When we as parents, extend our love and approval to our kids only when they bring out their best behaviour or their most socially acceptable behaviour and reprimand them or show them we are disappointed in them when they behave in a way that is not acceptable to us, we do them a great disservice. Parents who exclusively paint a picture of their children of being exclusively great at everything, with an underlying urge to reinforce the same ” good ” side of their kids forget that we as human beings, have a whole range of feelings / emotions. When only certain feelings are acknowledged/ responded to / celebrated/ honored we give our impressionable young children the message that certain feelings are ” no good” and cannot be shown.
We teach them, through our conditionality, that certain things that they are and feel are not acceptable to us and by extension, the world. That they are wrong in feeling or being a certain way.
So when your child DOES feel these things, as they inevitably will, they try and suppress these feelings or instinctive ways of being …because they feel guilty or ashamed.
Often this shows up as dysfunctional patterns of passive aggressiveness, anxiety , disempowerment , manipulation, baby talk , victimization and other unhealthy expressions of their pent up emotions.
Working our way backwards, what must we do?
Trust the innate wisdom that is present in all of us, including our children. Tune in to our own guidance and drown out the outside noise. Then gently guide your kids to their own inner guidance whilst keeping them centred and safe.
Showing them through our own example that it is ok to not feel ok and its ok to feel all sorts of emotions.
Teach them how to navigate life, using the emotions that come up , as important guiding nudges in the direction most suited to them individually.
That is the best thing we can do for them.
It is the highest form of Love.