Children Learn What They Live
by Linda Meredith
Do you remember the old poem "Children Learn what they Live?" I found a modern version of it too.
If we are parents who want to break the destructive dynamics in our family's that has gone on for generations we need to be the model of how that is carried out.
This week I heard of a mother who wouldn't leave a father who was physically abusing the children. It breaks my heart. I can't tell you of the number of young adults that reach out to me because their parents disown them for making different choices in various areas of their lives. This is not unconditional love. If our kids don't experience this with us then who else?
We have to be willing to be the generation that stands and says no more in order that the generations that come after us take the changes to a different level again.
We need to be prepared to teach our children that community and friendships matter, so that anyone who tries to isolate our children from friends and community, who tells them they are in the wrong all the time, who gets angry or shows rage at them, who takes and takes and never gives, who won't communicate, who lives their life that it all has to be their way with zero negotiation, who is emotionally, physically, financially, sexually, mentally, spiritually abusive, is someone we get up and walk away from, with respect for ourselves and the other persons choices.
Then we have to be the parents who model to our children that we get through broken hearts together, to model that unconditional love is the beginning of the healing and together we can make it through the rain into the rainbow. We have to be willing as parents to communicate our visions to our children, to get emotionally messy with them, to laugh, to love, to negotiate and most important of all walk beside them because the only certainty in life is that challenges will come.
We don't get it all right as parents. It's messy, heck we've not even had enough information to navigate the destructive dynamics of the many generations until recent times. But like I tell my kids, it's the people who you go through the tough times with, who stand with you and you stand with them, that the deepest of all bonds are experienced and formed and these types of bonds last a lifetime.
Individuals who choose not to face the challenges life throw at them, stick their heads in the proverbial sand, and more, are not the people who'll navigate the many challenges of life with us. Stationery people are happy to stay stuck in their mud and we must honour their choices.
I recently sat with a friend of mine, both of us had tears running down our faces unchecked. We sat in the midst of pain but we loved each other through that pain and enough to be vulnerable and honest with each other. They are a friend i honour and respect, for life. We love and accept each other for our mistakes, our mess, our laughter and depth as we meet the challenges of life.
Do life with those who choose to live a life conscious of the challenges, the unknowns, we will face. People who are conscious that LAUGHTER is the best medicine, conscious that we all end up in the mud, and conscious that together we create a story out of our mud that inspires others. People who understand the mutual value of respect, and that deep, true, abiding living comes after respect.
My youngest was talking to me today about the dynamics of a friendship he was navigating and when he spoke the words "I'm learning, experiencing, that others treat me as I teach them too" I knew we were headed for healthy ground. Be the teacher your kids need, educate them about social dynamics, and most of all never stop loving them. God knows we need this love spread all over the world.
Blessings and dreams,