Our children are our greatest teachers. It’s funny how often I hear my daughter saying something, and think, “Who did she learn that from?” And it’s me! Ha. Our kids are our mirrors, and the best way to learn is to be mirrored and to see yourself clearly.
Who would walk around with a smear of lipstick on their teeth? Not me. The minute you see it in a mirror, you wipe it off. It’s the same way with our habits and behaviours. I see my own behaviour reflected in my kids, and when I see something that annoys me or triggers me, I know that it is because I do it too! And I change it in myself first.
The quickest way to change my child’s behaviour is to change my own.
Frustratedly telling a child to stop crying is not going to calm their frustration. You must open your heart, calm yourself and love them fully, and when you do, you will notice they immediately shift without saying a word.
Here’s some things my kids remind me every day.
Every day I am reminded about mindfulness, and present moment awareness from my kids. One minute my daughter is crying hysterically because she’s stubbed her toe, the next I can tickle her or swing her around and she’s laughing with just as much vigor, they are fully in the moment of what is happening right now.
As a follow on from present moment awareness is the timelessness of their perception. Kids don’t hold grudges, they don’t usually ruminate about the past, they just move on and focus on what they want in front of them.
Okay, as a parent sometimes this is a challenging one to handle, but kids ask for what they want, and keep asking until they get it, or it’s absolutely clear from the parent that it’s not going to happen. Then they might ask a few more times just to be sure. Often all it takes for us to get exactly what we want is to just ask for it. Really simple. Kids don’t have any second guessing, worth issues or social norms that stop them from asking, they just ask. Brilliant.
I have taught my daughter a lovely trick to talk to her tummy, and ask it when it is full or hungry, then she tells me “Mum, my tummy is hungry!” And I know I am teaching her skills for life so she will never struggle with overeating. Kids know when they are full. It’s just parents that are attached to the “eat your plate” outcome that often messes this beautiful system up. Yes, it’s a bit annoying when you make something nice for your kid and they eat one mouthful and declare themselves full, but isn’t it wonderful that they know that they’re full? No child ever starved when there was food around. The trick with this is to absolutely not give cookies or other unhealthy food just to get something into their tummies… If you’re hungry, eat your dinner. If not, then you don’t need anything else.
I love watching my daughter go up to other kids at a park and immediately play with them, introduce herself and tell me she has a new friend. Kids play with other kids, even the shy ones, love to be close to other kids playing. If we could all open our hearts to make friends as easily, the world would be a different place.
The fastest way to learn how to do something is to model and someone you have seen who has done that thing. Kids do this perfectly. They are little parrots, actors and mimics, perfectly copying and learning how to do things. There are special brain cells called mirror neurons that facilitate this type of learning. You have them too! so if you want to learn something, just go and watch someone else who’s doing it, and do that.
Your child loves you more than you can even comprehend. Your child needs you to survive, so their love is essential. They will make themselves wrong so that they can keep their belief that you are right. When you are frustrated, tired, worn-out or just over parenting, (I know sometimes it happens) focus in on their little beating heart and let all the other feelings drop away as you open your own heart to meet theirs.
Kids look after their needs. When they are tired, they sleep. When they are hungry, they eat. When they want to play, they play. We could all learn to look after ourselves so simply. As adults we put things off, and power through and work a little harder, when often what we need to do is stop, surrender and rest. Or go and play. Your child learns from what you do, more than what you say. And they will strive to be just like you, so if you want them to be happy, healthy, rested and fulfilled, you must be too.
“Having ongoing training is essential for our team and our business. It’s important to look after the people that look after others. Kylie has the experience, professionalism and knowledge to engage with our team and help them understand about human behaviour and why people do what they do. In the wellness and health industry it’s a different sales and service delivery and it’s imperative to keep on top of these understandings to perform at our best to help others. We couldn’t recommend Kylie high enough.”
I have worked with Kylie over many years. She has helped me as a Business Mindset Coach, as a motivational speaker for clients when I had my gyms with Vision and more recently at Flow Athletic. I bring her in to train my Personal Training teams in mindset, communication and how to coach our clients better and excel in our own personal mastery.
I highly recommend her work.