Every day I have the opportunity to speak with parents from many different parts of the world. When they call or email to speak about their children they have one thing in common, which is that they want to help their children feel better and see them have good, really good lives. We usually talk about how they all can best use the instruments and how their children can gain more control over their emotions and their lives.
To be honest, most all the parents I speak with are good people who do want the best for their children. In fact, I think I have met very few bad parents in my life, parents who would willingly wish or do harm to their children. More often the parents are themselves burdened by their own childhood experiences which are now in the way of them being great parents.
The very first thing we pass on to our children is our own mental health. Whether we like it or not, the choice is not ours. Our beautiful babies, by virtue of being in our arms and in our presence, take in whatever internal mental health condition we have to offer. This continues as children grow up. And this is why I think it is essential for all of us as parents and as grandparents, to include taking care of ourselves in our parenting practices, including having balancing instruments in your home and possession.
Many of us grew up in cultures where emotional balance was of very little value and in fact was often treated as insignificant. Many of us learned to carry our troubles, to suffer through life without the expectation of feeling better. We learned by watching our families. And in some families, imbalances and outright craziness ruled the family environment.
When instability rules a family, it breeds fear in everyone, including the most unstable people
Some days I talk to parents whose “out-of-control” children are ruling the house. They are dominating with loud voices and aggressive movements. Some parents allow these children to act this way because they do not know what to do. Ironically in some cases, parents are afraid to stop the children because they do not want to be seen as bad parents. I have seen parents let children do things like bang their heads and sit back watching them. And if this kind of energy that allows madness to rule prevails, children can only become products of that force. And they can only live in fear.
We have an opportunity to raise generations of children who learn to value emotional balance. We have the opportunity to teach our children from the time they are very young the power of having emotional control over their own lives.
I cannot recall a single occasion when my parents or any of my friends’ parents checked to see how we were really feeling and asked if we were in balance or not. I do not ever remember sitting in school and having a teacher ask the class if anyone was out of balance emotionally. I do not recall a single discussion about this concept in 13 years of education. In six more years of college, I again never heard the ideal discussion.
Probably like you, I saw people
MARY MILLER MSW is an internationally known author and speaker and co-founder of I Ching Systems, LLC.