When I think about parenting,
as I do much of the time,
I find myself asking the question “why?” a lot.
Usually asking “why?” helps me to get
at a deeper layer of any situation.
Getting at the Core
I have discovered through my own experience
that the more I deal with a situation
at its deepest level
the more effective
seems to be the resolution.
When I think about people who
do not want their kids hitting them,
which I suppose is most of us,
I try and think of “why?”
Well, on a personal level getting hits doesn’t feel good,
especially when it is out of anger.
From A Child Development Perspective
When I think of the qualities I want to develop in my child,
I think about compassion, patience, empathy and forbearance.
These are the reasons I want my daughter to not hit.
I don’t want her to stop hitting me because
she’s afraid of the consequences.
Fear of Consequences Is A Negative Motivation
Can you imagine if avoiding consequences
was the only reason adults don’t go around
hitting each other whenever they feel like it?
That means if we could get away with it
with no consequences
we would do it.
That’s Not My Idea Of Being A Good Person
I do not want to live in a society
where everyone wants to hit each other
and is only holding back for fear of punishment.
I want to live in a society
where people don’t hit each other
because they have the natural qualities of
Therefore it makes sense for me to focus on
creating a foundation of these qualities in my daughter.
If this goal is achieved then her natural personality
will not have the impulse to lash out or hit because of anger.
This desire, for her to not hit
because of these qualities,
comes with a price.
The price is that I must exemplify these qualities
in my own personality
if I am going to authentically pass them on to her.
Kids absorb their environment.
They don’t learn by lecturing.
It’s not what we say that matters,
it’s who we are.
We Must Model The Qualities We Desire and Admire
Therefore your empathy
and all your behaviour
must model what you want from them.
When our children hit us,
if we respond by getting upset
then we are not demonstrating
the very thing we want from them.
We want them to react differently when they are angry.
We want them to not lash out
with their natural tendencies
when they are upset.
And yet that is exactly what we do to them in that moment.
We Must Become Stronger Than Our Habits
This means that if we are going to model a different way of being
we cannot act habitually when we ourselves get upset
when we’re hit by them.
Think of the Big Picture
There definitely can be a tendency to react to this
with the feeling that we are letting them get away with it.
This is when it’s important to think of the big picture.
Remember your real goal is to change cause of the behaviour,
to reach your kids at their core.
For if you only affect the surface of the situation,
the behaviour will re-emerge and probably be stronger than before.
Make Positive Modelling a Priority
In these moments when we are tempted to react
it is important for us to remember that we are modeling first.
It is by surrounding them with
the energy, the vibration of love and acceptance,
and being a solid, consistent example
of all the qualities you want to impart,
that they will absorb them into their being.
This is when it is time to break the traditional approach
And react with love and compassion instead.
React With Love Every Time
React with love no matter how they behave,
no matter how many of your buttons they try and push,
no matter how hurt or angry you are.
React with love in these most difficult moments
and transformation will occur.
Opportunities to Practice
There have been times over the years
that my daughter has lashed out at me.
I know this is natural as I am so close to her.
We often take things out on those closest to us.
Sometimes she needs to vent the difficulties in her life
and it is helpful and safe to do it towards me.
Sometimes I also genuinely annoy her
(as only dads – even cool dads – can do)
and she loses patience with me.
Responding with a Higher Vibration
Whatever the reason
when she does snap at me or something
I just look at her with all the love I can muster
“You’re the best kiddo.
I love you so much.”
And I mean it.
I project it like laser beams!
Sometimes when our kids deserve our love the least
(and when we feel least like giving it)
is exactly when they need it the most.
Believe in the healing and transforming power of love.
Check out part 1 from a few months ago