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Article: Our children as mirrors

Kinder als Spiegel

Our children as mirrors

An event

At noon, 12:30 p.m., I have just picked up my two children from school and kindergarten. We chug along towards home in the car, chattering happily, the radio playing, the children looking out the window chattering happily.

A topic is approaching that we as a family have been dealing with for a few months now - my son's starting school in the summer and a planned move.

I've felt for a long time that there's a sensitive point there. My son loves kindergarten. He almost never talks about school and has no interest in learning more about his future there.
I lean over to him and say: Man, things are going really quickly now, about four more weeks, then the kindergarten year is over and the holidays are coming!

At the same moment he suddenly turns his head to the side and begins to cry bitterly. I don't want to go to school, he says, I want to stay in kindergarten, there's my friend and all the toys, they don't exist anywhere else...

My heart seems to be about to implode. How many of you know the difference in the atmosphere when a child cries out of pure defiance or when you feel that real, deep pain is emerging in that moment?
On top of all this, the child turns his head away. This means that there is not only pain, there is also shame. Shame over tears I never taught him.

This sight triggers the deepest compassion in me. I feel like I have to go through this process myself.

reflection

This scene kept running through my head, the sudden outburst, my child's backwards posture for a long time, the desire for safety, security, habit... and my inner, strong reaction to his pain.

Days later, the scales fall from my eyes.
The pain I felt, disguised as supposed compassion,
was actually my own pain.
My child reflected to me how much I sometimes dread life and the future, which has so many unknowns in the equation.

For weeks I have been struggling in my own inner experience to be honest with myself. I am full of energy and boast of a vision for the future...
but somewhere along the way I forgot my own inner child, who deeply desires to be able to hide behind my maternal skirt from my urge to change,
longs for the victory of my longing for habit over the desire for something new.

*

We all face our pain at times in one way or another:
Our world is subject to constant change. We lose, miss, miss, abandon.

For our children, these experiences are new and often for the first time.
For us parents, they trigger old memories. The basic feelings that we have suppressed in the past
show up today in emotions that bring our old, painful experiences back to the surface.

We often unconsciously bring these emotions into the family situation.
A child is angry, we react defensively. It's defiant, we roll our eyes in annoyance.
It's sad, we react overly comfortingly and don't give the child the space to cry.
We try to keep the other person's feelings at bay and find it difficult to simply be with them.

And now?

Our children are a reflection of our own inner world and beliefs.
The mirror neurons determine that a child learns through imitation.
We can often tell from our children's behavior where we as parents really stand.

If I notice behavior in my child that worries me, I take a deep breath
and look inside:
Where exactly does this fear, this concern or the root of this behavior lie hidden deep in my soul? What does my child's behavior trigger in me? Which memories come to light, which old pain wants to show itself and be seen?

As soon as I am ready to face my fears, pay attention to them and thereby also care for my “inner child”, the atmosphere in our family can transform into a new, free direction.
I remember that my child is a completely different person than I was as a child.
I become aware that his world of experience is different. By taking care of myself, I can fully meet my child in their world and listen to them, accompany them and encourage them, without projecting my feelings into their experience.

This gives our children the opportunity to take a different path than the one we took back then - which is what we want in many cases, right?

Now I also wish you that you will find the courage again and again to fully turn to your soul and to continually rediscover how you are shaped, what defines you - and to experience new things again and again through loving self-reflection , exciting and healing paths can be taken.

If you would like to find out more about the topics of family, pregnancy, mindfulness, nutrition or sustainability, take a look here .

AUTHOR: SARAH ACKER

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