“You are wonderful just as you are. You are whole and complete. You are perfect. There is nothing more you need to do. Your very existence is more than enough. We are privilaged to have you in our lives.”
I still say this to them now, as they pass me like giant ships in the night, on their less frequent visits to the family home, and yes, they do roll their deep brown eyes at me and smirk a little from beneath their hairy chins, but I will always say this to them and frankly, they never really protest.
Why do I still repeat this mantra?
Because I know expressing love in the vein of appreciation is the key to all things every well-meaning parent desperately wants for their children. Success in terms of resilience, happiness, great self-esteem, robust health, adequate wealth and loving relationships is most functional parents’ dream. Learning to mirror the art of appreciation to our kids so that they really feel it coming from us towards them as well as to the whole of life, is central to this coveted success. It’s also essential to breeding a currency of kindness and humanity; something our world really needs to maintain a healthy evolution.
Appreciation, whether you administer it to something or someone outside of yourself or indeed pour a good dose into your own self, makes us feel full and easy with life.
I know that my primary desire for my children was for their lives to be easy. I also wanted my life as a mother to be easy (lord knows it’s the toughest job in the world) and found that the more I appreciated my kids and showed them the art of appreciation for themselves and to things outside of themselves, the more effortless my experience was as a mother and indeed the easier their lives seemed to flow too.
There are plenty of people who feel this ambition of ‘ease’ is lacking, in a parenting context. Instead, they believe, it is the hard knocks of life that make us resilient or successful and so have no qualms, or indeed purposefully, invite into the lives of their children, circumstances that give rise to difficulty or painful lessons for them to overcome in order to become stronger, faster and wiser.
If you are tuned into evolution and the paradigm shifts that are knocking at our door, you’ll know that doing it tough is out of step. After all, history is littered with terrible tales of kids having to do it tough and I can’t say it’s helped us much as a society in the grand scheme. We become our experiences. There is enough pain and difficulty in our world experience. We don’t need to perpetuate more difficulty or cruelty. Suffering is so yesterday.
When we begin to understand that our experiences merely reflect back to us, the thoughts about life we hold (consciously or subconsciously) and that we are the creators of our own realities via these thought patterns, it’s nonsensical to believe or project on to our kids, an ideology that breeds difficulty. Instead, it makes perfect sense to show, to teach them by example and positive feedback, of how to hook into the bounty of their world and re-frame positively their experiences (difficult ones too) so that they can move through their lives feeling full and easy and in the driving seat.
Bringing into clear focus the ‘good’ that is all around us, the incredible wonders of our world, natural and man-made, and indeed the beauty that their very own presence holds, is a very powerful parenting practice to develop. Not only will it enhance the everyday experiences and tune all senses of the family to the abundance of their experience, but it will also build vastly, an attitude of gratitude in your kids; something so many parents are concerned about for the younger generations who appear to display a self -centred and entitled approach to life.
So a few tips on how to build this legacy of appreciation for and with your kids.
1.When things appear to be going wrong learn to tune into what is going well with your kids. If they’re not doing so well at school in certain subjects, for example, ignore the problem and show them how to appreciate what they are good at. Before long you’ll likely find the tough stuff has become easy and the perceived road blocks have melted into a puddle on the floor.
2.Be eager, as a parent to witness and see more of who they are. Allow their individuality to come forth and praise it, even if it doesn’t sit so well with you. Giving focus to the unwanted always magnifies it. Appreciating their uniqueness will help them grow and learn, even if it is from their own
3.Worry slows down positive outcomes. Appreciation for what already is speeds up progress. Get excited about where your child is at in the Now. We don’t berate a baby for taking it’s first wobbly steps rather than running; we get enthusiastic about what they are achieving and anticipate more of the same.
4. When things get tough with your kids (and it will) avoid being reactionary. If you can’t find anything positive to focus on in regard to the situation, literally look for something else that oozes easy or beauty and the ‘nasty’ will fade away. It’s like magic. Try it! Mother Nature will always come to your rescue, so use her prolifically.
5.Remember that staying in appreciation of your child literally, vibrationally, puts you in an energy zone where you cannot access or make contact with any dramas, problems or difficulty. Energetically, it insulates you and your child from the unwanted.
Cultivating the art of appreciation is not just for navel gazing guru types. In terms of a parenting strategy, it is immensely powerful and groundbreaking because you are discovering and maintaining the fullness of who you and your child both really are; miracles!