When my kids were little, I remember thinking of them from an adult perspective. You might be wondering what I mean…
As I watched my kids grow and develop, I can remember the feeling of expectation as an adult looking after and raising my children. I never looked back. I never reflected on the fact that I was a child once, too, and perhaps experienced some of the same curiosities and behavioral challenges as they dealt with.
It was as if I had forgotten that I began as a child! I had a childhood too. I often was curious and impulsive, completely detached from the outcome or consequences of my actions.
Does this sound at all familiar to you?
Do you ever think of your own childhood?
Not only was I fairly unconscious back then (years ago) but I also had forgotten of my own childhood experiences. Perhaps if I had reflected on my own behaviors and actions as a child, I might have perceived my children’s behavior and experiences from a different perspective.
We often forget our childhood troubles, rough patches, and general mischief when we have our own children. Wouldn’t it help us to remember that we were kids once, curious, unfocused, impulsive and learning? It brings some understanding and relatability to our children.
When was the last time you thought about your childhood in reference to something that your child did? How can we use our experiences to understand our kids better?
Let’s look at the 4 R’s
• Reflect – reflection is a great opportunity at various ages and stages of our children’s development to help us remember ourselves. This is not to compare ourselves to them or vise-a-versa, but to simply remember what it might have been like for us at that age. Perhaps this will offer us a bit more insight, empathy, and compassion when it comes to what we are seeing or noticing in our own children.
• Remind – reminding ourselves that we were young once too can help us recall the events or memories in our minds of some of the wild things we might have done. This can help us see our children as humans – imperfect beings who are exploring their world.
• Reinforce – when you can, reinforce the positive aspects of your child’s growth. The more we focus on this, the more we help our children see themselves in a positive light.
• Relax – When you bring attention to your own childhood, you can relax a bit more, knowing your kids are alright. You made mistakes and you turned out wonderfully. Children are just experiencing life at this age and stage of development. They have to make mistakes in order to learn and grow. Relax in knowing that each stage does not last forever.
Raising children is not a perfect science. Our children are each unique human beings with their own path to follow. However, as they do so, they will still be experiencing their own childhood – the “good,” the “bad,” and the “ugly,” just as we did. Perhaps you can share a story or two with your children on occasion about your own childhood experiences.
We were not born into this “role” as parents. We were children once too – learning, growing, and making mistakes. Let your children know that as humans, we are all fallible. It is in those errors and mistakes that we learn, develop, and become the intelligent and capable adults that we grow up to be.
For support, schedule a consultation call with me. We can look at parenting through a different lens together. http://bit.ly/ConsultationSessionWithSue