Yesterday Caidin said, ‘I don’t want to be full of myself, but…’ I was surprised. One because I’ve been talking to students about this very thing (nowhere in ear shot of my little psychic child) and two because, I really believe we should be full of ourselves.
If we aren’t full of ourselves, we are full of things that don’t serve us and make us less then who we truly can be. We are full of doubts, self-criticism, invalidation, uncertainty, and wounding. I think we should be full of ourselves. We should take every opportunity we have to embrace and celebrate who we are, what we contribute and what we are passionate about and be full of ourselves.
We should help our children define their own sense of self and support them in living life fully and passionately and we should help them be full of themselves.
But instead we worry that our child will be seen as obnoxious or self-centered or braggadocios. Those worries come from what we were taught. We were taught that if we embrace who we are, we are lacking in humility and that’s bad. And so goes the cycle of one of life’s most diminishing lessons, don’t be proud of who you are, don’t talk about your successes, don’t celebrate your life.
I say teach our children to really love who they are and teach them to validate themselves. When we know who we are and we love who we are, truly and completely, and we know that true validation; that knowingness that we O.K., that we are good and whole and wonderful; comes from within then we run no risk of being obnoxious.
Self-validation is really the key here. When your child does something great or important, or hits a milestone, celebrate and acknowledge that moment, but also use these moments as opportunities to teach your child to self-validate. Just this weekend we had a great example of this. Caidin has been trying to learn to ride his bike. In Brooklyn it was difficult to have a bike, for many reasons – space, storage, crowded sidewalks, so it wasn’t until we moved 2 years ago that he got his first real bike. He had the balancing and steering down, but he couldn’t get the getting going. If I didn’t hold him and give him a push, he couldn’t do it. So he’s been practicing, without me and with no shortage of bruised shins and scrapped knees, he finally got it this weekend. He came running into the house to tell me and when he did, I said ‘Oh, that’s so great, congratulations! How do you feel?’ He said ‘I feel great!’ So I celebrated the moment with him, but the validation came from him.
Teaching a child to self-validate means helping them to see that they don’t need you or anyone but themselves to tell them that what they did was good or of value. Again, it doesn’t mean that you don’t celebrate moments with your child, but help them to see that what really matters, what’s really important is how they feel about their successes.
And then encourage them to be full of themselves.
© 2012 Christine Agro
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Christine Agro is a clairvoyant, naturopath, Master Herbalist, conscious mom and author of 50 Ways to Live Life Consciously as well as of The Conscious Living Wisdom Cards (Special Moms’ Edition). Christine is founder of The Conscious Mom’s Guide , a membership site where she helps support you on your own journey of living life consciously and on your journey of being a Conscious parent. You can also join Christine on Facebook. To contact Christine, invite her to speak or to schedule an appointment with her please email her.