See what Oprah Winfrey, the most influential woman in America, says about the power of our thoughts, often referred to as our "mindset" and the Law of Attraction.
Oprah Winfrey on Larry King Live
Your Parenting Mindset
When we fully accept and understand the impact our mindset has on what happens in our lives, the next logical step is the awareness that when we purposefully choose thoughts that reflect what we truly want, we in effect are creating what happens in our lives.
This knowledge has spread worldwide. Millions of people are deliberately, through their power to choose positive thoughts, changing their lives. Some are focusing on better jobs, increased financial wealth or finding that special person to share life with, while others are seeking an overall improvement to the quality of their life. As we learned through Oprah's example in the video clip, she became awakened to the power of positive thinking when she determined she wanted to star in the movie "The Color Purple".
So what has this got to do with parenting and raising our children?
The way in which we relate to our children has everything to do with how we see our role in their lives as their parent. Most of us carry with us certain ideas and thoughts about parenting based on the way our parents raised us. Good or bad, right or wrong, positive or negative...we simply carry on what we learned from watching our parents and grandparents without much conscious thought.
What I am referring to is what I have coined your "parenting mindset".
We know that when we want to attract a new job, we must clear our mindset of negative thinking that will interfere and block the attracting and allowance of what we desire. In other words, if we say we want a better job, with better pay and better benefits and then constantly tell ourselves that we will never find the kind of job we are looking for and even if we do, we most likely won't get it because there are so many other people looking for a better job, the chances of bringing a new job into our reality is pretty slim at best.
The same principles applies to our parenting journey. If we say we want a loving, cooperative, respectful relationship with our children and then scream at them when they do something we feel is inappropriate, our desire for a cooperative respectful relationship goes unfulfilled. On the other hand, if we act and speak in a loving and respectful way to our children, they in turn will be cooperative and respectful as well.
Something I often quote on Face Book and Twitter is
"If you see parenting as a difficult job, then it will be. If you see parenting as an amazing opportunity to nurture and guide a new soul, then it will be."
Just as there are beliefs and ideas that limit our potential to have the job, money or life partner we desire, there are also beliefs and ideas that interfere with the parenting experience we want to share with our children.
And more often than not, the beliefs that block our desires are buried in our subconscious mind, far from our everyday awareness. It is for this reason, it is imperative that we examine our 'parenting mindset' to be sure what we are passing on to our children truly reflects our intended goal of what is in their best interest.
Have you ever tried to swim across a river with a swift moving current? At first glance it just looks like a normal body of water and so you jump in with the intention of crossing to the other side... only to find that something is pulling you in a different direction. You find yourself moving in a direction that does not reflect your intention. Something below the surface of the water is much more powerful than what you intended. That is how your beliefs buried in your subconscious mind control what happens in your life. You consciously want and intend one thing and yet in reality something quite different occurs.
However, when we look a bit closer at the body of water we want to cross, we can see the movement of the water is affected by a current below the surface that will affect our ability to get to the other side. That doesn't mean we can't cross as we intended, it only means that we must understand how the current is flowing and then make the necessary adjustments to successfully cross. Understanding this, we know we must swim downstream to allow for the power of the current so that we will end up where we want to go.
It is the same with our ideas and beliefs. Consciously we know what we want as parents. We want our children to be in a position to live the life they were born to create, to be the best they can be. And yet, as we experience our role as a parent in their lives, we feel as though we are going in a direction that is not what we intended. What we are experiencing is being over-powered by what lies beneath our conscious mind in our subconscious mind. And just as we took a closer look a the water in the stream and subsequently made adjustments to compensate for the power of the underwater current, we must take a closer look at those thoughts, ideas and beliefs beneath our conscious mind and make the necessary adjustments so that we can raise our children with the confidence that what we are passing on to them is a true reflection of what we truly want.
An example of this happened to a coaching client of mine. Janet grew up in a family that did not talk openly about their feelings toward one another. Feelings were assumed. She assumed her parents loved her although they rarely spoke the words. When Janet became a mother, without conscious awareness, she followed in her parents footsteps and was not forthcoming with verbal expressions of love for her children.
When her daughter reached the pre-teen years and began displaying the natural tendencies of becoming independent she found it difficult to handle the emotional outbursts that often accompany the teen years. She spoke to the pastor at her church and he arranged a meeting with Janet and her daughter. Janet was completely taken a back when her daughter blurted out that she didn't know for sure if her mother loved her.
Janet had been an exemplary parent...minus the fact that she never verbalized her feelings of love. When it was brought to her attention, Janet realized that she had simply carried on what she had learned from her parents, that feelings are to be assumed rather than spoken. Of course Janet loved her daughter very much, but her daughter needed to hear the words and it wasn't until the meeting with their pastor did she realize how important it was for her daughter.
Janet needed to examine why she hadn't been verbally expressive. She had to replace the subconscious belief that feelings are assumed, thus not spoken and then follow up by choosing to express her feelings for her daughter in order to improve their relationship.
Janet was inadvertently passing on a belief that interfered with having the relationship she desired with her daughter.
Even the most well-rounded, highly educated and otherwise seemingly successful people have ideas and beliefs buried in their subconscious mind that affect their parenting experience. To be the best parent, you must first be the best YOU!