She’s 15, she’s my daughter, and she’s right to ask…
What should I tell her?
How we as Moms (and Dads) use “NO” contributes to our kids’ inner structure: a world of beliefs they will carry throughout their lives.
The more these beliefs are positive, the more our kids build strong self-esteem, confidence and thrive.
How then can we make the best use of restrictions so that the outcome becomes a win-win situation?
Let’s face it, you and I hold decades of deeply wired rules and limitations whether through our parents and authority figures growing up or through our culture via literature, films, TV, ads, etc.
Remember all the “No’s” you got growing up? Where all of those justified?
So how do you know whether the principles you use need some dusting?
Recently, I listened to advice on how to turn limitations around and make them work for us from success coach and founder of the Conscious Evolution Journal, RoseAnn Janzen.
It clearly made me see an opportunity for change. Perhaps all my NO’s are necessary…
In an interview, she says it all starts with the belief that there can be something else, that things can be done differently.
My daughter would agree...
A big part of stepping out of restrictions and stepping into conscious living is becoming more aware of how you're communicating.
Janzen also points out that relationships are a good thermometer to see where we are and what we need to work on.
We need to be more open in our relationships and communicate more effectively without becoming angry and judgmental of each other, allowing for differences of opinion.
Even if as a parent, I used to believe I had all the good reasons to says NO, I did find it rewarding to consciously look at the limitations I put on my kids (and myself).
I now make sure I only keep what matches my own values while I let go of the unnecessary or outdated, a bit like spring cleaning...
In retrospective, with all my single-Mom had to put up with when I was a teenager, I agree that parenting does require implementing boundaries and limitations.
But I also believe coherence and authenticity can go a long way.
For example, getting together and openly discussing and deciding on house rules can help mutual understanding and acceptance.
Many times, we get upset at our teens opposing everything we say, we would be wise to allow them to safely express themselves.
Thank you my daughter, for the reminder…
Regardless of the situation, we can and should choose how we react and talk with our kids as this allows us to deepen our connection. A win-win goal for the whole family!