Do you believe you know what is best for your child?
I know, I sure did.
The parenting paradigm most of us were exposed to carries this view. The limitation of this view is that we find ourselves projecting onto our children the experiences we had which parallel theirs.
If you were not included in a circle of friends and your child comes home and tells you about an experience they had that is similar it can trigger yours. Even though it may feel noble to protect them from the experience- remember, your child is having a different experience than you.
They have YOU by their side supporting them in knowing they are capable of riding the waves of feelings that surround certain difficult situations.
Of course, memories will arise for you, and yet turning inward, doing your work to offer yourself kindness, creates a healthy separation from your child’s experience. This gives you the capacity to honor the nature of life as it happens to show up with loving-kindness for your child.
Why would you want to take an experience away from your child knowing how all the amazing experiences, positive and negative, informed who you are today?
One of the main reasons I created Purejoy was to support folks not feeling so alone in their experience….not to protect them or fix them.
As a child, I felt so alone navigating my parent’s divorce and all I wished for was someone who could see me believe in me, and remind me that I had what it took inside to make it through the difficult transition I was going through. At the young age of 12, I took everything personally and somehow thought it was my fault, and if only I could change then maybe they would get back together.
Over the years I’ve practiced offering kindness to this “younger” part of myself. How it played out in my parenting was I took everything personally when my daughter struggled.
I thought it was my fault.
I struggled in supporting my daughter having her experience without taking responsibility for her pain. I continually engulfed her into my experience until I created the SafeSeat to turn inward meeting that “young” one inside me releasing her from the responsibility for others pain.
Slowly, building my adult capacity I took responsibility for my emotional well-being.
It took practice and a deep turning towards a greater truth that it was not all about me.
As a terrified 12 year old I came to the this conclusion thinking that if it was about me then maybe I could be more perfect insuring that my parents would stay together.
Updating this innocent conclusion gave me the capacity to healthily “grow” myself up, releasing my self-absorption I turned toward my daughter supporting her unique journey.