No matter what you think you can DO for your kids or GIVE to your kids, the best thing for them (for anyone in your life) is for you to be peaceful and happy and have a passion for what you do. This may sound like a paradox, and that’s good. There’s lots of wisdom in paradoxes. The reason you experience something as a paradox is because it challenges your old way of seeing things. It’s a sign to look deeper — there’s probably something for you to learn.
Let me confess that I am not a parent. So you might be wondering how in the world am I qualified to tell a parent what’s best for their kids? First, I was a child of two parents, one who was happy and peaceful and loved what she did, and the other who wasn’t.
Guess who I felt loved me more? Guess who I felt safe to be myself around? Guess who encouraged me to try new things? Guess who I have a closer relationship with today?
Guess who criticized me? Guess who discouraged me from pursuing interests he didn’t understand? Guess who I was afraid of? Guess who I hardly speak to today?
It’s obvious, isn’t it? My life was served best by the parent who was peaceful and happy and loved what she did. Now understand, both of my parents loved me. I know that. Yet my relationship with each of them is like night and day. Because love gets distorted by stress and unhappiness.
I see it in other parents, too. And this is the second reason I’m qualified to speak on this subject. I’m an informal student of parenting. I love to observe how parents relate to their children.
I see the parents who are stressed and don’t like what they do snap at their kids over the smallest things. They hurry them impatiently from here to there. In that state, they literally cannot see the wonder and beauty of their children. I see parents who are peaceful and love what they do take time to listen to their kids, to understand what’s important to them, and even — can you believe it? — LEARN from their children.
That’s why it’s so important for YOU to be peaceful and passionate.
Parenting in Uncertain Times
Besides the relationship you create, there’s another reason why you being peaceful and passionate is so healthy for your children. You will teach them (by example) how to be peaceful and passionate themselves.
They will learn that their happiness is not controlled by what’s going on in the world. They will learn that they can choose their state of being regardless of circumstances. They will learn that peace comes from the inside, it’s a choice. And they will learn that productivity — choosing what’s important to them and then making progress in that area — is within their control, too.
They will be empowered to face whatever future they encounter. What better gift can you give your child?
Focus on You
If you need to use your children’s future as an excuse to be good to yourself, that’s totally cool with me. 🙂
Cultivate your inner peace. If it means your child spends an extra half an hour in daycare, or with a family member, or watching Sesame Street, take some time each day for yourself. And increase your productivity. Now that doesn’t mean doing more of what you don’t want to do. That would be self-defeating.
Productivity means making progress on the things that are most important to you. Sometimes that requires some big changes (like a career change) that may take time to implement. Those are changes worth making, but you can also focus on some shorter-term changes that you can feel right away.
Focus on the areas of your life where you can make some changes quickly. Most parents give so much of themselves away to others that’s it’s relatively easy to find something you can take back for yourself. Resign from the PTA or the board of some community organization, or cut your volunteer work in half. Yes, those things are important. But your happiness is more important. Your health is more important. Use that time instead for joyful and revitalizing activities like hobbies or exercise.
(If your life is so maxed out that you can’t find anything to cut back on, then your path is to cultivate peace in WHATEVER you do. Surrender to fact that this is the way life is right now. And when you surrender, that’s when you’re more likely to see opportunities to change your life circumstances — another paradox!)
There’s a reason they instruct you on airplanes to put your oxygen mask on first before you help your child with theirs. Self-care is a prerequisite for caring for others.
Learn more about creating greater passion and peace of mind in this week’s free teleseminar called “Productivity & Peace of Mind — You Don’t Have to Sacrifice One for the Other.”
In addition to being a feel-good hour of self-care, you’ll learn:
- The 3 steps to increase your productivity
- The 3 steps to greater peace of mind
- The 2 paths to Peaceful Productivity
- And lots more…
The choices you make in your own life play a huge part in shaping your child’s future. Help them prepare for the challenges of life by being the happiest and most peaceful person they know. It’s the best thing for them…and what do you know, it’s good for you too!
Find out more about this free teleseminar, and sign up today:
©2008 Curtis G. Schmitt
This is the fifth in a daily series of five posts on how to respond to this mixture of hope and fear in the world today. Here’s the full list:
- Commit to Change
- Keep Your Job and Prosper (for busy professionals)
- Grow Your Business in a Bad Economy (for entrepreneurs)
- Avoid Layoffs and Down-sizing (for business owners & executives)
- Shape Your Child’s Future (for working parents)