Our Children: Our Greatest Teachers by Marta Adelsman, Psy. D.

childOur Children:  Our Greatest Teachers

by Marta Adelsman, Psy. D.

If we open to the idea that our children can be our teachers, we will notice what unwitting little instructors they are.  Now that my three sons have grown into young men, I have let each one know how much I appreciate him as a teacher for me.
My children have taught me so much.  The lessons I share with you here only scratch the surface of what I learned from them.
They taught me the courage to say “no” when they wanted something not in their best interest.   Their negative responses encouraged me to temper my  “no” in a way they could hear.  I learned to let them hate me for a time.  I learned not to take it personally, knowing they could not see the bigger picture.  I saw how, in order for our children to feel secure, they need to know their parents are in charge.
My children helped me learn discernment about when I needed to remain firm and when to let something go.  When I didn’t make a big deal out of choices they made, such as hairstyle and clothes, our household functioned with more peace and good will.
Through my children, I learned to rely on my intuition.  Parenthood brings power struggles, and I learned no one wins them.  When I refused to go there and listened inside instead, a deeper wisdom showed up to reveal a new and different path through conflict.  Touching the wisdom of that still inner voice, I relaxed more and more into its stillness and quiet, and I learned to draw it forth.
I also learned, in order to have a good relationship with my children, I needed to deal with my anger.  It seemed to show up out of nowhere.  The anger revealed where I could face some deep family-of-origin issues hiding out in my shadow self.  If we pay attention and allow ourselves to look, we bring those issues into the light where we can handle them.
Perhaps the biggest gift of all, my children taught me to be authentic.  When I came across as “real,” they acted more cooperatively, and we had easier interactions.  From a young age, my oldest son had an uncanny ability to let me know whenever I put on a parental persona.  Whatever role I played – commander in chief, psychologist, moralist, judge, or critic – he resisted it.  In non-verbal ways, he let me know I had donned a mask.  In later years, whenever I failed to relate to him from my true self, he called me on it directly (“Mom, you’re not being real!”).
Young children have not yet built up years of conditioning from their environments, so their innate wisdom remains largely intact.  I encourage you to open to what they have to teach you.   Listen underneath your surface reactions to the deeper messages, and open to the wisdom that resides in them and in you.

Marta Adelsman, Psy. D., practices as a Life Coach in Communication and Spiritual Consciousness in the Verde Valley of Arizona.  She writes and coaches from the authenticity of her educational, relational and spiritual journey of over 50 years.  For appointments (couples, parents and individuals in person or by phone), email drmartacoach@gmail.com or call 928-451-9482.

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