When I first started coaching, I was amazed that people would ask me, a childless woman who doesn’t even own a pet (to be fair, only because my lifestyle wouldn’t be very good for a pet, not because I’ve thus far failed to keep one alive, or anything) about parenting advice. I thought, “Who am I to be telling people how to raise their kids?” But after a while, it dawned on me that
- I wasn’t telling anyone how to raise their kids. I was simply reminding them of the wisdom that they, innately, held within themselves.
- I deal with people and the beliefs that lead them towards or away from what they want. Kids are people, too.
- It’s all energy. And when you understand energy, everything starts to make sense. Yes, even kids.
So yes, this childless, petless woman is about to write another post about dealing with kids. Today, I’d like to address how you can go about teaching the principles of the Law of Attraction to your children. After all, why not give them the benefit of knowing just how powerful they are at an early age? (Unless, of course, you’re afraid that once they realize Who They Really Are, they’ll take over your kingdom, causing you to try to have them killed, so they run away and become sex slaves in a weird dwarf commune, where they get hooked on “apples” and nearly O.D., but rehab a glass coffin makes them all better, and even though they’re so messed up in the head at this point that they mistake date rape a kiss for love, they find their way back to you and throw you into a firey pit of hell, proving once and for all that your kids’ spirits will prevail and if you tried to squash them, you should totally move to a new address, because if they know where you live, they will take their revenge and no one will blame them. I seem to have gone off topic again. Where the hell was I? Oh yes…).
Contrary to what you may think, teaching kids how to deliberately receive their reality isn’t hard at all. They remember this stuff much more easily than we do as adults. You’re really just reminding them of what they already know. It’s MUCH harder to train them out of this knowledge than to remind them of it. In other words, be prepared for your kids to get better at this than you are rather quickly. And when that happens, they may very well start to teach you.
Teach them to honor their emotions
Since our emotions are our most important feedback mechanism, showing us when we’re moving away from what we want or towards it, it makes sense to start there. When your child expresses an emotion, don’t tell them that they’re wrong. You would never do that, you say? When your child proclaims “I hate him/her!”, what’s your first response? If you’re like most parents, you say “No you don’t”, in an attempt to diffuse the negative feelings. You assume that your child doesn’t really hate that person, and you want them to acknowledge that they don’t really mean what they say. Except, they do. In that moment, your child is feeling hatred. They are feeling anger. You may not want them to feel that way, but they do. And that’s ok.
When you try to change your child’s feelings by simply telling them to feel different (or, as in the example above, trying to convince them that they actually do feel different), it teaches them not to use their own judgment. They will look to you to see if they can feel good or not, no longer relying on their own feedback system. Use these steps instead:
- If your child is upset, ask them how they feel without judgment. You can even ask them, “Are you angry? Are you sad?” to help them identify their feelings. If, however, they don’t have a good answer, don’t pursue it. This is not the time to go digging around for reasons (that can come later). Remember, your child does not need a conscious reason to feel the way they do (neither do you). They don’t need permission to have an emotional response.
- Validate how they feel. “It’s ok to be angry.” If your child has acted that anger out, you can make the distinction between it being ok to be angry, but it not being ok to hit others, for example. Make whatever they are feeling ok.
- Ask your child what they need right now. Do they just want to be alone? Do they want a hug? If the child has acted out of anger and you put him in his room to calm down, this may not be applicable in that moment. But, even then, you’re giving your child some space and allowing them to calm down. Make sure you don’t make the punishment about the anger, but the action, instead.
- When your child is calm again, discuss what happened and why, again, without judgment of their feelings. How did they feel? Why did they feel that way? And now, this is where the teaching moment comes in: Help them figure out that the feeling was a result of their perspective (how they were looking at the situation) and the thoughts they were thinking. Then, help them find better feeling thoughts.
- As your children get a little older, you can teach them what their emotions mean. For example, your son may think his teacher is “stupid”. Ask him why he thinks that. The reason may be something like “She hates me.” Ask him how that thought feels. It feels bad. Then explain that if the thought feels bad then it means that this thought is not true. For a smaller child, you may just want to help him shift perspective – dissect the reasons he thinks she hates him and help him find a perspective that feels better (for example, different reasons for doing the things she’s doing that have nothing to do with him). But, an older child (use your judgment) can understand that the thought that really caused the bad emotion was the fear that maybe, the teacher has a valid reason for disliking him. Perhaps, there’s something wrong with him. Or, perhaps she has no valid reason but there’s nothing he can do about it (powerlessness). This will open up the discussion to a whole new level of understanding (influencing others, see below).
A game to help your child identify their emotions
Credit for this game goes to an episode of the Supernanny which I caught recently. I thought it (the game) was incredible and it was no surprise that it totally worked. Make a chart with the pertinent areas of your child’s life. Now, make some happy faces, sad faces, angry faces, etc. Teach your child to place the face that matches how they feel about that area next to it, basically allowing you to see their emotional state. Review the chart daily and discuss each one (the positives and the negatives). Remember never to judge your child’s emotions, only to validate and then to help them find better emotions if possible. You may also gain a great deal of understanding into how your child thinks and sees the world.
Teach them about influencing and being influenced by others
In the course of their lives, your children are going to come across all kinds of people. Some of these people will be happy shiny puppies. Others will be douchebags. One of the best gifts you can give your kids is to teach them how they can stop themselves from being influenced by the douchebags, and how they can actually line up with more happy shiny puppies, instead.
Let’s use an example to illustrate the techniques you can teach your child: Your daughter is being teased by a boy at school and is quite upset about his behavior. Recognize that the real pain your daughter is feeling is not from this boy’s words, but rather because she’s wondering if his words might be true, or feels that she’s powerless somehow. If you can help your daughter shift her perspective on the thoughts that are causing her this pain, not only will she feel better, but her manifestation of this boy will shift, as well. He won’t tease her anymore.
Shifting her perspective of the other person
Big Hint: Do not try to shift anything while your daughter is upset. Let her calm down first, let her anger out, etc. Only do this work when the major emotional response is over.
The first thing you can do is to help your daughter see this boy in a different light. You can ask her how she thinks he feels when he’s teasing her. Does she think he feels good? Why? Why would he need to feel good by teasing someone else? Use your judgment on what you feel the real reasons are. For example, a boy who is unhappy at home may bully others to feel better. This is quite different from a boy who is trying to get her attention because he likes her. You’ll be able to help your daughter determine what the underlying cause is (this is where your broader perspective comes in). In any case, you’re going to try and determine what this boy is really after (relief or attention). When your daughter understands that his behavior has less to do with her personally and more to do with his own issues or desires, it will start to take the sting out of whatever thoughts she’s having about herself.
When we (adults and kids) understand the motivation behind someone’s behavior, it’s often much easier not to take it personally or be bothered by it. You can teach your kids to look for different perspectives and reasons for people’s actions that have nothing to do with them. You may be surprised to hear your son say something like “I bet that man is angry because he’s afraid” upon witnessing an angry outburst. When that happens, give yourself a gold star for being an awesome teacher.
Visualizing a different version of the other person
Back to your daughter and the teasing boy. Once you’ve shifted her perspective of his motivations, it’ll be easier for her to imagine a different version of him. For example, let’s say that this boy has a horrible home life. In that case, your daughter may actually feel a bit sorry for him. Ask her to imagine him being happy and playing with others, feeling good about himself. She doesn’t need to put herself into this visualization if she doesn’t want to. You’ll be able to tell by her body language and facial expression if she’s lining up with that vision or not (she has to feel better). You may even be able to go so far as to get her to send him love. As she is doing this, she’s shifting her own energy. She’s lining herself up with a happy, confident version of this boy.
By the way, the same visualization will work if the boy is teasing her to get her attention. The teasing then comes from a place of insecurity (“I’m going to act like I don’t like you so that you won’t discover just how much I like you and reject me”).
Once the shift has occurred, you can be sure that your daughter’s manifestation will change. Now, help her to see the correlation between the work she did (visualization and feeling better) and the way the boy now behaved toward her. Help her to feel that sense of control.
But what about the underlying thought that caused the pain in the first place? Often, simply shifting the evidence of that thought will be enough to cause your child to come to a different conclusion. Where before, she was afraid the boy was right when he called her names, now she no longer sees any reason to think that. Remember that children’s beliefs are usually not as ingrained as those in adults and shift more easily. They remember Who They Really Are faster.
Any advice on teaching LOA wouldn’t be complete without covering how to manifest “stuff”. For your children, this may be toys, vacations, experiences, people or even houses. There’s no limit to what your children (or you) can want.
Don’t limit their desires
So, obviously, the first step in manifesting anything, is not to limit our dreams. In other words, and I’m going to be super blunt about this: Stop being so damn realistic. If your child wants to be a Wizard, don’t poo poo all over that idea by suggesting that he be a doctor instead (and that doctors are like wizards in that they magically heal people.) Instead, get in on the fun of what he could do as a Wizard. Maybe, when he’s a wizard, he can make a Unicorn, and you could all ride to work and school on it. Wouldn’t that be fun?
If you have a hard time with this kind of daydreaming and you feel like you need to give your child “realistic” expectations, let me put your mind at ease. You are not turning your child into a delusional weirdo. Why does your child want to be a wizard? There’s a core desire in there that’s being expressed through the mind of a child. Your child may want to be powerful, for example. When you negate the representation of his desire, you negate the desire. In other words, when you tell your child in any way that he can’t be a wizard, you are telling him that he can’t be powerful. You may not have made that association, but he will. So, dream with him and let him feel the joy around the possibilities – those that make him feel powerful or good or loved or whatever. Don’t limit his view of the world and of himself.
“So,” I can hear you asking, “if my kid wants a Pony for Christmas, I should just pretend that he can have one, even though I know we don’t have the money, or the room, etc.?” Yes, and no. I’m not saying that you should lie to your daughter and tell her that yes, she’s totally getting a pony, when you know you won’t be able to make that happen. But, you can certainly feed the dream and the possibility of it. Imagine with her how amazing it would be to have a pony. Ask her where the pony would live (have her imagine a solution). Don’t be afraid to not know an answer. “How will we pay for it?”, for example may stop the fantasy cold. But, if you allow for the fact that this detail could easily work itself out and just focus on what it would be like to have a pony, you open the way for a manifestation.
Even if you can’t get your daughter a pony, the Universe can easily arrange circumstances where she can ride a pony, or even have regular access to one. Don’t assume that you are the only avenue through which your kids can manifest and don’t train them to think you are, either. Don’t shut down their dreams just because you can’t think of a way to make them happen. Remember, the HOW is not your job.
Techniques/games to help your children manifest
You can use pretty much any manifesting technique that adults use with your kids. Make a vision board and have your kids cut out images of what they want. Or create a Wish Box and have them place images and/or representations of what they want in the box. The key is that the images or representations must feel really good. This is where the teaching comes in (but it won’t take long; your kids will be geniuses at this). Make sure that your kids are focusing on what they want, rather on what they don’t want.
Pretend you’re at an Improv class
There’s a rule when practicing Improv – no matter what the other person says, you have to accept is and run with it. For example, if someone says “You’re all wet! What happened?”, an appropriate response might be “I don’t know! I woke up that way!” You would NOT want to say “What are you talking about? I’m not wet.” You accept the premise that you are, indeed, soaking wet and go from there. You can play this game with your kids. Why? Because it helps them accept the impossible as possible and the more they do that, the easier it will be for them to manifest anything. Moreover, it will teach YOU not to inadvertently squash their dreams with your well ingrained realism.
Celebrate every positive manifestation
Last but not least, one of the most important things you can do to teach your children about the Law of Attraction is to help them recognize and celebrate every manifestation. If they thought of butterflies and you see butterflies (real ones, stickers, any representation, really), point out that they made this happen. If your daughter wanted a pony and visualized it, and she gets to ride a pony, help her recognize that this experience is a direct result of her visualization (and that it’s a great sign that bigger pony experiences are on the way.) Essentially, help them see every positive manifestation as a sign from the Universe that they’re doing it right and on their way to better and better things. Help them look for the magic in their lives. This positive reinforcement will not only help them recognize the good and the joy in their lives, but will orient them AND YOU towards more good and joy. And before you know it, you’ll be a whole family of happy shiny puppies who sees almost nothing but evidence of what’s going right. Plus, you’ll totally get that pony.
The following coaching calls address parenting issues (click to see the full call summary):
The following blog posts also deal with children and parenting issues: