Our kids know better than us.
They are the only ones that know exactly how THEY feel. We may have more life experience than they do but they know better than we do about what they are feeling at all times. Our children may not understand their feelings completely at first so it is our job as the ones who brought them into this world to help them identify and understand those emotions. In other words, to help them utilize their Emotional Guidance System. We can also guide them by sharing the knowledge we have from our own, more extensive life experiences.
But first we have to understand our own emotions. It is my knowing, understanding and deep rooted belief that we were given three gifts in our time here as humans having a life experience and those are:
- Free will or the ability to control our thoughts
- Our Emotional Guidance System
- Our Imagination
It is my desire to help people understand exactly what our emotions are and how we can utilize them to direct our thoughts. Our Emotional Guidance System is a wonderful, accurate gift that we were armed with to help us keep reaching for better feeling thoughts. Let’s face it; we all want to feel better, right? That is what our emotions are for; a way to guide our thoughts to better feeling ones.
How does it work?
Negative thoughts are the easiest thoughts that come to us. I don’t know why and I think it is as cruel as you do but it’s true. When you have a negative thought it can spiral out of control and lead to other negative thoughts. We have all done this and it can really ruin a good party but we don’t have to let it. With those negative thoughts come negative emotions. Those negative emotions are your Emotional Guidance System telling you that you are not aligned with what you really want, which in most cases is to feel better.
When you stop and acknowledge that you are having a negative thought, then realize that it is making you feel bad you can immediately change that thought to a better feeling one.
You can tell yourself “I don’t want to feel bad.” Then you can ask yourself what you DO want. By focusing on what you DO want you are taking your focus away from what you DON’T want. Once you change your focus to what you do want you will already start to feel better.
Remember this, when you know what you don’t want you automatically know what you do want.
It is also important to realize that we cannot control our emotions but rather we have to control our thoughts. Get a handle on your own thoughts and your emotions will fall in line. If we can just change the way we look at our emotions and realize that they are a way to help guide our thoughts then we can feel better in any situation.
That was just scratching the surface of the topic of our emotions but it’s enough to continue our discussion and how it pertains to our kids.
Ever try to get your kids to see things your way?
Not that easy is it?
That is because from a very early age our kids are so closely tapped into what their true self wants so it is hard and confusing for them to follow anyone else’s way of thinking or doing things when it comes to how to conduct their lives. That is not say that we shouldn’t teach them anything but we were all taught from whatever society we grew up in that there is a specific way of thinking, doing, and generally living. I feel that this is not the way any of us should have been raised. Easy for me to say, I know, but it is what I have come to believe. One of the major problems here is that we, as adults, are afraid to let our little ones go ahead and make decisions on their own. This means essentially giving up “control” which is extremely hard to do, especially when we think we know better. However, we cannot really control others anyway and we shouldn’t try. Only they know what is best for them. We must release the preconceived notions that we know better than our children as to what is right or wrong for them internally. Hard to hear? Yup, but it is very important to understand. In doing so we can release so much unwanted stress when dealing with our children
It’s not our job to force our way of thinking or our way of doing things upon our children. Of course we want what is best for them so we teach them not to walk away with strangers or eat glass off the ground, but the kids will be alright as long as we ALLOW them to follow their own emotions. Our emotions or how we feel about a situation is not what matters to them it should only matter to us. I believe our goal is to guide them, not micro-manage them, even though we think we know better.
Enabling their ability to decipher and listen to their own emotional guidance system from an early age will help them make the right decisions in their own lives. They will be happier and our relationship with them will thrive. Think of what it would be like to have self-sustaining kids who may make mistakes along the way but can also make the right choices by simply always following their good feeling emotions.
Now, I’m not saying to let your kids run rampant and have ice cream for breakfast, or allow them to hurt other children because they think it “feels” good. Rather, give them the opportunity to figure out the best course of action for themselves by gently guiding them. Our guidance can start at that very early age through our own actions and awareness of our own emotions. Knowing how YOU feel in any given situation is a good start. Lead by example. Kids learn by watching and emulating us as much as hearing what we say. If a child “acts out” it is probably a reflection of our own actions, words or emanating emotions. We can guide them to really pay attention to their emotions and realize what thoughts they had that made them feel those particular emotions, especially if we are paying attention to our own emotions.
This is the process I have begun teaching my kids. I want them to be able to understand what they are feeling and listen to their own guidance system. When something doesn’t go their way or they feel negative emotion about something I ask them to stop, figure out how they feel and become aware of what they don’t want regarding the situation. Then I ask them to think about what they do want and go from there.
Our kids are smarter than we realize and these concepts are not beyond them. After all, all they really know is how they feel whether they can identify the exact emotion or not yet. Kids are prone to outbursts or tantrums one minute then are happy and silly the very next minute. Helping them decipher what they are feeling in any particular situation can only help them become more stable and aware and allow them to control their thoughts when they get older.
This is just the beginning of a longer discussion but I wanted to begin that discussion with the ideas and notions I have written here. At the writing of this article my kids are 6 and 4 years old. I do everything I can to help them pay attention and identify whatever emotions they are feeling during any given situation. They have responded to this wonderfully and have even begun telling me how they feel without my gentle prodding.
My intention with my children is to help them become as emotionally stable as possible and let them build a strong emotional foundation so they may manifest a most wonderful life for themselves.
But more on that later…