Second of a four-part series | Part One
Love begins inside of us with our thoughts, perceptions and attitudes. How we view a person or situation determines whether love will be present in our actions or not. How do you view your child? How do you perceive your child’s actions? Love is in our perceptions. Love is in our attitudes. Both perception and attitude are strictly our personal choice.
For everything we experience in life, we attach a meaning. That meaning/interpretation is very individual and unique to us. Another person might perceive the same situation differently than you, and assign a completely divergent meaning to it.
For example, a woman named Hilda was turning 70. Instead of choosing to feel old and perceiving her age as limiting, she elected to find something to keep her young. She took up mountain climbing and continued to climb for 15 years until she was 85. This is a true story and from it we can see how our choice of perception of any event determines whether it will have a positive affect on us and others around us or not. The same is true for how we perceive events with our kids, large or small.
When your child is throwing a tantrum, can you see the pain and suffering of the child, or do you just see the inconvenience of having to deal with the situation? When your child misbehaves at home or at school, can you see that perhaps an important need is not being met for that child, or is your perception colored only by your own needs? Find out what need is not being met. For example, a 3 year old cannot be expected to behave quietly without something interesting to do while you have a lengthy visit with a friend.
Whatever situation arises with your child, perceiving it with love requires respect, empathy, kindness and understanding for your child. Consequences delivered for unacceptable behavior without anger, blame or punishment but with clear explanations and rules cited make sense to children and leave their positive sense of self intact. Love does not punish, rage or taunt. It explains, shows how, offers and defines a better way and works cooperatively for the good of both parent and child.
Love is also expressed in the expectations we have of our children. Expectations are proven to have weight and influence, and research shows that children often perform in the ways we expect them to, positive or negative. Children know how we really feel about them and ingest those feelings into their hearts and souls as if they were facts. They begin to believe what you tell them about themselves with your unspoken expectations and attitudes, as well as your words and actions. Your expectations can create poison or confidence, transform or decimate. Teach yourself to believe in and expect good from your children. Then their behavior will follow suit. The power of the mind is awesome. Use yours lovingly as you parent, and what you truly believe will take form.
Expressions like “I believe you can do it,” “I trust you to find a solution,” “I know you’ll do well” and “I bet you can figure that out” help your children believe in themselves and develop inner strength. The attitude of positive expectation on your part must be genuine.
If you find yourself not thinking highly of your child, change your mind at once! When my son was about 13 or 14, I found myself irritated with him often. The early teen years can be confusing, stressful and full of identity crises for kids, thus agitating for parents. When I realized that I wasn’t thinking well of him, I was determined to change my mind, as I knew my thoughts of him could be harmful even if inadvertent. Our minds are energetically connected to other minds through our holographic brains. So, I kept affirming to myself over and over that he was a joy to me. I began to look for (perceive) ways that he was a joy.
Over a few weeks, I completely changed my mind and he literally became a joy in so many ways and still is 20 years later. It was a deliberate, conscious change in my perception that made all the difference. Remember, your perception is a choice, and energy and action follows thought.
Perceptions to Change:
- “He’s a brat!” to “My son is well-behaved.”
- “She’s not very pretty” to “My daughter is beautiful in so many ways.”
- “She doesn’t listen to me” to “My daughter and I listen respectfully to each other.”
- “He won’t do anything I tell him to” to “My son and I work cooperatively together.”
- “No matter what I do, it doesn’t seen to make any difference” to “I have great insights about working with my child, and we are able to work things out now.”
- “She’s a big baby” to “I often compliment her on her strength and independence.”
Focus on your new perceptions intensely, and you’ll love the results!
Part Three: Creative Ways to Express Love