My first ever blog post was called A Child’s Worth. I still remember writing it, pouring over each word and struggling for hours to create a (rather ugly) website to publish it on.
I opened the post with the following quote –
“When we realise we are worthy, simply because we were born, we no longer look outside of ourselves for validation and approval.” – Emmanuel.
The point I wanted to empasise was that we’re here, so we’re worthy, no question, and my intention since publishing the post has been to pass the knowing of this spiritual truth onto my boys. To give them a sense of worth that they would never have to doubt became the first purpose of Nurturing Little Souls.
Admittedly, my purpose was born of my own pain, the weighty sense of unworthiness I don’t remember not having. As my spiritual journey continues, I am gradually believing more in my own worth but it’s possible that I won’t have fully “got there” in this lifetime. When I wrote that first blog post, I had hoped that I could somehow ensure that my boys would never feel unworthy like I have. That was the gift I wanted to give them.
IS UNSHAKEABLE SELF-WORTH EVEN POSSIBLE?
But now I am starting to wonder if we can give our children an unshakeable sense of worth. Don’t most of us live, to some degree or other, in a constant to-and-fro between fear (ego) and Love (spirit) – perhaps not Jesus, Buddha and Ekhart Tolle, but the majority of us for the majority of our lives? I’m disappointed. I wanted to spare my boys the pain of self-doubt.
I guess that, as I’ve written my blog, I have become far less idealistic. Writing has helped me to get practical about spirituality, parenting and kids. And I do see a beauty in the “mess”. Abraham Hicks points out that, in any situation, the learning is in the contrast. Through experiencing what we don’t want, we become clearer about what we do want. Without the night, we wouldn’t know what daytime was. Without the fear that we might be unloveable and unworthy, perhaps we can’t discover the true depth of our inherent worth? We have to know both to know either – and so do our children.
Not to mention the times I have been the one undermining my children’s worth. I told my son once he was “annoying”. When disciplining them, I have judged them in anger. I have ignored their opinions and wants when it hasn’t been convenient. I’ve done my share of parental ranting. I have provided them with plenty of contrast!
I think I was right when I said in that first blog post that every interaction we have with our children is an opportunity to show them their inherent worth and I listed some ways that parents can do that. Ultimately, my message was that our unconditional love reflects to them their unconditional worth.
However we each go about reflecting our children’s worth to them, though, the component I didn’t address was how to teach our children to cope in those inevitable times of self-doubt. Perhaps they have disappointed themselves or been humiliated in some way. Perhaps a parent has said something regretful to them in the guise of “teaching them a lesson”. At these times, how can we help our children to return to themselves as an inherently worthy soul?
3 Ways to Teach Our Children Resilience When Doubting Their Worth
- Be there, loving them, despite their behaviour.
- Get their self-talk on-board! Help them to choose thoughts about the situation that support their picture of themselves as inherently worthy.
Eg. Instead of “I missed the goal and let my team down”, “I gave the kick my best shot and tried hard for my team”.
- Help them to know themselves as Spirit and that they are not their thoughts & feelings. In this way, their sense of self isn’t tied up in these forms. The key to this is developing our children’s ability to observe themselves. By watching themselves having a thought or feeling, they realise that their real self is the watcher, not the thoughts and feelings themselves. We can teach them to watch through discussion and through teaching them practices such as meditation.
IN SUMMARY – A 2-PRONGED APPROACH TO SELF-WORTH
Trying to give our children pure, unshakeable self-worth is maybe impossible but it is not pointless. I am not giving up, it is a high priority for me and a driving factor in both my parenting and my writing. But I have realised that we need a 2-pronged approach when raising our children, involving these 2 things –
1. Reflecting our children’s worth to them.
2 Enabling our children to return to their sense of self-worth when it has been undermined in some way (resilience).
To finish, I’d like to share my favourite quote of my own from that first blog post –
Much love to you and your little souls,
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