In Part 1 of this series, Lisa talked about outside forces keeping us so distracted that if we sat down with our children and asked them to start their sentence with, ‘If You Really Knew Me, You Would Know That ______,’ would we freak out? What do you think your child would share with you, and are you prepared to accept what you might hear?
Have our children learned to mask their gut feelings? Maybe, they’ve learned to live a dual lifestyle because they are torn about sharing their inner feelings, so they teach themselves how to act like everything is good, everything is ‘fine.’ They may eventhrow themselves into sports they hate, but will do it because they’re so desperate to get the approval they need so badly from their dad. Better yet, they may get so caught up with what’s going on around them, they allow the world to dictate what they should do in order to feel better. They may learn to ‘cover up’ their pain by turning to negative behaviors such as cutting themselves, drugs, alcohol, sex and possibly even suicide.
Our families are in a crisis. A crisis where more people than ever are numbing themselves out with drugs and alcohol because life has just become to overwhelming and no one seems to be on the same page. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times, “No one understands what I’m going through!” Do you?
Why is it that we are such good friends and listeners to ‘other’ people? Our friends and co-workers think we are just amazing and know that no matter what, they feel comfortable sharing their problems/concerns with you…. ‘You always have the right things to say!’ We spend hours consoling them in a time of need. We may even say exactly what they need to hear to change their thought pattern. We sit and listen to whatever they’re saying, and they have our complete and undivided attention. Do we share that same respect and concern for each family member?
If we are so accepting of others, why is it so hard to listen, understand, communicate, feel, and learn to accept those that are right under our nose? Why is it that we believe we must shove our expectations down their throat in order to make a point. Why do we become the enemy and then wonder why our children don’t want to talk to us? Are we sick and tired of being sick and tired yet? Is it our desire to heal ourselves and our family? Then let’s go!
Do you realize that the entire process of being an amazing family is being honest with one another and great communication skills. It doesn’t get any simpler than this!
Even though the family dynamics have changed tremendously since we were children, that doesn’t mean it has to continue going in the direction it is. Children should never feel entitle to rule the house with their demands and expectations.
Having been around a number of families, with children of different ages, it appears that they feel we are there to serve and meet everyone of their needs. Sound familiar? And then we say, “It’s no big deal!” Wrong!!! It is important to show that if you want something you can get it. Yes, it’s nice to be waited on, but they must know how to reciprocate it too.
When children are so assertive and feel entitled, it may be time to get back to the drawing board and redesign how the family operates. Mommy and Daddy belong at the top since they own the house and pay the bills, and from there, each person should know who they are and their position in the family.
Understanding that each member of the family is as important to the next, the purpose of our ‘Family Board’ is to show how good communication (which means no screaming, over-reacting, losing patience, being judgmental, or throwing out smart-ass remarks) will filter down to each person. The next thing is showing the importance of having a servant heart. When each person understands that being kind doesn’t mean to be that way only when you want something (manipulation), but that if we do it sincerely and with love in our heart, others will want to do it back.
If we teach that ego is not allowed and only kindness rules in your family, OMG, you will be amazed at the shift that will occur in your family. It starts with the top and will dwindle down. It works at the office doesn’t it? If you have an amazing boss and they are positive, set realistic goals and appreciate everything you are doing, doesn’t that make you feel good?
Learning to live in the present is crucial too. That word present means now and gift….. Life is a gift and so is our family so live it as positive and encouraging as you can!
Lisa Hein is the author of THE BOOK “I’m Doing The Best I Can!” (They won’t always be cute an adorable), which describes her journey through ‘parentdom’ and shares great advice along the way. She is a motivational speaker and an internationally acclaimed radio talk show host of ‘Everyday Parenting,’ which can be heard on RadioEarNetwork.com. To order a copy of THE BOOK or to contact Lisa for your next event, visit her website at LisaRHein.com or email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.