Recently a parent dropped their child off for class and told them to “work hard.” This implies that the child needs to work hard in order to achieve. The fact is that this child has been working so hard, that school has become work and not much fun. He works at maintaining that “hard” effort but it is counter productive for him. As we worked on asking questions about making school more fun and much easier, his progress improved. We also had to address what to do when Mom or Dad says, “work hard.” The child now sees that as the way that mom and dad choose to apply to their tasks, but he can choose something else that works for him.
How many parents have told their children to “be careful?” The child now has a belief that the world is not safe and there are things to be feared. This is how parents and other adults project their beliefs onto their children.
What would happen if caring adults trusted their children to know what is required for each situation and allowed them to learn from those experiences? What if adults said things like, “be yourself,” “be aware,” “enjoy your time,” or “I’ll be here when you finish”? What empowerment is passed onto a child when you trust them to choose for them and allow them to discover what works best for their life based on their own experiences and not being the effect of an adult’s beliefs or fears?
As adults we can all be more aware of the things that we say and look at the energy behind our words. That awareness can allow us to face some of the beliefs that we have been carrying around and choose to let go of it and quit passing it onto our kids.