Childhood. Yours, your child’s and the combinations of them together.
SO in my work with supporting women in their sensuality, their parenting skills, creating realities they desire. I have a divide, Mothers and Non-Mothers. I see all women as women, as humans that cannot be “successful” while doing it alone. The biggest common denominators challenges between women with children and women without are:
- Self confidence (and confidence)
- Fear of not having their sh*t together
- Fear of being seen in not having their sh*t together
Of course the biggest difference is women with children have little beings depending on them. SO is there a difference in the support they receive? Not really, all women need other women. The way our TV and society raised us was to compare, and compete. I find that this is still a thread in many women relationships. When there is competition and it’s unhealthy competition or competition that is extreme; jealousy can happen, as well as self deprecation. Parenting from a place of “I’m not a good enough parent,” “I don’t have my sh*t together like ______,” or working so hard to appear like you have your sh*t together, is exhausting and your children feel it.
Operating as a woman (without kids) it is just as harmful to compete and compare. It creates a scarcity mentality, “there isn’t enough for me,” “I couldn’t have ALL the things I want,” and the famous; “if only….”
UGH! It’s enough. No one has to live this way. I would say with all the work I’ve done with and for myself, I live in a non-competitive and non-comparative way for at least 70% of the time. Occasionally when I’m already being hard on myself, and then I scroll FB with that energy, everyone is living a “better” life than me.
If you are a Mom, I am here to tell you having the thoughts, and eventually actions based on comparison and competitiveness are felt by your children.
I see it when I work with children in their classrooms. Most of the comparison talk shows up in the Housekeeping or Kitchen Area in the classroom. Some examples I’ve heard recently are: “My brother does that better than me.” “My Daddy is stronger than yours,” “I get to do that also, you’re not the only one.”
Many children are naturally competitive, some are just mellow and lean more towards being in their own world.
A good way to address your child or if you don’t have children, your inner child. Is with a kind and open, neutral voice. More important than your words, is your tone of voice. That’s what your children (and inner children) hear. So how do you motivate your child/inner child?
- Do you use punishment to motivate? “Do you want me to take your game away?”
- Do you use comparison to get your child to listen? ex.”your friend Nick would never do that.”
- Do you use your parenting authority? ex.”I am the parent and you do what I say!”
- Do you use fear? ex.” Just wait until I tell your teacher/father!
- Do you shame your child? ex. are you going to be the only child to not do their HW?
Your own inner child is how you parent, so again, whether you have a child or your inner child is one that needs motivation, here are a couple of languaging suggestions in your tone of voice; The tone is one of loving kindness
- I care about you, and you will feel better after getting it done
- I understand it’s annoying, and you’ll feel proud to show up
- I love you, and am here to help you do your best
- It would be easier to skip it, but you will be hard on yourself if you do
Our inner children of all ages, are alive and well, they show up at different times and at different angles. They have wisdom, so yes listen, but then tweak the tone every time.