When you become a parent, a light inside is awakened, and you are charged with the responsibility of illuminating the path for your children until they are old enough to hold the light for themselves.
We overpower children by letting them know that we know what is best for them. We empower our children by asking questions that will make them look inside themselves.
Asking questions such as:
Can you tell me more about that?
How did that make you feel?
What do you think we can do about this?
These are questions you should ask your children at least once a day. This gives them the ability to stay in touch with their inner Self. They learn how to listen to their inner voice, their inner wisdom and make choices.
Here are some ways you can build resiliency in your kids, strengthen your relationship, and provide your children with the coping skills they need to manage their lives.
- Listen without advising. When children come to you with a conflict or a problem, instead of trying to fix, advise, or counsel – listen for the pain and unmet needs.
- Reflect without judgment. Instead of making excuses, solving problems, or distracting children from their feelings, reflect on what you hear without evaluation, assumption, or interpretation.
- Guide without control. Once you know what children are feeling and needing, your instinct might be to direct them towards a solution, but you will be much more influential if you can shine a strong and steady light to help them develop the capacity for self-reflection. Instead of engaging as a boss or authority figure, connect with the intention to lead your children to their own solutions.
- Problem-solve without contempt. It is not always easy to hold the space for solutions to emerge. It’s much easier to tell children what to do and how to do it, and then nag them until they get it right. This is parenting from fear and breeds contempt when children don’t do what you ask.