We all want our kids to grow up to be successful in life. So much, in fact, that our Inner Critics often hijack our thought process with “What if’s”. What if they don’t get good enough grades to get into a good college? What if they don’t have enough friends? What if they dress all in black when they’re 16? What if I’m not doing enough as a parent to help them succeed?
Parenting from this place of fear creates much of the drama, stress and pressure between us and our kids. Our Inner Critic creates our own internal anxiety by convincing us that we need to “make sure” that our kids turn out to be “successful”. We focus on measurements of their success: grades, sports performance, groups of friends, appearance. We don’t recognize that this is our Inner Critic’s agenda, that it is an illusion to think that we can fully control how our children turn out.
What our kids really need from us, is what we ALL need: to be seen, heard, understood and to be loved unconditionally. Parenting from our Inner Critic’s agenda leaves little room for unconditional love and acceptance to show-up.
There’s an opportunity for us to parent from love and compassion rather than the fears and worries of our Inner Critic. This starts with relating to ourselves with kindness and compassion when we are confronted with our own perceived failures and shortcomings (a missed permission slip, loosing our cool, forgotten lunch). Putting these perceived failings on loud speaker for our children to hear brings humanity into our relationships and trains our children to accept their own humanity.
Where can you model for your children the self love and compassion they need? Share your comments below!