Do you realise that most children are like walking talking radio receivers? (Yes, yours too!) They pick up everything and are extremely (irritatingly) aware of what goes on around them, spoken or unspoken. And in difference to you, children have not yet learned to pretend like it’s nothing when the energy shifts or moods change.
My daughter knows within a split second if I have something going on. She will walk into my room and ask: “Mum, is everything ok?”
In that moment I can choose to be perfect or I can choose to be …me. And my choice will give my daughter different gifts for the future.
Let’s explore just two possible answers in a situation where I’ve had an unexpected phone call that made me upset. My daughter walks through the door and asks: “Mum, is everything ok?”
I answer: “Oh yes, of course! Everything is fine, sweetie.”
I answer: “I am just a bit upset. I just had a phone call with a friend of mine who gave me some news that made me really angry.”
Now, if I choose alternative 1, my daughter will walk away doubting herself. She will stop trusting that gut-feeling that is such an amazing guide in life. She will doubt her capacity to read people and situations. If instead I choose alternative 2, and lowering my barriers and showing my vulnerability with my daughter and with what is actually going on, that will acknowledge her awareness and she will end up trusting herself even more in the future.
In addition, it will open up a space of vulnerability for her. It’ll show her that everything is allowed and included in our conversation.
Next time I ask her, “Sweetie, are you ok?” she will know it is ok to pull her barriers down as well, and answer with what is, and not with what is expected.
Most of us spend our whole lives trying to say what is expected, normal and rational. We constantly try to prove how good and right we are, while thinking we’re bad and wrong inside.
We learn early on to shut out those radio-receivers, since we doubt the energetic information we receive. And once the barriers are up, we can’t even hear ourselves anymore.
Vulnerability can open up a completely new way to navigate the world – from your knowing.
To have vulnerability with yourself is to never put up a barrier to who you truly are, or what is going on around you. That allows you to be present with everything, and be anything.
You can’t teach your children vulnerability.
The only way to give your child the gift of vulnerability, is to be it.
Of course, there may be times when it is appropriate to not tell a child exactly what is going on. There are times when what will create the most is to use a white lie to create the sense of safety that is required.
And you know when those times are. Those are not the times I am talking about.
Next time your child asks “Mum, Is Everything Ok?” what if you choose to go for the vulnerable answer?
And be you.
This article was originally published on Bellamumma.com.
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