AS you read this, think back to your childhood and your feelings.
Imagine when you were a child, sitting quietly in the classroom, waiting anxiously for your exam paper to be distributed back to you… your heart beat rising, your head fuzzy, palm sweating, feeling nauseas… worrying sick what would you tell your parents about your marks, which you knew was going to be bad, as you were not prepared for the exam.
Then your teacher called your name, you walked to the front of the classroom to collect your exam paper… There it was, a big red F written on top of the paper.
Even though your expectation was low, you still felt the disappointment. Your teacher did the unthinkable… he announced your dismal results to the whole class. Your classmates were laughing and jeering at you, making and poking fun at your poor exam performance, and yet, the teacher did not stop them.
…The hurt… The embarrassment…
You felt you could not sink any lower… Your disappointment, pride, self esteem, happiness, your joy… all suddenly evaporated, as if a huge vacuum had just sucked them out of you.
You felt like an ostrich, wanting to hide your head into the sand and not to be seen or heard for a long time… feeling so alone!!
Lunch time – there you were, eating alone and feeling miserable. Besides, who wants to be seen with a loser?
Now you are back at home, anxiously waiting for the right moment to share the embarrassing news with your family or not? But you knew your parents would ask about it, so you’d better now risk lying.
Worried… anxious… fear…
Wondering what would they say?
How would they react?
How would your siblings react?
Would they laugh at you just like your classmates?
The time had arrived. With trembling hands, you showed them your paper. Standing still in front of them, heart still pounding, fear is just around the corner, waiting for your parents’ outburst… anytime now… any moment now…
You were watching them intently, searching for any facial expressions to indicate anger or disappointment?
Waiting… hands sweating… heart pounding… it was as though the time had stopped!
Then…your father looked up at you…
Oh gosh… What was he going to say? Was he going to yell? Were you expecting belting for the poor effort?
All the chatter in your mind… your fight and flight response in your body were in the “red” zone! Just waiting for the minute signal before reacting…
He smiled. He gave back your paper and sat you down. All he wanted to know was, did you give your very best effort for this exam? Could you do better the next time round? What can he do to help you?
And he said “I believe in you! I am on your side!” And he gave you a pat of your head as he left.
Your mum gave you the biggest hug! And told you “she loved you!” and off she went without another word.
Now, let’s pause for a moment…
How were you feeling then? Relieved? Embarrassed? Happy? Proud? Empowered? Feeling unsinkable and on top of the world? Knowing that you had support and could do better next time?
Take a moment to connect to these feelings: the emotions, your parents’ actions, your reactions…
Because this is what your children need from you. Your non judgmental belief in them is invaluable. When they know you are on their side, that knowledge will be their most powerful foundation for their beliefs, their self esteem, their purpose and being.
Those are the words they need when they at their most vulnerable: the words that you believed in them and nothing else mattered!
Love your children unconditionally, and be on their side – They need you to be!
Happy connecting with your children!