One of the greatest causes of suffering is making choices from a place of attachment to a specific result. If I must have what I want I have no choice at all. No freedom. I am a prisoner of that attachment over which I have no control. I also miss on opportunities that lie outside these wants. For example if you planned a day in the sun on the beach and it is unexpectedly raining, you can be upset and teach wanting what isn't. Or you can spare yourself the pain by choosing and loving an indoor day that day. Your child will learn from you to flow with reality.
Children demonstrate to us the process of becoming attached and the pain it causes. Your child cries because he wanted to sit by the window on the train and there are no window seats. Or, he screams when the tower falls or the banana breaks. You stay calm. You have a larger view. You know she can to have a wonderful time either way. You know that however it is, is reality to cherish.
Be your own teacher. Borrow the "you" that knows to stay peaceful when that banana breaks or the tower falls. Borrow it for yourself, when you are the one displeased with your choice or with your child's choice of behavior; when you expect a different behavior, or a different outcome.
To borrow your peaceful equanimity you must learn to be peaceful first. Your child learns to want what isn't from your demonstrations. If you fall apart with your child's fallen tower or not having a window seat, then both of you drown together in painful emotional illusions. No one is out of the water offering a hand to the child if you go down with her. To assist her, stay out of the "water" by showing with your own behavior how to choose what is. Peaceful children have learned to flow with what is. Show her child how to choose freely; not by following the mind's dictatorship (I must have...) but by noticing reality and loving it.
"But, shouldn't I be proactive in creating my and my child's reality?" ask many parents. Yes, be proactive. Create, nurture, provide and prevent. And then when the results come in; choose what comes. You may enjoy it as is, or you may respond by making adjustments. Then again the next results come in and you respond peacefully and effectively because it is always the perfect result and propelling the next proactive step peacefully.
We create and then what comes is rarely what we intended. Being attached to our ideals of how things "should" be hurts and brings us stress and disconnection from our loved ones. "My child should sleep better," "she shouldn't grab the baby's toys," "he shouldn't hit" "he should listen to me..." are all expectations for reality to be other than how it is. When we follow these expectations we lose sight of reality and miss its beauty.
For example, if I believe that my child shouldn't hit, I lose sight of why she has a valid reason to hit. I can only help her when I find out what drives her to hit over which she has no control. I stop her hitting, but I don't scold her, rather I find a way to abolish the cause of her drive to hit. I choose love every single step of the way. I choose peace and I trust my child's innate wisdom to act on her own behalf.
©Copyright Naomi Aldort