It’s not uncommon for a parent to want to be friends with their child. The problem comes in when we not only compromise them, but ourselves as well, by not doing the right thing in the moment because we are afraid that the child might withdraw their love and relationship from us.
But the truth is, the more we are willing to do the right thing (that the moment calls for) and risk our child’s withdrawal from us, the more our child can learn of the inner strength in doing the same in his or her life, especially when it comes to the withdrawal of certain friendships that they know are harmful.
When we do what is right in the moment, we teach our children, by example, the value of never compromising ourselves for the sake of wanting something from another, so when they become teenagers and find themselves in a situation where they don’t want to do something that a friend wants them to do, they will know something of the “warrior” nature that was cultivated in them by your example.
I don’t know about you, but to me it feels like there is something in me that always seems to want something from most relationships in my life, and as such, there is this tendency, this pressure, to compromise myself in those moments where I am being asked to do the right thing.
If we as parents and individuals are always being asked to do the right thing in each moment, no matter what, what is it in us that answers the moment for us instead? What is it in us that doesn’t want us to do the right thing in each moment with our child or anyone for that matter? What is it in us that tells us that we will lose something if we do? The answer is “an old past part of ourselves.” The past answers the moment for us. Because we have to ask ourselves “would we intentionally compromise ourselves or compromise our children?” We certainly wouldn’t.
These old past parts of ourselves feel very strong and always try to convince us that we are going to “lose something” by doing the right thing. But what if it is that very past pattern of belief that has to be sacrificed in the moment? What if doing the right thing no matter what the “old” part of us tells us that it’s going to “cost us”, is the “new” answer? I mean, have we tried that before? Have we ever questioned it before?
Perhaps in doing the right thing no matter what it appears may cost us, is the key that will unlock the door to goodness in this world that we can know in no other way.
A great quote comes to mind: “All good things come to those for whom the Good is all things –Guy Finley”.
Exercise: This week, work to see where you may be compromising yourself with your child, for example, saying yes to them when you really want to say no. Do the right thing. Not with force, but with the heart and with your full attention.
Image courtesy of: edsavi30