the first concept of parenthood is probably not the question of what could be learned from this role, whether the role is brand new or old news. Parenting more likely brings thoughts of what could and should be taught to the child since they are relying on the parent in great part of this information as a repetitively influential role model.
Sometimes there is excitement for the opportunity to pass on a legacy and personal teachings or beliefs. Many parents look forward to their “mini-me.” Until eventually comes anxiety from a parent’s teachings and mentorships being rejected, dashing the hopes and dreams of the parent in molding their child after them. Why wouldn’t the child want to be like them anyway, right? Hint: that’s sarcasm.
Many times, when a parent faces their role against opposing energies the willingness to learn from the opposition is not present or recognized on the surface. This can be, especially when it is a child, let alone their child. Instead, this conflict might bring up a parent’s defensiveness of themselves and in extreme cases, even a complete challenge to the parent’s own personal beliefs and core self. Mid-life crises are a common reality that comes from multiple sources.
Yet, the challenges of parenting change over time. The needs of both the child and the parent morph as they both continue their personal development and growth. Change can be seen as opposure if the changes are approached with a closed mind; if they are approached as though there is nothing to learn from them. There is always something to learn from other people, and no less so from a child if a parent allows themselves to do so.
Opening oneself to learning from one’s child can be a powerfully cleansing and releasing step in one’s own personal growth. It also shows the child that their individuality is respected and should be respected, thus raising their self-esteem and confidence in who they are and improving their relationship with themselves. A parent who allows themselves to learn from their child also helps the child learn that they have valuable knowledge to provide to the world, which raises the child’s chances for success in life.
Here are some ways you can share in this learning process during conflict, even if you are not a parent or guardian;
1) Hear and listen to a child in the moment without thinking of how to correct, challenge or change what they are saying.
2) Repeat what they say back to them, so they feel understood, even if you do not fully understand yet.
3) Provide guidance in a gentle and compassionate way after the child feels heard and understood. Try not to be afraid to explain yourself and your views to them as points of comparison. This helps them learn how to handle conflict in a healthier manner.
4) Encourage their individuality and when it might clash with your own, appreciate their personal choices over your own personal preferences as appropriate.
Of course, these suggestions should be considered within reason, applied age-appropriately, and are only provided as a sounding board for you to learn more on your own. The message is that parents have a lot to learn from their child(ren) if the parent is open and willing to do so and in doing so, can not only improve their relationship with their child but also improve the child’s relationship with themselves.
Stay ahead of the game. Stay open to learning.
Love and Light,