Teaching Children to be Authentic
How do we go about teaching children to be authentic?
Just be Yourself!
How often have you said to your children, "Just be yourself" when they come to you for reassurance? It's certainly a great piece of advice and one that we are all striving to meet. However, for many children, being themselves isn't an easy concept to understand, especially if they feel anxious, worried or uncertain.
Our own self acceptance is the notion that we need to be aware of as we guide our children toward emotional maturity - modelling acceptance of ourselves is crucial to teaching this notion to our children so that they in turn become self accepting.
We model self acceptance when we show it through our actions and verbalise our own self approval, self respect and self care to our children. For many parents, this is a difficult concept to grasp as it is the problem we ourselves are working on - our self esteem may also be low and our self identity still attached to issues outside our sense of self.
We want our children to be authentic and true to themselves and while they are growing and developing we need to supply them with the means and show them HOW.
For instance, telling your child to just be himself is pointless if the message he picks up is that being himself isn't enough.
Here's an example:
We ask our child to stop making so much noise and to play quietly. He continues to be loud so we tell him,
The underlying message here is not about his behaviour but about himself, the way he is. If this stance is promoted often enough it will create within the child a deep sense of, "I'm not enough, or I'm not good enough". In other words, there is something lacking in me.
Here's a better solution:
I've asked you to play quietly please. You can choose to do it your own way. I really like the way you listen when I speak to you. See how well things work out when you listen?
Having awareness about the beliefs we are enabling in our children is the best way to start. This comes about by realising that we are teaching the concept of acceptance or non- acceptance when we are critical of the child as a person rather than of his behaviour. There really is a difference here and once we get that, we can change the way we address our children.
Can you imagine how wonderful it is to 'know' deep within that you are enough just by being yourself .that no matter what else you learn, achieve, become, master, or acquire, that you just being you is enough.
Many parents spend a great deal of time teaching their children to show empathy and consideration for others without realizing that this is actually a natural by - product of positive self respect. By enabling a positive sense of self, our children grow into their true authentic selves.
You can think about that for yourself.
You can learn to trust how you think and feel.
Your feelings will guide you
You don't have to act sad or mad or bad to be looked after
I love you just the way you are
Raising children to be authentic comes about through modelling self acceptance to them and through accepting our children as they are and letting them know that they are enough.YOU ARE ENOUGH
More self esteem affirmations here: Messages for promoting children's authenticity
What is Our Self Identity?
Within us all lies the deep yearning to know and to be known. From this comes the question of self identity, who am I? This question lies at the root of all searching on the journey towards meaning and purpose for our lives.
Our self perception determines our behavior - if we think we are inadequate, we act that way. If we think we are splendid, we act that way. The pathway forward towards happiness and authenticity is not determined by something outside ourselves. Its determined by our own thinking, our own inner process, our self perception.
So if our way forward feels blocked, it is blocked by the way we perceive ourselves, by our fears and how they cause us to act toward ourselves. We take forward with us our unhealed inner negative perceptions and recreate the same situations over and over.
Until you make the unconscious conscious,
it will direct your life and you will call it fate ~
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We live in a house of mirrors and think we are looking out the windows
~ Fritz Perls