I gave up parenting books a long time ago.
I am a mother of three. I have a 12, 10 and five-year-old.
Early on, when I felt lost in the newness of mothering, I picked up many parenting books looking for answers to all my difficult moments.
My son wouldn’t sleep, he had tantrums, he wouldn’t eat most foods.
Here I was with many of the issues that all parents face. Did I really think I would find the solution to these issues that have been around since the beginning of time, in a book? I mean really. I was naive.
I felt that to be a parent I had to fix my son. But wait, in order to fix him he would have to be broken, Right? But he wasn’t broken. He was perfect. So what really had to be changed? It was me and my perceptions of what it meant to raise another human.
I saw the light and realized that the only one with the problem that needed fixing was me. My job wasn’t to control him and get him to do what I thought he was supposed to do. My job was to guide him, love him and help him to be happy.
I know many adults who are always searching for happiness. This is a really sad reality. My thoughts on this matter keep coming back to this one thought, What if kids learned to be happy from the beginning? Learn may not even be the right word. It should be what if kids were allowed to stay happy, the way life from their beginning intended?
I believe we are all born with the potential for happiness.
Yes, this does depend on the circumstances a child is born in and the cruel fact is not every child is born into the greatest circumstances. For the most part though children are born with the potential for happiness. Where does it go wrong? What leads kids, teenagers, young adults, adults, to always look for happiness? We are always looking for that one thing that will make us happy, then the next thing and the next.
Some of us feel destined to never truly be happy. What a sad thought.
Let’s stop it where it goes awry. Let’s help kids learn what true happiness is and send them out into the world with this treasured knowledge.
Our first step is to stop trying to change them. Honor them through their sleepless nights. Honor them through their tantrums. Honor them through their learning struggles. Honor them through the bad hair style phase. Honor them for who they are.
Help them to realize their potential for happiness.
First and foremost realize your own so they can feel happy energy radiating off of you. By honoring the soul within your child and trusting that deep down they already have a road map, then we may not have to worry about them so much.
With guidance and love they will be better than we ever could have molded them into being. Here is something you can do everyday, tell your child, “You are perfect just the way you are” and mean it.
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Apprentice Editor: Amanda Fleming Taylor / Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photo: Yogi Setiawan/Pixoto