Happy, resilient and confident kids … isn’t this what we all want for our children?
I recently had some work in a third world country and the thing that struck me more than anything was the joy in the faces of the kids.These children appeared to have few material goods, very simple clothing, and possibly not much food… but there was a freedom, innocence and openness in these children that I rarely see in Sydney.
I noticed they were rarely alone, there was always community around to support the kids and the child rearing was shared to a large degree. It wasn’t the ‘burden’ that it can be when we struggle and feel alone, trying desperately to do our best and give them everything we didn’t have.
However in the stress and speed of modern life we rarely find the time to bring our full presence to our parenting. Sure we all do a million and one things for the kids but when our mind is racing ahead of what we are doing NOW we lose the deeper connection with our children where they don’t feel acknowledged, seen and heard for who they really are.
This all too often forms the seeds of discontent and a certain neediness in kids as their deeper ‘needs’ are not being met.This leads to challenging behaviour, low self-esteem and communication breakdowns that can negatively affect not just the child but the whole family.
In the busyness of every day life it is often our kids that fall through the cracks and can feel misunderstood, not good enough, disconnected or angry. This in turn feeds into high levels of anxiety and depression which is in epidemic proportions in most first world countries, inhibiting children’s healthy emotional growth.
So take some time to slow down and reconnect with what is ‘really’ important in life. Bring your full presence to your connection with your kids…. even if it’s only for a short time. A few minutes of heart connection with your kids daily is way more beneficial for emotional intelligence and healing than the best school, the best clothes or the big house.
In such a competitive and techno-driven world it is even more important to share quality time with your kids, when they get your full presence and you get theirs. It creates an unspoken bond that will last through the potential upheavals of adolescence and beyond, and form the foundations of all relationships that your kids will have for the rest of their lives.
And of course to be able to truly connect with your kids it is a prerequisite to connect with yourself first.
So bring your awareness back to yourself, breathe, acknowledge your feelings – and if needed have compassion for yourself. From this place of inner presence connect with your child … and enjoy this moment of pure love with this little person that you adore so much.