Are You A Parent? Step Into The Spotlight (Episode 262)
There are many people who don't care for being in the spotlight. They aren't seeking the attention of being on center stage and all eyes on them. Yet, the truth of it is, every one of you is in the spotlight. Yes, especially you parents.
Your children are watching you. They are soaking in your habits, your opinions, your values.
And nothing like the teen and tween years to have this really be thrown in your face.
Not every habit, opinion or value may be what you want to pass on. Unfortunately, we don't get to pick and choose what our children will pick up on and take as their own.
As our girls have grown, we've used their actions as yet another clear indicator of what we need to work on in ourselves. Have you ever been mortified at what your child says, only to realize they heard the same thing directly from you?
Check out our podcast episode - You're in the Spotlight.
****Keep in mind that the blog below is a complement to the podcast - we share some additional content on the podcast, so listen in, and then share with a friend!****
It's Not Okay Anymore
Those things we let slide as little kids gets less and less cute as they get older. We've talked a lot recently about your impact and how to help your children be a part of the universe, not the center of it.
Look at your physical health. What are you putting into your body? Have you gotten complacent with what you offer your child? Have they resorted to chicken nuggets and grilled cheese as their only food option? (What is the love of all things yellow/beige??) How often do we just work around our picky eaters and just hope they'll figure out how to make better food choices? What if the only choices in your home were the options that made you all feel healthier?
Those eating habits that you tolerate when they are little oftentimes start being an issue when your child gets into the tween and teen years. All of a sudden, their steady diet of cheese and carbs has sunk in as their MO, and the weight starts coming. I have seen that be a reality wake-up call for a whole family when the parents ignored their own health and then started to see health issues cropping up in their kids. Nothing like the thought of your child's health being in jeopardy to jar parents into shifting their example and relationship with food as the first step.
Look at your mental health. Do you fly off the handle at other cars on the road, raging at them? Is your regular habit to flop down in front of the couch to veg every night, or scroll your social media feeds for hours on end? Have you gotten increasingly frustrated with your child checking out in front of a screen or flying off the handle? Maybe it's time to look in the mirror first.
Look at your emotional health. Are you really connected with who you are? Are you willing to face your emotions, own your story, and move forward to further step into who you want to be? Are your children seeing your ups and downs and how you grow through your mistakes? Are they seeing you fail and get back up again? Are they recognizing there are things that just aren't discussed in your home? As your child grows in their own independence, as they pull away, are they able to navigate their own emotions, or do they model the same pain of generational curses you've carried in your own heaviness?
We are all in the spotlight. Our impact has a ripple effect. And as I've grown with my children, I've experienced how I've personally been checked in every one of these areas.
Get Them Involved
I've recognized how our sugar-highs and obsessions with treats were a constant...as long as we were bringing it into the house. When we let go of our own unhealthy habit, it was outta sight outta mind for our children as well.
I wanted so desperately for our kids to start their mornings out reading, and I was constantly battling their desire to grab a screen first thing in the morning, or peer over my shoulder...as I was on my phone in the morning, looking at my own screen. I tried an experiment. I said nothing else to the girls. I simply checked myself and made a rule that I couldn't touch my phone in the morning. I sat down with a book, and, lo and behold, each child came and quietly sat next to me with their own book to read! Monkey see, monkey do!
And nothing like having a teen to have a flashback punch of your own past and any unsettled baggage you carry! Even those heavy things we carry in our subconscious will manifest at some point. When I started feeling more frustration and heaviness, and I started experiencing the tensions in my body, I knew there was some unresolved emotional work I needed to do. The hard work I've done to face my own stories and love the girl I was and who I've grown to be was the best thing I could give my upcoming teen daughters. A mama that loves herself now as well as the young child she was, and who has forgiven and let go of the past to make way for more joy and beauty in the future. And the energy in our home has been lighter, my tightness is gone, and the conversations with our girls have laid a foundation of connection that is the long-lasting legacy I want to continue to foster...not my past stories.
So look at where that spotlight is shining on you. Are you standing in the limelight you hope your child emulates? Are you personally modeling the behavior you'd respect and appreciate in your child? Are you able to show up, confident in who you are, so your child understands what that looks like? It's time to show up fully in life, ready to address and care for all areas of your own personal walk - mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Your children are counting on you.