I believe that the health of our world is determined by how we teach our children to relate to themselves and to others, whether angry and destructive, or caring and peaceful; in anger and defensiveness, or with self-reliance. So, to create a healed world, it is up to us as parents to heal how we raise our children—and that begins with how we heal ourselves.
Can we build peace among people, if we can’t build peace in our own homes? How can we be there for each other as people, if we don’t know how to be there for our own family members or for ourselves? It is not possible. The world is a reflection of our homes. To change things on a global scale, we must first change things in the home.But it does not begin with your child improving and changing.It starts with you. It begins with you healing you. What does that mean? When you are healed as a human, you have unshakable trust in yourself. You feel safe, no matter what is happening around you. You do not need anything for you understand that you have all you need inside.When you are healed, then, as a parent, you feel safe no matter what your teenager does. You do not need to “re-arrange” him or her so that you feel comfortable. Respected. Good. They don’t need to speak, or act, or think in any particular way—because there is nothing you will lose either way. You have strength like a “Golden Rod” within you, governing you, rather than fear.
Do you feel driven by the need to control your teen’s schedule? Control their habits, decisions and thoughts? Do you try to manage things so your teen won’t go down the wrong path and destroy their future? Do you criticize? Lecture? Demand? Nag?Then your trust in yourself is in shambles. It comes and goes, crumbles and is strengthened, depending on the way others relate to you.If you felt no need to be validated, loved, respectable, “seen,” honored, wanted, and needed — you would do none of these things.
These are fears—fears that without them, you lack worth. Therefore, in fact, you are, using your children to control your own fears; to ensure that you don’t have to come face-to-face with them. Your teens are your buffer: as long as they are the problem, you are not.Then, you send them out into the world fearful, overly obedient, angry, needing things from others (just like you)–instead of sending them out creative, caring, peaceful, free to express themselves and joyful—as they came in able to do.It takes a dramatic (but not difficult) personal change to find your inner strength. It means developing and growing yourself into someone who knows that happiness is your job—not anyone else’s, least of all your teen. And your upsets are yours; they are not caused by anyone else, least of all your teen.When you NEED NOTHING from your children, the fog clears and they stand before you with all of their strengths and capabilities (which were always there, but you could not see them through the haze of needing them to protect you from yourself.)When you trust that you will lose nothing, that you will still be whole and intact no matter what your child does—you teach them that they can handle anything, too.YOU are the key to transforming your life, your child’s and even the world.Failing to understand this, and choosing other parenting principles that do not address this root cause, will lead you to easily forget these and techniques, slipping back into old ways.
You cannot create changed parenting with old tools. You need new ones.
You need a parenting paradigm that allows you to become clear, deep down in yourself, about your strengths. A paradigm that allows you to redefine what love indeed means – especially love toward yourself, so that it flows effortlessly to your teenager. When discomfort is no longer a threat, when it is instead a sign to expand and become more resilient, you become a parent who can let your teens say what they want and need to: bare their souls without fear of judgment and criticism; think what they need to think; make mistakes; go the wrong way — and then come home to the safest place on earth: a parent or parents who are safe within themselves. YES!
Your children don’t want or need you to be invincible, but they need your inner strength.