So my son is in the process of growing his hair.
I personally hate it. And yet I let him grow it out.
And the biggest reason for me is because I want him to learn how to speak up for himself.
There are reasons why each of us have to do something, and there are preferences of what each of us want for ourselves.
And I want to teach him that there will always be people who disapprove of his decisions, he can listen to opposing reasons, AND he can be brave enough to go against other people’s disapprovals, because he has a voice, and he gets to go after what he wants.
So it really triggers me when people say, make your son do this or that, because he doesn’t know what’s best for him!
And why it’s triggering, is because my mom has (operative word here, because she still does) a tendency to tell me what to do, without understanding, or even caring what I want or what I think.
And you know what happens when people don’t get to own their voices, and they have trouble speaking up?
They grow up lacking confidence and ability to become a leader.
For me, this is what a leader is:
A leader is creative and thinks of different ideas that are not the same as others, and they accept themselves for being different.
A leader is not afraid to speak up about their unique ideas.
A leader is able to accept other people’s pushbacks, and keep standing up for their beliefs, implementing the change.
And guess where this skill starts?
When we as parents don’t accept our children to be different, our children thinks that something is wrong with them for thinking differently.
When we as parents don’t encourage our children to speak and share their unique ideas, it becomes difficult for them to speak up for themselves outside.
And you may think.. it’s easy to say but hard to implement.
Yes it is difficult to implement, because you have to start challenging everything you’d ever known.
And You’re going to get push backs, criticisms, judgements, negative reactions.
Here’s what it looks like:
Our kids would keep saying, why do you keep making me do things I don’t want?
Our parents (or other people) would keep saying, you need to force yourself on your kids.
It becomes triggering on both sides!
And for me, I personally welcome that. Even though super triggering and stressful. It means I’m growing.
From what I saw, because of how my mom raised me, it took me 40+ years to learn that I have a voice, and that I think differently than others.
And it was through the process of healing myself and accepting myself that I get to stand up and be a leader.
I want my son to learn this concept now.
So he can accept himself for being different now.
Because at the end of the day, if my son has any creative amazing ideas, I want him to be able to speak up, present himself and his ideas much much earlier than me.
If he wants something that I don’t approve of, I want him to learn that he has the capacity to go ahead with it despite of my disapprovals.
Because I truly believe he is a smart creative kid, who knows exactly what he wants.
Now for those of you who may think that your children don’t know what is best for them, I’d like to invite you to challenge that idea…
What if they do know what is best for them? (Of course age appropriate)
What if they do already know, because they have interests in certain things that are different than yours. They have preferences different than yours.
What if those are actually their inner knowings?
They are different from you, they think differently than you.
They are not a copy of you.
They are their own person.
And eventually, you have to let them go, where they have to venture out into the world.
Are you equipping them with skills, where they can be courageous and share their unique ideas with others?
Are you helping them navigate and deal with times when other people reject them?
Are you allowing them to go against your “No’s”, and when they hear “No”, are you helping them practice how to become resilient? So they don’t become scared fall down and get back up to again.
Let them be different. Let them try things out. Let them fail. So that they can learn. So they can cultivate that trust within themselves.
Yes, learning to deal with this can be super triggering.
And if you’re ready and willing to learn how to process your own triggers, so you can better support your kids, I invite you to reach out to me.
Send me a message, or book a time with me, so we can see if we’re a good fit to work with each other.
Recently I have a thought about doing a series called, Why is it Triggering Me? So here's the first one.
When you want your kids to brush their teeth, do their homework, or clean up their room… But they’re not listening to you, or they’re not doing what you ask!
So you start repeating yourself, then nagging, and then end up yelling at them!!
Ahh.. I know!!! It’s so frustrating! I just want my 6 yo son to do these things so we can get all the necessary things done, taken care of, and get them out of the way! I want it to be super efficient and be done THIS WAY!
I want the rooms to be clean with nothing laying around, so that it’s presentable! So that it’s nice and neat!
So Why is it triggering me?
First of all this series is not about blame or shame. Not blaming whoever triggered the F out of us, and not shaming ourselves for reacting a certain way.
I am sharing this series just so we become more aware of ourselves. It's only through awareness that we can change.
The very first reason why it triggers me is because, somehow, there is a realization that my is not heard or acknowledged.
While growing up (if your mom is like my mom), my mom would always tell me how I should act, what I should do, how to stand, how to clean up, what time to do what. I had to follow my mom’s suggestions all the time!
One of the things she’d always say to me was to take my shower after dinner, so I didn’t have to study til late at night and then take a shower when it was cold.
Every single day, even when I was in university.
Logically, I totally knew that it would be a better decision, but a part of me just didn’t want to listen, so I always ended up taking a shower late at night.
It’s frustrating as heck because she didn’t care about what I was thinking or doing, she was just ordering me around, not listening to me!
So now that I have a kid, and when he doesn’t listen to me or do what I say…
OF COURSE I’m triggered! Of course I’m mad and frustrated! Because he’s not listening to me!! 😤😤😤😤 (like my mom)
(Unfortunately, sometimes we apply the same tactics as our parents, so even though we don’t want be like our parents, we still be up being like them, so we started ordering them around, yelling, etc)
Getting frustrated is so normal, and when we start noticing it, we can dig a little deeper to figure out what's going on.
So what to do..
Here’s the thing we know. We can’t make other people do what they don’t want.
And manipulating them by bribing or threatening is going to break a relationship.
Once we understand that the reason why it’s triggering us, (we feel dismissed/not being heard), we can do two things.
We can first turn it around: Are we listening to ourselves?
Maybe when we’re tired and we need to rest, are we saying to ourselves, after I’m done this other thing, then I’m going to give myself rest.
Or maybe we need to have some fun, but we keep saying to ourselves, oh that is a waste of time, why are we watching Netflix ?
So learn to listen to yourself first, listen to what you need, and give that to yourself.
Then we can ask ourselves, are we listening to our kids, giving them a chance to speak up?
Maybe deep down they have something they want to say:
I don’t want to do this! This chore is boring!
I don’t want to do what you ask right now.
I’m interested in this other thing, Mom, are you looking at me, paying attention to me!!
I had a fight with my friend, and I’m stressed out that maybe they don’t want to hang out with me anymore.
Do you know what their stories are?
Maybe once you listen to them, hear them out, then they’ll come back and listen to you.
OR it can also be true that, after you listen to them, maybe they still won’t listen to you, because they’re human and they have free will (because we all do).
But if you have a good relationship with them, hopefully once you change your way, and open yourself up to them, then they may in turn change too.
What insight did you get from this? Would love to hear your share.
If you would like to work on not yelling and have a better relationship with your kids, you can reply to this email or book a free 20-min consult with me.