I like to listen to people talk about children and their views on how involved we need to be in their upbringing. Some believe that children are born empty vessels and that it is our jobs to fill them up. That it is our duty, as adults, to teach them how to act within society. Because they believe they are incapable of thinking for themselves or knowing the difference between right and wrong.
The first few years of a child's life is all about exploring and discovering. They watch everything we do and soak it all up. They have a natural desire to learn, but they do so by observing not by being instructed. This is a quality that we really need to encourage as it maintains their desire to learn and helps them build confidence. But it does not take long, until the majority of children are placed into environments where the emphasis is all about teaching them/ educating them.
That was how it happened for me and for most of the population. We are constantly bombarded with information about how we should raise our children and what is expected from us as parents. More and more they are trying to prevent self directed learning, because our world is built upon the backs of those who conformed.
Even at the beginning of my motherhood journey, I imagined that I would be teaching my girls so much about the world. That I would be one of the main people to educate them. But that all changed when I saw how they instinctively interacted with the world.
We seem to forget, that they teach themselves to move about and to speak. They really don't need any assistance from us and if we try and interfere it can actually set them back. Because we introduce the idea of doubt into their minds. Each child is born with no concept of doubt or the idea that they may not be able to achieve something.
They presume that they can do whatever they put their mind to, because why wouldn't they. Why would they ever doubt their capabilities? They simply have no reason to, ,unless we plant that seed for them and when and if we do, it then begins to grow and can become quite inhibiting.
I really believe that our duty lies in providing our children with a stimulating environment and giving them to space to discover things for themselves.
Any misgivings that we may have, we really need to keep to ourselves. Because they listen to everything we say and they are well able to pick up on our energy state. I have witnessed many times, parents being very nervous and anxious when their children start to walk and to also climb. Their reaction to each step, really has a huge impact on their children and when you see children fall, it is mostly due to their parents state of mind at the time.
It takes a lot of courage to give your child the space to explore, it does not mean that you are not present for them, but that you put your trust in their abilities. This really encourages them as they navigate they way in the world and it will continue to stand with them as they get older.
I continue to learn so much about learning and our place as parents in our children's education. I have learnt that I can offer them so much more by observing them and following their lead. Taking a step back and giving them the responsibility to learn things for themselves. I am always there if they need me, and when they do want me to teach them something I will. But my girls are fiercely independent and they like to try things out for themselves. They choose to learn what they deem necessary and that is based on the environment that they grow up in and what they see me doing.
I keep saying it, but my girls have taught me more, than what I have taught them. They know how to organize themselves and they are not afraid of responsibility! They are the ones in control of their learning and they are thriving because of it.
Control is something that we have lost down through the years. We are taught from a young age to hand over responsibility for our education and health. We follow the paths that have been laid out before us, because we are told that this is what we need to do. But there is a choice, we have a choice to make especially when it comes to our children. So when we take back responsibility for our lives, our children get to make this choice also.
Because they learn from observation, from witnessing how we interact with the world. So let go of this desire to teach and instead create a world that will give our children the opportunity to grow up to be confident and empowered.
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