It is often said that our children are our greatest teachers. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean we like the way they teach us!
My own children have been teachers to me in so many ways, especially in teaching me to keep my emotions with me; to not reflect my emotions upon someone else. To really understand that my emotions are MY emotions.
And to ask myself: Where are these emotions coming from? What do they say about me? What is it that I have to learn?
“My children are not listening to me!”
Every parent knows that children can be so challenging, especially when we adults feel like “My children are not listening to me!” (sound familiar?!)
And yes, I’ll give it to you – they can often be a pain in the a@# and you might have to repeat the same instructions to them three or four times…or five times… “How many times do I have to tell you…?!”
So what happens inside of you when you have that conflict – what do you feel?
In the past, and still from time-to-time, I would get really annoyed. It would really irritate me whenever this happened. I have often felt a lot of anger come up in me:
“I’ve said this so many times: get over here to the dinner table and eat your food!”
Where is your anger coming from?
And this is the moment when my children have become my greatest teachers: because it is in these moments when I understand where the anger is coming from:
When I get angry, it’s not because of my children’s’ actions – it’s because of what lives inside of ME.
And then, the moment of anger or conflict is an opportunity to look within:
- Why am I getting angry?
- What does it trigger inside of me?
- Does it trigger the fact that I don’t have control over them – something that I wish unconsciously?
- Am I unconsciously repeating the same patterns from my mother or father?
A Teachable Moment
And with that inner reflection, the core question we are asked is:
What is it that I’d like to teach my children?
Would I like to teach them to handle those situations by raising my voice, being angry, maybe even punishing them?
Do I wish to teach them that, regardless of that situation, I can be in control of my emotions?
That I can stay in touch with my heart, with myself, with my love, and that I can instead respond with joy:
I can approach them with a smile, make a joke out of it and say to them, “You little rascal, get over here!” I can tickle them, make them laugh, and then say, “OK. Now it’s time for you to sit down at the table and have dinner. Are you hearing what I say? It’s time now.”
Our Children are Our Teachers – If We’re Willing to Listen
Children are practically pure joy and love – they are the light of our lives! However, nobody said that raising kids was easy! Yet despite the difficulties of parenting, children can often be our greatest teachers – if we are willing to listen to them.
In those moments of anger or frustration or exasperation – can you stay in touch with yourself, with your heart – regardless of the situation that’s happening outside of you? Can you accept that you have no control whatsoever – and be ok with that?
My children have been one of my greatest teachers – I love them with all my heart. To all of my kids: I love you and thank you for being such a great teacher to me.
Drop a comment below and tell me one of the lessons your children have taught you!