I was struck by this thought the other day. I am raising children that will most likely go on to have children and I am modelling for them how to be as a parent. We as parents have a choice as to how we show up and we can change script for future generations.
If you stop and think about it that is an amazing thought!
I was brought up in an alternative, liberal, arty household. My parents were gentle but they had their moments. ‘Just do as I say’ or ‘because I said so’ made total sense to parents back then. Smacking was also a thing, it was just the way a lot of children were punished. Nobody was stepping up and saying ‘this is not OK’
Publicly shaming of children at school was also normal. I remember one teacher throwing the blackboard rubber at us if we made a noise. I remember him threatening to throw one at me as I was giggling when he was talking about ‘our Queen, Elizabeth Regina’. Which I found hilariously funny as it sounded like vagina. My laughter soon stopped when I saw the glint of his eye behind the blackboard rubber.
This same teacher squashed a boy behind a door with all his might continuously with each push he said ‘you’ push ‘will’ push ‘say’ push ‘sorry’ until the boy did, he didn’t have much of a choice. It was the 70’s in England, this was the norm and nobody said a word because, well, you just didn’t. I am old enough to remember small boys (it generally was boys) in corners wearing dunces hats! Looking back I realise that none of this shaming, blaming, aggressive behaviour towards children should have been allowed to happened.
Excuse me while I physically shake all those memories off and take a breath.
So, here we are now in this moment and we have the power to make everything change, we can do things differently. In an instant we have the choice to think about how we show up. Even if we are completely frazzled, tired and triggered, we can take that breath and not physically or psychologically throw the chalkboard rubber across the room. It takes work and mental training, it is like a muscle.
The first step is to notice when you are being triggered and about to go in to default destructive parenting mode which will ultimately serve nobody.
The second step is when you can make a choice as to how you show up because what you do next is important. It is what your children may do to their children and so these patterns go on.
None of us are perfect as parents but we can do our best and in this way we are changing the future.
We are uplifting the next generation and gently changing the course of history for all our potential grandchildren and their children to come and that is a wonderful thought. There may well be a moment in the future when you can look your grandchild in the eye and know how far you have all come.
You can find more of Lehla’s writing in ‘Jump, Fall, Fly from schooling to homeschooling to unschooling’ available here
And if you are interested in Lehla’s illustrating for you can find here work here
Who I truly am is a creative who loves working to help, comfort and inspire other people. From performing in hospitals to writing a book for wonderful women to supporting self directed learners. Doing work with meaning is where I get the most joy. I am so excited to be a part of Jump, Fall, Fly and I aim to inject my best self in to this project so that I can add something exciting, new and upbeat to this challenging and fast changing world.
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