* SHINY KIDS * AWESOMELY DIFFERENT, PERFECTLY THEMSELVES. 2/3
This article could also have been called ONE OF THE GREAT MYSTERIES OF OUR PARENTING LIFE FINALLY REVEALED! or SCOOP! THE PERFECT CHILD DOES NOT EXIST!
Background: during a few fantastic days in February 2021, we had the chance to share our lives with four shining kids, their four mums and Valérie, psycho-practitioner and coach, who relies, among many other things, on the resources of the enneagram (for those of you who want to go further => her book). We talked with these kids and their mums about potential, freedom, musical notes, the shining sun…
Please note: we don’t want to pompously tell you how to bring up your children. Through this article, we just want to pass on to you, from parents (like us) to parents (like you), some key takeaways from this experience.
One of the big questions posed by Valérie:
What if we asked ourselves WHO is this little human being whom we have the chance to guide through life (before projecting our own beliefs onto them)?
Are you familiar with the enneagram model?
It is a model of nine mechanisms, nine types of behaviour that does not aim to put our children (or ourselves) into boxes. On the contrary, the idea is to get out of them! The enneagram is a key that allows us to identify automatic patterns and fears that we have locked ourselves into, despite ourselves. And often from an early age. Whereas… each of us possesses a unique multi-faceted potential (loaded with different resources and talents) that is just waiting to blossom!!!
As parents, let’s face it, we naturally want our child to be like this or like that – we project onto them our own vision of reality, our beliefs, our vision of « perfection ». And then, little by little, there comes that moment when we realise that our child is not as we had fantasised, that he or she is not perfect. And never will be. He or she is here to be perfectly him or herself, that’s all. Unique.
Valérie told us something that lifted the veil on one of the great mysteries of our lives as parents! Ready? Are you sure? Because it’s a big deal!
Why, for God’s sake, are our children never the same as when we, their dear and lovely parents to whom they owe everything, are not around?
Have you ever had a babysitter who told you « What, with you he’s not so well-behaved? Because here, with me, NOT AT ALL. He’s an A.N.G.E.L.!! »
And you know why? Not because they are ungrateful (well…), no. But because they unconsciously put pressssssure on themselves! They respond, when we’re there, to what we, as parents, project onto them. And when we’re not there, supposedly they would feel freer to be themselves. What???? Basically, it’s our fault?! Yes. And no.
We ALL tend to transmit, more or less unconsciously, messages that « limit » them/us: our demands on them might reshape them and they might tend to adapt their developing personality to the ideas we unconsciously project onto them…
« She’s sweet » (what if she wants to be the one to bang her fist on the table?), « I’m the one you can depend on » (what if you want to be taken care of because sometimes you’re vulnerable?). « He’s a scientist » (what about the artist in all of us?). « She’s a real tomboy » (what if she wanted to find her feminine side but didn’t know how?). « He’s a little joker » (what if he wants to be taken seriously?), « He’s less athletic than his brother », « She’s a dreamer », « He’s a grouch », « She’s shy », « He’s a restless kid », …
We, like our children, are not shy, artistic, kind, overexcited, calm, …
We (and they ) are much, much, much more than that! We act nicely, we like art, we tend not to stand still, we need space and calm. It’s not the same 😉 It gives us more freedom and does not set in stone the definition of who we all are.
Let’s be curious! Let’s look and listen carefully to what our children try to tell us about their originality when they express themselves. Not doing so means we miss out on so many things to develop or surprises to welcome…. beautiful moments of sharing in perspective.
Well wooow, all that gave us a shock!
And how did the parents of these four little darlings feel about it?
What the parents took away from the experience:
« Let’s let our children try risky things!! We always want our children to be perfect, so we impose a certain vision of perfection on them. But there is no such thing as a perfect child. » Faustine, Camille’s mother.
« Let’s not constrain our children with our own beliefs. » Monica, Mélina’s mother.
« We breathe, we settle down. And we breathe again.
And everything will be fine. It’s always fine. » Audrey, Lëoh’s mother.
« Listen to yourself! » Karin, Mila’s mother.
As for the children, what they took away from their discussions with Valérie was powerful. We’ll tell you about it in the third and last article about this experience: HERE. This third article contains a bonus gift, so hurry up… What are you still doing here? 😉
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