Love Your Neighbor As Thyself

While I don’t remember the source, I had heard the biblical wisdom “love thy neighbor as thyself” explained in a way that resonated with what I have heard so many times. We cannot give to others what we have not been given ourselves. Loving another begins with learning to love “YOU” first.

Parents’ who are working diligently to shift their paradigm, from the traditional parenting imprints of the generation before to a love based parenting paradigm, will often find themselves drained and exhausted. This is because we are trying to give what we have not received. In our drain and exhaustion we shift back into our traditional parenting imprints and lose our patience, yell, shame, blame and/or punish our children. After, we resort to judging ourselves, for how we reacted and we may even condemn ourselves, for failing to “get it right”.

In truth, you end up, treating your child in the same way you treat yourself and others have treated you. I would even assert that you are probably even harder on yourself than you are on anyone else. Next time this happens, start by forgiving you, be patient with you and show yourself some understanding. As you learn to give love to yourself, you will begin to naturally, effortlessly and gracefully give love to others.

Take this a step further; share your process with your child. For example you might say, “I realized that when I am frustrated with myself there is a voice in my head that says, “You better get it together” and that voice in my head said the same thing to you today. I apologize and realized I need to be more understanding of me, so I can be more patient with you too. Then, the next time you hear that voice in your head, share it aloud, “Hmmm that voice just came back telling me to get it together, (then talk to the voice and say) Thank you for sharing that with me voice, I am going to be ok.”

Sound odd? Being more gentle with ourselves will initially feel strange for most of us but it doesn’t have to for our children. Remember, 80% of what we model our children learn.  The added bonus…you just changed the IMPRINTS OF GENERATIONS TO COME!

This is part of my “weekly tips for parents” series.  Each week you are given one insight to carry with you and implement throughout the week.  I recommend you use sticky notes or whatever means you choose to remind yourself of the parenting skill you’re putting in to practice this week.  I’d love for you to share your experience throughout the week on my Facebook page so that other parents may benefit from your experience. 

If you would like to have the weekly tips delivered to your phone, download my mobile app for Android or iPhone/iPad.


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