Your children are observing everything you do, whether you like it or not. We know that children model behavior. They learn how to exist in the world and what is acceptable from the observations of their surroundings. The individuals with the biggest influence who make the strongest impression are the child’s mom and dad, or the individuals in the direct care taking role. We know that children catch on to the things we don’t want them to learn, such as the accidental cuss word slip from an adult, that then quickly becomes their favorite word. We also notice them model adults in proactive and helpful ways, such as when they provide care and show concern towards a baby doll or use a toy kitchen to cook a play meal. These are the ways that practical modeling from adult figures shows itself within child interactions.
However, what is less noticeable and not as conscious to us is the impact of a parent’s emotional landscape on their child’s emotions. We have learned that it is important to sensor ourselves through what we say and how we directly behave when we are in front of “little eyes.” However, we are very slow to sensor or gauge our own inner emotions, because maybe sometimes we are avoiding them ourselves. Yet, kids pick up on everything. Their intuition and synchronicity with their caretakers are essential to their own survival They are in tune with how you are feeling, even if you are avoiding it. This does not mean that you cannot be sad, lonely, angry, guilty, or any of the other emotions that aren’t exactly happiness. It just requires you to start paying attention to what is going on inside of you. By doing this, you begin cultivating your child’s own emotional awareness and assisting him or her in their emotional reactions. If this does not make any sense, it’s probably because you haven’t taken the time to tune into your own emotional needs, which again whether you like it or not, are impacting your children.
So why do our children need us to be happy? They need you to be happy because they as children can only grow as far as you have showed them. They will feel comfortable with what you present to them and either continue with it themselves or attract a form of relational pattern with these familiar characteristics, until they consciously choose to do otherwise. Either way they are dealing with your stuff, if you are not. When you figure out how you can show up as your best self for you, only then can you, your child, and the world benefit from that awesome version of you. This does not mean that you never feel anything less than happy. All of the emotions are a part of the human experience, and they are tools to provide you with important insight about yourself and your life. However, overall you need to be living in a way and making choices around supporting your greater good, cultivating passion, and living with purpose. If you are doing these things, there will be more happiness than not. You will be inspiring the people around you. You will be setting a real example for your child, that is more than teaching them the basics of manners or how to brush their teeth. All of those things are important, but the impact of supporting your own happiness is generally left out of the parenting guidelines. Everyone’s call to action will be different and unique to them. However, if you are struggling with coming up with some of the solutions on your own, beginning the psychotherapy or counseling journaling can be extremely helpful and a worthwhile endeavor. For more therapy questions contact me directly at email@example.com