Parents often wonder why their children wouldn’t listen to them or just turn a deaf ear to their instructions and advice. Instructions and summons are usually taken with a pinch of salt and are invariably resisted while defying them comes naturally to most children. Resisting our instructions comes effortlessly to our kids as they are bent on not listening and co-operating instead choosing to adopt a non-conformist attitude and not adhering to our personal perceptions about them. As parents we expect our children to live up to our own ideas of perfection, greatness, excellence and success. Small wonder we are disappointed while feeling dejected at their perceived shortcomings or when they fail to compete, succeed and live up to our expectations.
Parents lose heart as they slowly stop showing trust and confidence in their children. Nothing hurts our kids more than parents losing trust in them and displaying no confidence whatsoever in them. As children it is natural for them to look up to and seek appropriate guidance but when parents fail them it is only natural for them to disregard our instructions especially when they realize our exhortations and advice are mostly driven out of our egos. Ego-based instructions will inevitably be ignored simply because they don’t resonate with kids who see them as arrogance, arbitrariness and despotism which are mostly negative and unwarranted affecting relationships adversely, causing friction and undermining the quality of life.
However if our instructions, observations, inputs and mentoring our children come from a space of love, empathy, honesty, compassion, wisdom and maturity while demonstrating genuine affection, inspiration, motivation and encouragement towards the pursuit of their highest goals and optimization of their potential we are understood appropriately by our children. Our child at once starts trusting us and effortlessly bonds with us. Children will keep rejecting our suggestions and directions till they become devoid of ego and our impulsive tendency to control, brag and dominate. Parents resorting to sermons and injunctions that emerge out of love, authentic sensitivity and concern for the child’s well-being and growth are likely to find success in their relationships with their children.
It is only stating the obvious that children respond only to love for they are only aware of positive emotions. Negative feelings like anger, fear, competition and envy are alien to them up to a certain age so obviously when our suggestions and instructions emanate from feelings to compete fiercely with our neighbor’s child and envy or plain raw fear and anxiety over our child’s future rather than positive contribution to their wellness children typically defy them and don’t receive or accept them in the right spirit. Most of our instructions are either fear-based or sometimes anger-based and generally reek of negativity taking undesired undertones not striking the right chords at all with the kids. When our instructions or exhortations are muddled and overlapped with layers of ego, our core messages are obscured not reaching the intended person causing resentment, frustration, misunderstandings and confusion.
If parents want their messages to reach their child and want the latter to accept them in the right spirit and even do the necessary follow-throughs then our instructions need to emerge from a space of giving, sharing and positivity that are certainly inside all of us. When parents begin to issue instructions or edicts arising from their inner essence children become receptive to them without resisting them. They at once sit up and take notice while immediately listening to their parents and instantly acting upon their advice. Children naturally understand and can discern as well as differentiate ego-based instructions from love-based ones. Parents showing anxiety and lack of self-confidence coming across as diffident individuals would typically fail to inspire confidence in their kids with the latter being quick to pick up unhealthy emotional patterns from them while confident and happy parents usually guided by their inner space of sensitivity, intuition and poise naturally and easily inspire trust in their kids who receive the advice and instructions positively and go on to forge far more deeper, permanent bonds with their parents.
As parents beginning to observe how your child responds to your instructions would be a healthy starting point. Are your exhortations and coaching purely based on ego emerging out of fear and even unjustified expectations or unfair demands? Or egoic impulses of greed, ambition, power, materialism and peer pressure hampering you from having meaningful deeper connections with your child? Doing an objective and fair assessment of the above factors will offer parents clues to understanding issues influencing their parenting and relationships with their children.