How can I support my children in finding their way through life?
Already before a child is finally born, we as parents will most likely have considered their future. Will they be born healthy? Will they find their way in an ever-changing world? How can I best support my child?
While the children are still small, we as parents usually will be those who are involved most in caring for them. A certain lack of sleep for ourselves is mostly gladly accepted, if that means that we can provide the little wonder that just entered our lives with all that they need. Our focus is moving towards what our child needs.
This is a very natural process, that can also to a certain degree be seen in many mammals raising their brood. In the animal kingdom, reproduction is there to secure the survival of the species, so of course the offspring will be nourished and protected from predators while learning through observation, how life works. Raising a child is strikingly similar, if you do not try to pin it down just to what you see
Via observation, children are learning far more than we could ever actively teach them.
That means while I am struggling to provide the ideal start or childhood for them, so that they will have an easier start into their journey through life, while I try to make possible anything for them, while always being there for them, on call 24/7, they on a superficial level will most likely appreciate this setting, where a certain level of care and security are provided for them.
But what about the fact that providing this perfect space for my child means that I am having a constant lack of sleep? That my partnership is set on standby, as all my focus and energy are needed by my child? What if I stop doing what supports me and what I love to do?
Beneath the blanket looking like love and support my child will learn that, in order for someone to feel loved and held, you have to give up on yourself, a partnership can be easily set on standby and yes that might cause tension and dissatisfaction, but that’s obviously how it is. There are things that support you, which you actually love to do, but duty comes first, your body is the one thing you only care for when everyone else has been taken care of.
We are not mean or stupid, but mostly simply no one taught us how to not just focus on what we can see or hear and what will fit the ideals that we took on from various sources. Who showed us by lived example how caring for yourself really works, so that you will be in a position to truly support others without having to deplete yourself.
There are very tangible facts, like the newborn who will need our focus and attention at times that counter our sleeping rhythms, but the key to really caring for ourselves – and by that for everyone around us – is not to ignore the child and their needs, but to observe, what is needed so that everyone in the equation is taken care of.
It does not matter if I have children or not, observing will be foundation for change. The moment I stop, take a step back and observe, I will step out of the functioning mode, in which we are mostly inadvertedly caught up.
The observation will provide space to more honestly see what is really going on
and by that will put us in a totally different position to meet life.
In the example with the newborn who will need me during the nights, I might seek support from family, friends or babysitters to have space during the day to regenerate my body. If work is exhausting me, it might be worth considering, that my approach to work might be the reason for this or it might be that in my spare time I do not do what I would actually love to do and do not support my body in a way that allows it to be ready and capable to deal with what is asked for at work.
Whenever there is a “hick-up” in life, the stop moment will allow me to not just be the hamster in its wheel, but to take an observants position and by that become able to see which steps and adjustments will be needed to really change things.
Transparency and open communication on equal terms will be what than can bring the change about.