How children help us grow older
We often wonder how to educate children so that they maximize their potential. But much less often, we ask ourselves the question of how our children help us grow up. In the end, even having matured, we are still growing and developing!
Let’s face it: our children can evoke emotions in us that we did not even suspect until we became parents. We may encounter a child’s hysteria; see how he perceives all our requests with hostility or does not want to take responsibility for the situations that happen to him. It is in such cases that we see ourselves in our children. And, if we can treat ourselves with compassion, then we can relate to the child from the perspective of an adult and help him cope with certain situations.
One can also look at how children develop us: children help our inner child to manifest. This wording may seem strange, but the inner child is simply our inner emotional state associated with our childhood experiences. Each of us has a children’s part of the psyche that contains different emotions – from sadness to joy and surprise. The inner child can manifest itself in adulthood in various situations. For example, if in childhood we experienced negative emotions due to the fact that we did not listen to our words, then in such situations in adulthood we are also more upset than we should. And, as if by irony of nature, our inner child manifests itself most strongly when we raise our children.
If you wish, it is easy to find a child part in your psyche. Try to remember a difficult moment when you reacted too emotionally to some situation with your child. Please note that even the thought of this situation causes emotional and bodily reactions in you. It is in such situations that the child helps you discover your childish part of the psyche.
For example, imagine that your child is rude to you. You are upset and even angry at him. At this point, you may be thinking, “I reacted correctly.” But, on the other hand, keep in mind that your disappointment is caused not only by the current situation, but its roots stretch from your childhood.
You can object: “But the child also behaves badly.” Of course, you need to work correctly with this behavior, in particular, with its causes. However, it is equally important to grow up on our own. As our psyche grows older, we understand more clearly how to educate our children.
It is not worth saying that parents should not show any emotional reactions when raising children. It is simply not possible. Emotions are bright colors in our lives, and they will not go anywhere. However, we may have different attitudes towards ourselves and our emotions.
But how do we become mentally older? Consider a few key tips about this.
1. Be curious and watch yourself. In different situations, ask yourself: “How is my emotional reaction related to the children’s part of my psyche?” This question will help you abstract from thoughts about the situation and pay attention to bodily sensations. Like our children, the children’s part of the psyche requires attention, protection and care from us. Our attention to the children’s part of the psyche means a lot to our emotional well-being.
2. Expect mental resistance. The first reaction of a person is often a reluctance to explore their own emotions and avoid contact with the children’s part of their psyche. It can be difficult for us to accept those parts of ourselves that we do not accept in our children. For example, if we do not recognize any vulnerabilities in ourselves, we are unlikely to accept them in our children.
3. Remember that your love for children will motivate you to grow up. It is because of love for children that we strive to be more restrained in our emotional reactions and do more for our children. And even when our psyche resists change, our love for children helps us move forward.
4. Get good support. It is often necessary (and almost always useful) for someone to accompany us in our growing up. Sometimes this can be a painful way, but as a result, our life and the process of raising children are filled with lightness and joy, and we ourselves become more resistant to various influences. Parenting can indeed be an opportunity for transformation: we help our children grow, but our children also help us grow.