This was what my youngest child said to me the other day that got me thinking. How much of our children's reality is shaped by that of their parents?
Realities, yours and mine, are created by us, through our thoughts, words, and deeds. Our predominant thoughts, both conscious and unconscious, influence the words that we speak and the actions we take. So if I'm constantly thinking that people don't like me, I will tend to reflect this in my conversations and actions which in turn will cause others to not like being around me. Most people don't want to be around the "poor, pitiful, me's" of the world. Not for extended lengths of time anyway.
But how much of our reality effects and molds that of our children? Far more than we think or are comfortable with in most cases.
Behavior modeling has been well established as a primary influence in how our children behave. Children will do what we do and act how they see us acting regardless of what we tell them to do. So if you don't want your children to belch loudly after a meal in a public restaurant, you shouldn't do so at home. Because chances are, they are going to do so when your boss or your pastor is sitting in the booth next to yours.
This also goes for our speech as well. You smash your finger and utter a word they've never heard in their lives and they choose that word repeat over and over every time you're in public for the next week. They do the same thing internally (subconsciously) when you tell them they are "getting chunky", "goofy looking", or "stupid", and this shapes their self image for the rest of their lives.
A parent's thoughts would not seem to be high on the list of potential problems for their children. However, recent research into epigenetics shows that the stress levels of the parents, profoundly effect the genetic expression of their children's ability to handle stress. So how you handle stress not only effects you and your health but effects your children's genetic expression and ability to handle stress in their lives. This has profound implications for our children's lives.
Ghandi said we have to "be the change we want to see in the world" and this applies to our own children as well. We need to change the way we create our realities through our thoughts, words and deeds to help our children change theirs. We can do this by controlling our Thoughts, Words and Deeds.
- Thoughts: Thoughts and their attached emotional responses can be controlled through Mindfulness Training and Breathing Exercises.
- Words: Be more mindful of how we talk to ourselves and our children. The purpose of Mindfulness training is to enhance our emotional control so we don't speak on our feelings before we think about them.
- Deeds: Lead by example in how we respond to stress. Get yourself and your children checked for Subluxations by your Chiropractor to reduce the effects of stress on you and them. This one thing effects all the other efforts as well.
The time to do these things ideally would be before conception but anytime is a good time to start changing you and your children's reality.