Originally published on positiveimpactmagazine.com on October 13, 2011
By Lisa Hein
Parents love to make their children happy. It’s what makes them feel good, and when we meet our children’s needs, it makes us feel better too.
Understanding and raising our consciousness as to what the true definition of making our children ‘happy’ though is definitely something we seek and should strive after to obtain total clarity and understanding. When we give and give materialism to our children, what message are we giving them? That life is always going to be easy and that you will meet all of their needs throughout their entire life. Or, when we say things like ‘The world is yours for the taking, go for it,’ what is their perception? Will they grow up feeling empowered or that life really isn’t theirs and nothing belongs to them?
It’s a great time for us to release all this unnecessary pressure that we put ourselves under and learn to set limitations. We should be more concerned about being healthy and happy for our children, but at times we allow ourselves to run ourselves ragged trying to meet everyone else’s needs. Why do we feel that we must be our children’s personal ATM or that we must provide them with every single technological gadget?
When we provide all this materialism we, at times, set our family up to be separated. Our goal today should be to bring the family closer and closer. When we hear the news or look around us, we see how the chaos does have a silver lining. It has showed some of us that we may have been living above our means, while others that it‘s time to cut back. Everyone is feeling the crunch and depending how you look at it, could be a blessing in disguise.
Is it time to take a step back and realize that it’s time to be more humble and grateful for what we have? Do we feel empowered and in touch with all of this that we are able to pass those feelings onto our children, in love, honor and respect? Can we offer our children a way to understand how to be more respectful of what each one of us has to bring to the table? Can we learn to do things as a family without outside interruptions?
Children are desperately seeking their parent’s approval and attention and when we shift our way of thinking that materialism and outside forces makes our family happy, we must make a decision of what’s really important. To be inspirational to one another with the desire to do things together at home as a family is a truly reachable goal.
When we reach out to one another with respect, love and adoration for one another, we will see how empowering parenting really can be and how acceptance of each other brings joy within the family. Everyone has a place and is uniquely designed to bring a gift within the family, explore each others gifts!
Simplicity is a word that comes to mind. Wasn’t it a wonderful place when we were children (back in the 50’s and 60’s) and there weren’t 1,000 toys to choose from? We had a few things and we were lucky to have them. We took very good care of everything we were given, because if we didn’t, ‘oh well!’ There wasn’t enough money to replace our valuables. Everything meant the world to us.
So what happened? Why did we decide that we were going to purchase every known gadget for our children? How did we become so obsessed with technology, television and distractions that we are missing the most valuable lessons we could ever experience? When we take the time to meditate, spend some quiet time by ourselves or keep our home the safe-haven children love to be around, we begin building character and stability.
Empowering our children to experience situations, rather good or bad, teaches character.
At times, we tend to hurry up and try to fix everything for them. We all know that there are lessons we must learn and if we don’t get to learn from that lesson, the end result may fall by the wayside. It’s important for everyone to experience repercussions for a mistake we’ve made. Hopefully, we learn not to do it again.
It’s also necessary to allow our children to make their own decisions, of course, age appropriate. It’s quite important to allow them the freedom to share what they are being faced with or what’s going on around them. If they ask you for your opinion, that’s wonderful, if not try to keep still. It’s always best to listen to them and maybe, they will figure things out by themselves. If you believe they see the vision with what’s going on, then, you can offer a positive rebuttal like, ‘That sounds like a good decision.’ It makes them feel empowered.
At times, we tend to want to jump in an give them our opinion before they‘ve finished with their thoughts. So, how’s that working? After a while, they will shy away from talking to you and deal with it on their own possibly making decisions they are not ready for.
Always leave room for open communication. These children today are more sensitive and aware of what’s going on around them. They have been taught morals and ethics, right from wrong, and believe it or not, they even know what makes parents feel proud of their decisions.
Many child psychologists have said that our children are replicas of what they see in their parents. What do your children see? Are you amazing, empowering, inspiring people who approach life with grace and respect or do we snap at everyone around us? Then, when our children do it to us, we want to yell at them? Confusing to say the least!
Empowerment is a trait we cannot take away from our children and becoming great citizens. When we have a great character, we also allow our children to experience that behavior. We want them to be strong, mentally, physically and emotionally. We want to know that because we love, honor and respect them, they will not flee or be pulled into the lies the world has to offer.
We want our children to make good choices about sex, drugs, and alcohol without feeling pressure or bullied by their peers. It’s important that they know that if people are doing these things, they are not the type of people they choose to be around rather than thinking they have to do it to be accepted.
So what is it that we can do to empower our children and ourselves? Fall back in love with each and see the brilliance each person in the family brings. There is no situation in the world we cannot handle if we honor one another.
Just remember the joy you felt when they held up that baby the first time and you looked into each other’s eyes. That feeling of completeness should surround us all the time. Embrace one another and lift each other up. That’s empowering!
Lisa Hein, is the radio talk show host of ‘Everyday Parenting,’ heard of www.RadioEarNetwork.com, motivational speaker, contributing writer, and parenting author of THE BOOK “I’m Doing The Best I Can!” (They won’t always be cute and adorable). Contact Lisa at www.LisaRHein.com to book her for your next event or to learn more about her journey.