“If you want to learn what messages you heard from your parents, listen to your kids.”

This post is a little personal.

Years ago, someone I respected told me that I didn’t trust myself, and it rang true to me.  Now, if you know me, this is probably one of the last things you would have guessed about me, and even my closest friends who know me very well would call me confident, accomplished, and a decision maker, certainly not someone who was wishy-washy or didn’t trust themself.

However, for years I have struggled with this statement, since as I mentioned, it did ring true to me, on a deeper level, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on how they were correct, even though I knew they totally were.

Until today.

This morning, I found my son upset, and when I asked him what was wrong, he said “Dad, you are just going to tell me that the anger I am feeling is silly and not logical, so don’t worry about it.  I’m okay.”

Wow, I thought.  That must be the message I have been giving him all these years, that he should ignore his feelings because they aren’t logical.

And that’s when it hit me.  He must have received that message from me before, which means that I must have received that message too some where along the way.  That I should ignore my feelings when they weren’t logical which explains why I always have felt that I wasn’t trusting myself – I wasn’t giving appropriate weight to my own inner feelings. (However, it doesn’t work that way.  Feelings and logic are both relevant in decision making and both sides need to be considered, as you know, and I told him this morning.)

So the point is, by listening to the assumptions that our kids tell us about what we are telling them, we can hear first hand what we probably were told by our parents when we were younger, and learn more about those internal messages that we are probably still telling ourselves as well.

Leave a Reply