What’s in it for me?
A common question when presented with an opportunity. Here’s the issue.
Gaining something isn’t the always the ideal outcome of an opportunity.
Losing may be what you’re actually looking to experience.
For example, I meditate every day to reinforce my capacity for equanimity.
I also do it to shed any tendency to emotionally react to things.
When I became a parent I learned to let go of many things to stop driving myself crazy with self doubt and criticism.
I invite you to share things you had to let go of to be a more effective parent:
Knowing everything – our heads are loaded with opinions supercharged by emotion. When the emotion is stirred we vomit opinions all over our kids in the least effective way. Virtually guaranteeing we’ll be dismissed as irrational by our kids.
Drama – Worst case scenarios are useful for helping you to see how out of hand a worry driven imagination can become. But when used to try and instill fear, e.g. “If you stay on this path you’re gonna end up blah, blah, blah.”
These scenarios can seem unrealistic to a young kid with no point of reference to help them appreciate what you’re talking about.
What is a good teacher is natural consequences.
Rescuing – I set myself up for a huge fall when I believed I could protect my boys from pain and suffering.
You simply can’t protect your child from the human condition or naive, short sighted, often impulsive decisions kids make.
Your adult brain functions at a different level of emotional maturity (hopefully) and self discipline than your child.
You’ve achieved that in part due to simple biology. Which means, your child’s brain isn’t as developed as yours so don’t make the mistake of thinking your child can simply grow up, so to speak.
Being the Hero – I used to want to impress my boys and everyone else for that matter. That was my ego and insecurities talking.
Nowadays I want to model how much more fully you can experience life by just being human.
By letting go of the fear of taking risks and replacing it with a yearning for discovery and growth.
Show your kids how to learn and grow instead of demanding it.
I think you’ll like those results better.