A couple of weeks ago I was on Facebook and I saw a flyer on one of my friends’ wall. (It was not exactly this one, but almost – that one I cannot find anymore.)
I was reading the flyer and I was thinking. Shouldn’t be this applicable for all children on earth?
I know that there are children with different kinds of special needs: development needs, behavioral/emotional needs, sensory impaired needs. I understand that at some parts of their lives they need more support and attention. However this list is completely about emotional and self development, and this part is exactly where all children need the same attention and support. I have two daughters, and as half orphans, they are also children with special needs. For me, this list absolutely applicable for all children of the world, this list would be normal to have in every mind of every parent, and raise their kids accordingly.
Let’s see the points one by one.
1. all children need advocate, and I believe that all parents should care for that they represent their own children’s rights. Parents are the primal legal authority for the child, a child has no tools to defend himself in cases. Through their parents’ behavior children learn to stand up for themselves when it’s needed.
2. encourage them. Probably every child has an area of life where he is not so talented as the other kids. He cannot run so fast, so he arrives as last at the running race. She cannot count so well, so she always needs extra time to be ready with her math task. He is afraid of going on stage with all the kids at the Christmas play, and so on. I believe that all children deserve support, never to give up on themselves.
3. this one I don’t really understand, because this seems to be too obvious. Kids learn faster what they see than what they hear. You can tell them to love each other, but if you are verbal fighting with your husband, your child will not understand what love is then? A positive role model is necessary for all children for the positive self development, otherwise they will be grown-ups with special needs.
4. all children are different, no matter if they have special needs in the classical case or not. No one would ever tell about my kids that they have special needs, but every year at Fathers day they do not celebrate in a restaurant or a park with their dad, but at home with their memories. As all children are different, they have their own special needs either. They should be taught to celebrate who they are by accepting and loving the spirit they carry in their bodies. And they learn this if the parent shows them how special they are.
More about this in no. 6.
5. it’s the completion of no. 2. When you see your child’s weaknesses, you can help her best if you see her strengths either, and by guiding her to develop what she’s good at, she will be more confident. Sometimes this isn’t her strength but her passion, what sets her free, and it’s not necessarily something she is good at. My kids love to sing, but years ago one of them sang pretty unpleasantly. However that was her passion, she loved to sing, and it made her shine, so we celebrated her. She still sings, and now she sings beautifully.
6. this one I understand pretty well. I was born in a country where they hid people away if they lived with obvious mental or physical problems. Now I live in a country, where they are not treated special, but treated equal. And I tell you that this gives strength to people, when they are allowed and supported to fit in, if they want to.
Encouraging them that they are special does not always have a positive outcome. Who knows if they don’t want to be the same as everyone else, but they can’t? This can backfire pretty easily. With kids it’s the same, not all of them want to shine and be different, some of them want to get lost in the crowd and in this case that’s their difference. Encouraging them against and interfering with their own nature is suggesting that they do something wrong.
7. all kids need to fall, not because they deserve it, but because they will learn that success is not a straight line. This goes for all kids, otherwise they will give up on themselves too soon (no. 2). What is important here with all kids, is to teach them how to nurture themselves after falling, failing. Many kids – and adults later – will not initiate, will not try, will not go for their dreams because they have no tools to use in case of something goes unexpectedly wrong.
8. this is very important on this site – leave codependency behind and become independent. When you are able to be on your own, when you love and accept yourself, you have the tool to nurture yourself, you will become independent from others. To do things on their own, it is absolutely necessary with all kids, otherwise they will become children with special needs. This point resonates with no. 2, 3, and 7. The combination of all these helps the child to become independent. She needs a good role model – independence fails here first – and encouragement to try again.
9. this starts with a big ear and a closed mouth. I believe that children have their own language each, and as they are pure and clean – until a certain point – they will speak the truth. They believe and live truly all the things we try to bring back to ourselves right now. If we encourage them to speak what they believe, they stay amazing creators.
10. all children on earth should be kissed and hugged, because these are the most fundamental signs of love. And when a child is confirmed about his lovableness and his being wanted, it secures him. It will encourage his own feelings of being lovable and wanted, so he will love and accept himself also. Hug and kiss nurtures and calms.
11. I would put it in a different way. Teach them that their emotions are for real, and teach them to be able to talk about them. Fear isn’t different, that’s part of the emotions, not a separate thing. Furthermore teach them to be able to vocalize fear, and do not be ashamed of being afraid. Tell them that all emotions are normal and acceptable, they are bringing messages about the inner peace, or war. Dealing with fear needs a lot of attention, as they live their fear to be real. However fear is not real, that’s the trick of the ego, and not being able to process fear, it will prevent them from initiating, going after their dreams.
They cannot learn the tricks of the ego, even adults have difficulties with it. And they have no tools to process their own fear either, so they absolutely rely on their parents. They shift their fear on the parents, who help to process it. This way they become more fearless, and they learn to handle fear, instead of being carried away and bound by it.
12. this is a very good one, but again, this goes for all kids. Kids find their home where their parents are. The parents represent security for kids, they know that in functional cases they can turn to their parents for love, comfort, nurture, advice, help, and basically this unconditional support means home for kids. No matter if they have 2 cars or none, they live in separate rooms or not, if the kids can rely on their parents emotionally, they will find home anywhere, and under almost all circumstances.
13. Self-nurture! One of the most significant things what all parents must maintain in their kids. We were born with the amazing ability to nurture, self-soothe ourselves. We find our thumbs quickly, if the pacifier hasn’t found us already. This is an ability we should maintain and encourage in our children, because they will rely on their own abilities, they will dare to initiate, and they will know that they will be able to nurture themselves when it will be needed. Very important thing with all kids.
14. It’s okay to cry. And it’s okay to be angry. And it’s okay to be frustrated. All feelings are okay, but we have to teach all kids that we feel ourselves the best if we nurture love, because that is our natural feeling. We were born in love, with love, out of love (hopefully) that’s what makes the best for us. Emotions are signals about our inner activities, all kids should have the chance to get to know, name and handle their feelings.
15. actually we shouldn’t tell them that they are perfect, as the have been born to be perfect, and with the knowledge that they are perfect. For them, it is not a question. We should encourage and maintain this state, to stay perfect. It becomes a question and they begin to doubt their perfection when they receive information from the outer world about their behaving naughty, being badmouthed or not being good enough in an activity.
It is difficult to raise kids in perfection while we need to pass the social rules on to them either. We can raise them to stay perfect if we really believe that we are perfect ourselves, when we dare to follow our intuition, instead of tradition or instruction. A simple swimming lesson can bring the information to the child that he is not perfect, not even good enough, if he struggles with the swimming. As our kids encounter with other educators who might have different views on upbringing and education, and they will pass on the kids what they have inside. If they don’t believe in perfection, they will not encourage the feeling of perfection in the kids either.
16. Laughing is good, because it’s the sign of your feeling amazing. But it’s okay to cry (no. 14). No one can laugh probably on command and some days are just not for laughing. Be okay if you cannot laugh, and be grateful when you can. It’s rather the mindset that allows you to laugh even in a middle of a bad day, and not a command.
In case of a child, it’s the parent who can make him laugh in the middle of a bad day, and so she can encourage him to try to find something good to laugh about always, when in bad mood. It’s – again – self-nurture.
17. I would not deprive any kids of this very important message. As the parent is the advocate of the child (no. 1) he can correct the false input that has reached or about to reach the child. I often correct the input of my children if it arrives from people who say things with bad intention. I would, however, never tell that other people can be cruel, because they would lose their trust in other people. We do not want to scare our kids, and we do not want to say bad things about others either.
18. Believe in them and encourage to believe in themselves, all kids deserve this, not only kids with special needs. The praise and pride of the parent are two of the biggest fuels for kids, as they want to earn the appreciation of their parents. So it’s okay to be the second one, or the last one.
However worthiness and capability are two things that can measure achievement, and I would definitely be aware not to validate and accept my kids according to their achievement. Kids should be taught to be worthy for who they are, and not for what they have achieved. But it’s true to encourage them to try, and keep on trying.
19. yes you are. And she is either, and I am either. We are individuals each of us with dreams and passion, and it doesn’t matter if we have kids with special needs or we don’t, we cannot get lost in their upbringing, we need to have time for ourselves, to feed our passion for ourselves. If we don’t, and we act against our intuition, our selves, our kids will get a nerve wreck, who cannot be the best, because she is worn out. I’ve learnt it that I can be the best mom to my kids if I can be the best me. And this needs self investment, and this needs that I put myself first oftentimes, and I have boundaries that no one can violate. In return my kids have boundaries that I defend at this moment, as they need to learn how to be and stay themselves. And all these I can do only and exclusively, if I can stay ME.
20. yes, I agree absolutely. All kids need to know that they have everything what they need primarily in life. The role of the parent is to show these to the kids, to teach them to love, accept and nurture themselves, and with all these, they have everything.
This is an amazing list, I would recommend it to all parents, because these are the basic rules of parenting. What I would add to this list as no. zero is to encourage to love themselves. Teach them and show them how to stay in love with themselves. When they can stay with this amazing ability, they will be able to look for comfort and nurture inside of themselves, and not at other people. They will rely on people to get nurtured and comforted, and their happiness will depend on others.
AND NOW, LET’S MAKE A TWIST!
We all have an inner child inside. If this child is satisfied, then we are satisfied and happy. You can see if you have been raised according to these rules or not. And if not, with the help of your I-MOM, you can fix and finish your parenting.
Ask yourself these question:
1. Am I able to defend myself and my view?
2. Do I give up on myself? Do I give up too soon?
3. Am I able to be a positive role model? Do I lead a life that would inspire others?
4. Do I dare to celebrate my difference, or I try to fit in?
5. Am I able to name my strengths, and am I able to live by them?
6. Do I get lost in the crowd by being ashamed of who am I?
7. Do I dare to follow my intuition, initiate and let go of dysfunctional habits of my life? Do I dare to step into the unknown and am I ready to fall?
8. Am I independent from people, habits, emotions? Can I become independent of emotions or I stay stuck in them? Do I have toxic relationships, friendships?
9. Do I trust that I have something to show the world, or myself? Do I believe in my content and my meaningfulness? Do I have a reason, a purpose?
10. Am I able to hug and kiss myself literally? Am I able to nurture my soul with kind and blessed words? Am I able to cuddle up with my beautiful Self?
11. Do I recognize my emotions and am I able to name them, or I push them away and try to ignore them?
12. Am I able to be the home of my Self? Do I feel okay when I’m alone, or I feel lonely, unworthy and unwanted?
13. Am I able to calm myself down, switch my ego off and cuddle up with my Self to get nurtured?
14. Am I able to show my weak side, my emotions, or I play the strong person who is the hardened steel?
15. Do I believe that I am perfect when I am one with my Self? Can I believe that I am more than enough?
16. Am I able to turn my mood from negative to positive, or I stay connected and tortured by my negative and painful emotions?
17. Am I aware of the fact that people treat me according to their content, and that does not automatically mean that I was wrong? Can I shift the mood they cause me, or I take their mood over?
18. Do I believe in my worthiness and capability? Do I believe in my Self? Do I believe in what I believe, or I would never dare to say it out loud?
19. Do I live my passion, or if not, do I go straight towards it? Do I only dream of my dreams or I try to make them true?
20. Do I believe that I have everything I need, (I just need to discover and reach for them)? Do I believe that I have everything I need to turn my life around? Do I believe my strength that I can achieve my goals?
+ 1. Do I love myself? Am I able to say: I love you to myself? Am I able to feel love for myself?
These questions are pretty right on spot, because they not only show you where your upbringing got a shot – and now we are not here to blame your parents or circumstances – but also which areas should be parented and fixed. The flyer above shows how to raise successful, self-oriented, self-confident, happy and loving kids. My questions reflect on the fact if you have successfully become such a grown up?
With you I-MOM, you are able to parent yourself, and teach yourself all those points above that are missing from your life. Your I-MOM, your godlike inner part, your perfect version teaches you and validates you that you are capable of all these things above.