Empowerment versus Self-Doubt
So if a child decides they do not like to be involved in something; (which in your opinion is good for them) what do you do? Do you force them to do, or do you let them decide?
If you force them, does it occur to you that you have given them the impression they cannot trust their own decisions and that their opinion about their own life has little value! In fact you may have thoughtlessly sent them a message that says- they are not capable to take care of their own best interests
You see how simple it is, to inadvertently attempt to help a child and yet disempower them!!!
Worry and Fear in Childhood
So if your child decides that they are too afraid of the unknown, or too afraid to take a risk to do something new, do you insist in attempt to get them out of a fear which is keeping them crippled or do you try to understand their fear and teach them how to transform it safely?
These actions might look like the same, but the first disempowers by perhaps fuelling even greater fear. The second shows empathy, shows you understand and shows you had vision in attempting to solve with proactivity. This course of action empowers them to know how to tackle another incident that may be similar in the future.
Suppression of Emotions
And what about emotions? Do you discuss them openly? Do you discuss your own? Do you even feel your own? Do you dump yours on them?
All I can say for sure is that as we face our emotions, children copy our behaviour as automated responses. I find I am super sensitive. They are too….so intriguing. I am slowly learning to feel my state, but get into my centre, so that I have a harmonious and grounded response instead of a volatile or even aggressive reaction.
I am honest with my state- sharing my highlights and lowlights. They now do too. I am quick to take responsibility for my own needs and triggers- when I mess up. They are now too. I am quick to model a change in my behaviour as I grow in self awareness and rise in consciousness.
They are in short being taught how to navigate the complex world of emotions. They are not suppressing to avoid repercussions. They instead are attempting to feel them to understand them, so that they can eventually transcend them. This is leadership!
In the end our objective is to teach them to be authentic leaders of their own lives. Not to wear masks. Not to be insincere to their own needs. To take responsibility for their competitive spirit- their ambitious spirit. To take responsibility for their own insecurities and their ideas of lack. And to help them to learn how to gain mastery over their own destiny by creating and innovating in the way that helps their uniqueness to shine.