I’m currently reading The Danish Way of Parenting and have come to a couple of pages that I absolutely love and align to. The authors write about suffering building character more than success and how fairytales are not always a great way to help people feel good. I remember writing about this in my first book The Sacred Psychology of Healing.
I spoke about the importance of not comparing our lives to fairytales because in reality, we must remember that it’s not actually how the story “ends”. The Danish have been found to be the Happiest people on Earth for over 40 years, nearly every year! This is staggering!
What I love about reading this book is that It is really aligned with my personal values around a non intrusive way of parenting, one that considers that importance and value of self awareness in the act of parenting. I also love the encouragement to be “authentic” emotionally with our children.
Why I consider being authentic such an important value, is because how else are we going to teach our children to regulate their own emotions, both negative and positive, in order to maintain balance. How else are we going to show our children that hurt, sadness and anger are also part of the human condition and that it’s OK?
We need to consider our role in helping our children understand that all emotions are natural and being honest them is vital. We need to realise that this authenticity allows us to teach our children confidence rather than guilt around their feelings, so that they can express tham and free them rather than let them build up and boil over.
My purpose in writing this post today is to encourage you to be upfront and honest rather than feel the need to be perfect. Our authenticity has far greater value than self editing around our children. Yes, consider your actions in dealing with your children around safety. Breathe and take a moment when under stress, in situations where safety needs to be taught. This is far more effective than impulse, acting in our default mode. But do not sensor your emotions about life.
These are what children can learn the most from. These are what enrich our children with an understanding and familiarity around feelings, rather than an anxiety around them. Build your child’s self esteem by letting them know emotions are innately natural. Give them language around feelings, to help them communicate them for themselves. Talk about them and be honest so that children know that they too, should be heard without judgement.