Would you like to ensure that your children are their true selves and grow into autonomous adults who are self-reliant, resilient, independent, and aware of their competence? If you would, then stay with me, because in this post I’ll uncover how parents should treat their children if they really want all of this to come true.
How Parents Should Treat Their Children If They Want Children To Be Their True Selves
Parent should treat children respectfully and equally, both kindly and firmly, and they should be flexible in providing structure for the child.
Now, I’ll provide guidelines regarding the parents’ “optimal” tretment of children, and invite you to think about leveling up your game by investing time or money into your personal-growth and get empowered to be the best parent you can be.
Let’s jump right in and explore this further!
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HOW PARENTS SHOULD TREAT THEIR CHILDREN
1. A PARENT SHOULD TREAT A CHILD RESPECTUFULLY AND EQUALLY
This feels redundant to mention, but it isn’t when we dig a little deeper into how adults treat children.
Respecting someone and treating them as equals comes from acknowledging the independent, sovereign existence, value, and integrity of something separate from our own existence, interest, and how useful it is for our needs.
To be truly respectful and stick to equality in our interactions with someone, it doesn’t just mean to try to be nice to them, to be helpful most of the time, or to be tolerant (to a certain extent).
The vital part of respecting them is to accept and acknowledge them for who they are separately from us and not try to adapt them to the standards that fit us or see them just in terms of how they fit into our needs or interests.
More precisely, it’s not about assigning value to something or someone just because they can or want to do what we need, want, or please.
Or about imposing criteria suitable for our position, characteristics, preference, or abilities on someone who doesn’t belong to our “type.” This is a vital part of treating someone equally.
So we’re not equal because we’re exactly the same. We’re equal because we are equally worthy and just enough as we are in our “type,” which doesn’t need to fit some other, unless we want it to, of course.
When it comes to children, without acknowledging them as separate, sovereign, and with their own integrity (as in being whole and undivided), they can’t really feel respected and like equals.
Treating them as “separate” doesn’t mean breaking a bond we have with them, or that we don’t need each other, or that we’re less important for their lives.
It simply means that if we want to respect children, we need to shift our focus from our interests, conveniences, and opinions in all of our interactions with them.
And we need to include flexibility in our thinking, observing, and actions (responding) in all situations that directly or indirectly affect them.
To do this, we need to think about their position and perspective, as well as get their perspective on things. Or anticipate it, if we are skilled enough to do it, at times when it’s not possible to hear their perspective.
Most of the time, it is possible to get their perspective, but the problem comes back to equality: we don’t make an effort to do it because we prioritize our convenience over their interest, which has equal significance as our interest but we don’t honour it.
We even prioritize our opinions, interests, and convenience when their interests exceed ours.
Let’s take education as just one example I like to mention.
We make children adapt to all educational standards without even consulting them about how they feel about the conditions in which they are obligated to adapt. (I’m not saying we should let them guide, I’m saying enable their participation.)
Just try to remember when you were in school and if someone has ever asked you what you think about any aspect of the education system that was supposedly designed for you, no matter how small the aspect was.
Sad to say, the same happens to kids in ALL areas of life.
So, if you have decided to really show respect to your child, start questioning to what extent you are letting your child “exist” separately from you.
In my professional and personal experience, when it comes to this topic, we (adults) give ourselves more credit than we often should, so I suggest that you dig a little deeper to find out where you stand on it.
If you make the necessary effort to adjust your treatment and make a change, the relationship with your child can not only go from good to great, but it can also shift from dysfunctional to great!
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW IF YOU’RE READY TO COMMIT TO HONORING YOUR CHILD AS A SOVEREIGN
If you’re ready to take this to the next level, or if you’re feeling like this is challenging for you to achieve on your own, I have a great recommendation for you.
It’s a program called Conscious Parenting Mastery created by amazing Dr. Shefali, with her outstanding approach to personal growth where she’s combinining Western psychology and Eastern philosophy, that’s hosted on Mindvalley platform.
She will walk you through the process of:
- acknowledging and honouring your child as a sovereign being
- what it takes to raise well-adjusted, authentic, and confident kids,
- understanding the essential needs of a child
- liberating yourself from common parenting myths, like the myth that we are born into “good” parents so that you can step into an empowered parenting role
- giving up the need to engage in excessive controlling practices with your child
- bringing the awareness to the projection of your own unmet need onto your child, and so much more!
This is an invaluable 35-day program (but you can have your pace and finish it faster or slower or join a class) and it will equip you with skills to raise confident, self-reliant, and authentic children.
If this is something you’re interested in, then I suggest that you invest in Mindvalley membership, and not just get the program, because that’s an incomparably better value for the price. It’s the most affordable, considering the value that you get is unbelievable because you couldn’t get a single program for the yearly price and yet you get over 60 when you get full access membership!
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- liberation from fabricated societal expectation and norms that not only don’t serve you, but are in fact representing oppression which is suffocating your soul that only wants you to live in alignment with whom you truly are and not what society expects you to be
- to finally awaken your authenticity by letting yourself be visible as opposed to being shy or ashamed of who you are deep down or what you want behind the closed doors
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If you want to know more about the membership, then go to this page. If you decide to make a purchase, do it through my links, because then Mindvalley will share the revenue with me, and that way you’ll become a direct supporter of this website!
Let me know if you like the platform as much as I do. If you decide to invest in your personal-growth, of course, which I highly recommend that you do.
Especially in these times where we’re ready to give all our wealth to (pretty much useless) materialistic things that provide little to no real value, but we’re indoctrinated to cut costs when it comes to our wellbeing and making real progress in life.
Every progress you make with your self-growth, know that you are also taking a step towards becoming an even better parent.
And you should never let anyone make you feel guilty because you’re investing in yourself and your personal development so you can live the life worth living you truly desire to live.
You may also want to check out:
Now we can move on to the next guideline.
Parents should be both kind and firm in their treatment of children, and the two don’t exclude each other.
They either complement each other or are used at the same time.
This may sound counterintuitive to you, but I’ll explain.
Being assertive in our communication with others means that we’re not attacking or withdrawing, but staying kind and gentle with the person while being firm with our demand.
It’s not always a demand at stake, but you get the point. If we want the communication to be effective, we should remain respectful of the person and focus on our goal, request, or demand argument, depending on the situation.
When it comes to children, we stay gentle with them while we’re setting the boundary, imposing limitations, making a demand, or making a request.
We do include them in conversation and explain our reasons behind the request to the extent we sense it’s enough for the situation (which means we do explain ourselves, but we don’t try to justify our demands that need to be fulfilled through pushing and pulling).
But we don’t withdraw or attack.
At times this can be challenging, but it helps to remember that kids have their own agendas just as we do, and they’ll test the boundaries, show disobedience, and engage in mischief.
But that’s a good thing, because you don’t want them to be passive and grow into withdrawn people who can’t stand up for themselves or others when needed.
Am I on point or what?!
You just stay determined and firm when it’s vital for their good and their best interest, and even if they complain, don’t take it too personally because they still need you to set boundaries and limitations regardless of the complaining.
Sometimes they need it so you can focus their attention better from all the distractions when they’re not fully ready to manage distractions themselves.
And, at other times, with your determination, you’ll support their evolving socioemotional maturity with the right set of limitations.
The kindness you nurture with them means that you’re responsive to their emotional and other needs and give them enough space to express themselves freely – how they feel, think, to wonder and explore, to question things in a curious and not a prying way, etc.
To conclude, you can both be kind and firm with children, and you shouldn’t be afraid of it if you do it in the balanced way we just talked about.
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You’ll also find useful:
3. A PARENT SHOULD BE FLEXIBLE WHILE PROVIDING STRUCTURE FOR THE CHILD
This is closely related to our previous subject, where we mentioned setting limitations and boundaries.
This is essential if you want to witness well-adjusted child behavior; you need to provide (enough) flexibility within your set of limitations and rules.
What this means is that a (too) restrictive environment creates resistance and exhaustion, while a permissive environment creates “chaos.”
If they can’t resist you directly, they’ll form internal resistance, and some will resist all authority. Some will become withdrawn and insecure.
So if you want a child to be able to function within your limitations, you need to provide the right (flexible) structure so they’ll know how to behave. But they need to be comfortable enough to fit the structure.
This means they need to have enough room to participate, express themselves and their needs and wants, grow their independence, oppose, and even disobey while still having the structure.
When kids exhibit behavioral problems, what often presents itself as a problem is the lack of consistency in providing discipline.
And when I say discipline, I don’t mean (just) punishment; I mean consistency in providing structure, limitations, rules, guidance, modeling prosocial behavior, and providing feedback about their behavior or what is acceptable behavior.
So flexibility goes hand in hand with structure and limits, and you shouldn’t fear giving children a space to find their way. Quite the contrary.
When you give someone enough maneuver space to behave and respond to your expectations willingly, they’re more likely to comply with the concrete expectation.
At the same time, it’s important that they are allowed to say no to you, because this is consent – if someone can’t say no to you this is in conflict with consent.
So when you offer children flexibility and structure, you get them to move around comfortably while still complying with your boundaries, which is in their best interest.
You’ll probably find useful also:
- The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level
- The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
- Dr Shefali Tsabary Collection 3 Books Set (The Awakened Family, The Conscious Parent, A Radical Awakening)
- How Do I Feel?: A Mental Health Journal for Kids
- The Self-Love Workbook: A Life-Changing Guide to Boost Self-Esteem, Recognize Your Worth and Find Genuine Happiness (Self-Love Books)
- SPONSORED: Self-Love Workbook for Women: Release Self-Doubt, Build Self-Compassion and Embrace Who You Are (Self-Help Workbooks for Women)
- How to Be Accountable Workbook: Take Responsibility to Change Your Behavior, Boundaries, & Relationships (5-Minute Therapy)
- Happiness Workbook: A CBT-Based Guide to Foster Positivity and Embrace Joy
- Unfuck Your Boundaries: Build Better Relationships Through Consent, Communication, and Expressing Your Needs (5-minute Therapy)
- No More Perfect Moms: Learn to Love Your Real Life
- More Than A Mom: Finding Purpose In the Everyday Monotony Without Losing Yourself Or Your Sanity
- 21 Gifts To Show You Care To Those You Cherish And Deepen Your Connection
- 15 Positive Gifts For Friends That Will Elevate Their Any Moment
- 11 Uplifting Gifts For Friends To Warm Their Hearts
- 51 Self-love Thoughts To Redefine Your Relationship with Yourself
- 100 Ways To Change Yourself And Empower Your Evolution
- 100 Ways To Improve Yourself (From Ordinary To Extraordinary)
Related: 9 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make
FINAL THOUGHTS ON HOW SHOULD PARENTS TREAT THEIR CHILDREN
These were the guidelines concerning how you should treat a child as a parent and I hope you find it helpful. If you have, share the post with others who will benefit from them, just like you.
Thanks for your attention, and see you in the next post! 👋 Here is one: