For your consideration….

I am not sure if we have ever had a blog with a message about raising our children. If not, I am not sure why not. Personally, when I meditate to journal, I often get messages to include children in my life journey of delivering HOPE by the written and spoken word.

Our children (not just our own children), are a our biggest gifts and our biggest responsibility. It is up to us to grow and mature ourselves to be able to be the best role models and nurturers we can be.

Children at birth are born without filters. They absorb everything they feel, hear, see. Their senses are heightened to attract rapid growth through everything they experience. It is our job not only be an example but to provide the love, wisdom, joy in a safe space that allows for this growth.

As children grow they “push the limits.” This is a good thing. It is their job. It is how they grow. Conversely, it is the job of an adult to let them know when they have reached the “limit” they are safely ready for. Can there be tantrums? Sure, but their safety is paramount, not just physically but emotionally as well. Deep down, children crave to know there is someone there to always protect them. They crave that in the very foundation of their being.

Being the adult that always acquiesces cracks that foundation in children and promotes a sense of entitlement as they grow. “Yes” is not always the best answer. Sure we want to make our children happy but making them momentarily happy at the expense of the long-term growth is never ok. Taking the hard-line and doing what is right is the difficult road but in the end it is the most rewarding.

At the same time, “no” is not always the wisest answer especially with young children (sometimes with teenagers, for example, a clear firm “no” is exactly the right answer.) It is tough because quick and easy is sometimes counter productive.

We are asked to think about what a loving responsible productive citizen of the world looks like. Isn’t that our goal? How do raise our children to be exactly that?

In the first place we are asked to remember that “stealing” another person’s power is never ok….even if they are children. As adults we are asked to remember that and highlight and protect our children’s power. That is why a simple “no” is not always the best answer. So how do we do it? Let me give you some examples that I find useful.

-Listen. Be fully present and listen. Let the child you are interacting with have your full attention. That may mean you have to ask another to wait and not interrupt. But that is ok because when it is their turn, they get your full attention.

-When there is some bad, inappropriate, naughty behavior….big or small…, I like to say, “Hmmm, that is not working for me. What are you going to do about that?” Notice, I don’t have to say, I’m in charge. They know that. I don’t have to say you are being naughty. They know that. I simply ask that they change they fix the behavior and damage if any has been done. They have to use their personal power.

-Bullying is a bid deal right now. It should be. But not every hurt feeling is a result of bullying. Some is kids being kids. When a child comes up to me and says someone has hurt their feelings or said something inappropriate, I have little routine. I touch their ears and say, “Whose ears are these?” “Mine” they reply. I do the same with their head saying, “Whose head are they attached to?” “Mine.” “Exactly,” I tell them.”You get to decide what you let get past those ears. If it isn’t, right or true, just throw it back out. Often I say this loud enough for the “offender” to hear.

-When I have an upset child, I ask them to breathe….take in deep breaths. I breathe with them. It is like a magic band-aid. Once they are calm again, I always remind them before they go that they don’t need me. Their breath goes with them wherever they go and they always always can use it to help themselves.

Encouraging children to use their personal power…productively….grows their self-esteem and confidence. It is our job as adults to find and give them tools that help them do this.

I apologize that this blog is probably too long but what is more important or rewarding than nurturing, loving, teaching and growing happy healthy children? It is our job….everyone’s job.

That is the HOPE. And so it is.

Bit by bit, piece by piece, HOPE by HOPE action steps anyone can take….

-Meditate/pray…ask…”What is my next step for my highest good and the highest good of all?”

-Drink lots of water.

-Get outdoors and take in at least 10 deep breaths.

-Be attentive to all children. Be the example, be the teacher, be the adult, be the protector, be the emotional support, be the joy….etc….

What made me smile yesterday….

-I seem to be on the border or a cold. Any day I prevent it from coming on strong is great.

-A beautiful day….another day to meditate outside.

-A Reiki class at my women’s circle.

-Pam joined us. It was great.

Love, Blessings and Gratitude,

Rev. Chris


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