It’s as common as naming your baby after a beloved relative; we teach our kids what we know and, more importantly, what we believe. They are little sponges, soaking up our knowledge, our words, our actions and our energy. They are also miniature mirrors, reflecting back the good, the bad and the ugly of all they absorb.
Sure parents, and other adults who influence our children, believe they are teaching them right from wrong; unfortunately, many do not realize the impact they have on young minds with the words they use. What we say matters , and too often people rely upon traditional sayings, handed down generation after generation, as parenting tools. When we use phrases like “life is not fair”, “money is the root of all evil”, “you have to struggle to get ahead” or “I worry because I care”, what affect does it have on the subconscious minds of our children (and ourselves for that matter)? Are we teaching kids positive value based on our own experiences, or are we conditioning them based on what we were told to believe?
As parents, it’s important to ask; are we parenting or are we programming?
These kinds of traditional belief statements can create a negative subconscious mindset that attracts negative energy and creates blocks in your life. It took me decades to unravel this damaging societal programming that was imparted to me by my family, teachers, coaches, friends, etc… Once I became a parent, I knew I had to ensure that the belief system of my children remained optimistic, safe and secure. So I chose to mindfully parent and provide a more positive basis from which they could blossom. I tried my best at first, but it soon became clear it wasn’t enough for me to simply impart information, especially once my kids began their school years. I needed to show my kids how to think for themselves and determine what works best for their life. It was one particular experience that inspired me to write an entire book about it.
One day, my daughter arrived home from school really shaken up. When I asked her what was bothering her, she told me it was something one of her teachers said that day in class. The class was being overly talkative and the teacher asked them a few times to stop. He eventually warned that the next person to speak would get a step (a formal written warning). A few minutes later, my daughter asked her teacher what page the class was on in their book and she was immediately given the step. Of course, she was upset, she had never been in this kind of trouble and the teacher was making an example of her. That was not what troubled her when she arrived home however; she understood that her teacher gave her the step to show the class he meant business about being quiet and paying attention. It was his reaction to what occurred that remained in her head and heart. Instead of standing by his decision, he became angrier and declared to the class that “life is not fair!”. He went on to say that things happen to us and it’s just not fair and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it, my daughter got in trouble because of the rest of the class and that was “not fair”. My daughter said he used those words so often, it was basically his motto.
It truly dawned on me that day, how much other people, especially authority figures like teachers, relatives, coaches, etc., influence our children’s thinking. They become part of their lives and unknowingly drop these false belief bombs that can create the foundation for a child’s subconscious belief system. Although they may have well meaning intentions, the results can be harmful and long lasting. Because our children are in school and other activities a good portion of their day, they can potentially hear repeated negative messages and the consequence can be a type of unintended subconscious programming.
As a parent, my goal was not to simply teach my kids only my beliefs and have them fall completely in line with them. I knew it was far better, and much more powerful, to give them a positive foundation, but ultimately have them learn for themselves and decide what to believe. Avoiding negativity is a great idea, however, that could potentially be undone in one school afternoon because of the way others communicate. The key for me was parenting without programming, and there was a method to avoid the madness.
It is independent thinking. Independently minded kids can overcome any kind of unintentional programming, especially negative thinking. Teaching our children not to simply accept everything they hear as fact, and to determine what works for their own highest good, is incredibly important. I chose to lead my kids with a “don’t believe everything you are taught” kind of motto. Parents are the greatest teachers and guides for young people, we have to make conscious choices to empower them and strive for enlightened parenting over mindless programming.
Here are 5 Ways to Raise Independent Thinking Children:
1. Teach them LOA:
The Law of Attraction (LOA) is always in action, 24/7. Like energy attracts like energy . Teaching kids about the law of attraction is so important, because in many ways it focuses on our thinking patterns. The energy of negative thinking attracts negative energy and the energy of,positive thinking attracts positive energy; it is about resonance and frequency. If you are unaware of your thoughts, you cannot be discerning about the types of things you create in your life. The Law of Attraction is always in action, we are never not manifesting in some way. My kids have always been taught that our words, beliefs and thoughts manifest our reality, which is why my daughter was so disturbed when her teacher exclaimed to his class that “life is not fair”; she knew what that type of thinking and believing could possibly create. Through LOA teaching, You can impart your beliefs and yet allow and teach your children to ultimately think for themselves. Here is a fun article with some ideas about teaching kids the LOA: 5 Tools To Teach Kids About The Law of Attraction
When your child wants to know something, encourage them to read about it before imparting your views. When you want to teach your kids about a belief system or area of life, encourage them to read about it before giving your take on it. Encouraging our children to read, review and research relentlessly is how we allow them to learn independently and also prevent agenda style teaching. When we empower children with their own learning, they not only learn the lessons, they experience the knowledge by ingesting it of their own accord. A great time to start is when they are able to read novel style books. It is through books that we can imagine, imitate and initiate that which we read. This is why the Personal Development genre is so popular; God truly does help those who help themselves.
Kids are constantly receiving demands and being fed information, without a lot of opportunity for expressing themselves. Instead of responding to questioning of our children, it is important to converse. Conversation gives, them opportunity to think and decide for themselves, without, simply being told what to do. A great way to do that is to simply ask them “what do you think?”. So, when your child asks for your input, help or beliefs about something, ask them first “what do you think”. Allow them to have opinions, thoughts and creative solutions; teaching them that there are many possibilities in life and more then one way to approach any issue.
4. Be Open Minded:
It is okay for your child to believe and think differently from you. Be mindful of times you are trying to persuade them to see things your way, that can be a form of programming. Instead, ask they why they feel a certain way; this enables them to ensure there is meaning and positive reasons for their beliefs and also allows you (the parent) to learn from them (the child). I know my children have been among my greatest teachers, and that is only enhanced with having an open mind. Plus, be being open-minded, you teach your children to do the same for others; creating more peace for your family and the world.
5. Be The Change:
Parents need to be mindful of their own programmed thoughts and beliefs. Do you have the same exact beliefs your parents/society instilled in you, without ever having questioned them or explored other options? Do you completely fall in line with every aspect of a certain belief system? Do you only hang out with people who believe the same things as you? These are all signs of a programming, if you sense this about yourself it is time to get outside of your comfort zone. Without inspecting our own beliefs, we may unintentionally begin doing the same thing to our own children. Be the change by asking if you, as a parent, are truly thinking for yourself. You cannot teach it if you are not doing it.