Children are children, and no matter what you might think, they will ignore your dying wish once the moment serves them so you really can’t expect much else. I am being quite dramatic, I know, but the more you accept this fact the better parenting can be.
I have twin daughters almost reaching 6 years of age and even though I know intimately that they would do absolutely anything for me, I also know that this won’t be very likely until they reach a more mature age. We’ve all heard about how children are more connected to spirit, to Oneness, to the Universal “Is-ness”, than the average adult. The reason for this is because they have spent less time here in the Earthly plane of existence, building their Ego. So reasoning with them as if they have an Ego is really unrealistic. Yet it’s difficult understanding any other way of reasoning so many parents continue to demand that their children follow their every wish.
Children learn best through experience, and the best experiences come from those times when they don’t do as we say. I can point to a most recent experience that we had to illustrate this for you. As my children grew from toddler-hood into child-hood, I began teaching them about boundaries. More specifically, the boundaries of what is “yours” and what is “mine”. This is an important rule of life that our society has developed even though our natural state, our ethereal state, knows no such boundaries.
So how do you communicate to children that this is “mine” and that is “yours” and I don’t want you playing with what is “mine” but I can pick up what is “yours” whenever I choose? Well that is a hard one and the important element, I have learned, is a deep understanding of how the child is thinking in the moment that they break the “rules”. They are simply living out life as they remember it to be and knowing this can add a little patience to our child-rearing.
When my children were young they grew up hearing me explain that my stuffed toy, a small Siamese cat, was “mine” and not to be played with. I illustrated this by putting it high up on a shelf, where they wouldn’t be tempted to play with it. I had an emotional attachment to it, as it was something my mother had given me while in college and bore a striking resemblance to my real Siamese cat at the time, Savannah. Savannah had since passed on so the little toy was even more important to me as time passed.
Now I know intimately that we are not our things and that a stuffed toy is merely a representation of a feeling that I have, which ultimately cannot be taken away. That is why I was not too upset when recently I discovered that my children had taken the toy to school and given it to one of their best friends. This seems like a serious breach of “rules” to most parents, but I instinctively knew that I should feel blessed. Yes, they knew enough that the toy held a great amount of significance, and only a toy of such honor deserved to be given to their very best friend in the world.
Of course, I explained to them that although I wasn’t angry with them for giving away my stuffed pet, I was disappointed that they had done so knowing that it was not theirs to give away. Again I had to explain that in our culture, our society, we operate with “rules” and “boundaries” and to go against them could cause harm to themselves or someone else so it is best to respect them for now. This is the hardest concept of all for a child because almost every rule we have doesn’t feel right to them, since we come from a place with no such thing. I tried my best to explain that as we get older, we can understand a little better why the rules are there, but for now I am asking them to trust me as their Mommy to know what is right for them.
Don’t worry, it all works out in the end because everything has a purpose, and a lesson to be learned. Knowing this can help you continue to reinforce this with them. As they grow older, they will learn why it is they were raised this way so that they perform normally in our society and doing so with the ultimate truth in their heart.
As it turns out, the stuffed pet was taken to a department store and lost in the changing rooms there. I don’t frequent that particular department store and several weeks went by. One of my daughters asked me about it and why I didn’t go and get the toy and I realized that I had just accepted the loss and forgot about trying to retrieve it. I told her that I had let it go and hoped that it found its way to a new child.
Then one day, I was in the same store purchasing a gift for my nephew. I had put the shopping trip off to the last possible minute of the last possible day and as I was standing at the counter getting ready to pay, a man came in and asked the clerk, “Do you have a lost and found?” and in the blink of an eye, I suddenly remembered my lost stuffed pet. Surely they still didn’t have it after all this time?
But as I stated before, it all turns out well since they did in fact have the stuffed animal in the changing room, set up on a shelf where she could watch people coming and going. I took her home with me smiling since I had another wonderful lesson to teach to my children. My lesson to them was this: we all have rules and boundaries and “yours” and “mine” but we don’t have to be held by those rules and we don’t really have to fear the loss of our things. I let go of my thing and it came back to me, quite magically, in my opinion. Since it was such a small little window of time for a miracle to unfold, that two minutes of standing at the counter to pay for my purchase, but it’s all we need to make it happen.
I continue to search for ways to show my children the beautiful magic of where we come from, if anything just to help them to accept the rules and boundaries that we follow while living on this planet. We’ve all agreed to play together, to love each other and to help each other grow even if it is by breaking the rules now and then.