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When Parents Are Trying Too Hard, Loving Their Kids Becomes Destroying Them

When Parents Are Trying Too Hard, Loving Their Kids Becomes Destroying Them

Parenthood is a constant question with no definite answer. Will this benefit my child? How will my choices and actions affect them in the future? The truth is, everyone is doing their best. And as a parent trying their best, you must understand that your child is also doing their best. In your efforts to push them to success, you may be hurting their self-esteem [1] in the process.

Expectation Isn’t Everything

All parents want what is best for their kids, and for them to have the opportunities that they didn’t. Or perhaps they just want them to follow in their footsteps to achieve the level of greatness that they have, or better. That’s why they choose to instill those values in them at an early age. To work hard, and to do well.

Children absolutely need that encouragement and that support to excel and flourish. But there definitely is a limit. When the need for success is taking a toll on your child’s happiness, [2] parents need to look at the bigger picture here. Their personal well-being is more important than achieving a perfect score. Parents’ needs for their flawless success could be blinding them from their deflating ego. While children need their parents’ support to thrive, they need it even more when they fail.

We all excel in different forms of intelligence.

This unnerving need to succeed, achieve, and win can have some very negative effects on a developing child’s well-being. They will harbor this supposed value throughout their lives, leaving them completely devastated in the event that they inevitably fail. College students especially struggle with this when they are unable to achieve sometimes unrealistic expectations.

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This negative reaction to failure is an indication of low self-esteem, which is a learned reaction that deepens over time. To these kids, it is completely unacceptable and they are less of a person for making a mistake.

What these children never learned, because their parents may have not been aware, is that there are nine types of intelligence’s.[3] Just because an individual does not excel in one area does not mean that they are unintelligent or incapable.

  1. Nature Intelligence
  2. Musical Intelligence
  3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
  4. Existential Intelligence
  5. Interpersonal Intelligence
  6. Bodily-Kinetic Intelligence
  7. Linguistic Intelligence
  8. Personal Intelligence
  9. Spatial Intelligence

If your child is struggling academically, look at their strengths and weaknesses. Help them to excel in the areas that naturally “click” with them, and get them extra help where they might come up short. Consider your own strengths and weaknesses, are they similar to your children?

Pressuring the children can cause them not to trust their parents.

Although parents may think they are disciplining their kids for the good, they could actually be doing them more damage than good. Because these children are intimidated by their parents, they are less likely to approach them during a time of need.

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Children may assume that their parents lack all capability of understanding, so instead of asking your permission for anything, they will sneak around. Children of strict parents tend to become masterfully manipulative and deceitful; a well honed skill that they acquired after years of tyrannical oppression.

This lack of trust is incredibly damaging to an emotionally developing individual. They need an environment where they are allowed to make choices, and don’t question if they’ll receive their parent’s support if they make a mistake.

There are some methods to help nurture children’s self esteem.

It can be difficult to watch from the passenger side when all you want to do is grab the wheel. But you’ve raised a very capable little human, and you need to let them fall a few times so they know how to pick themselves back up. Here are a few tips [4] to help them learn for themselves and build up their confidence.

Praise them for their efforts, not their outcomes.

The common term “ya win some ya loose some” takes strong precedence here. Because although it is cliché, the fact that they tried really is the most important aspect of all. What techniques did they use in the process? What are some ways that they overcame obstacles and thought outside of the box? These are the variables that you need to focus on, so that next time they will do better. Praise them for those little accomplishments along the way. Next time they will take them so much further.

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Let them fail and own the consequences.

The best way to learn is by experience. You can tell someone not to do something time and time again, but that curiosity will get the best of them eventually. Instead of sheltering and shielding them, allow them to make some mistakes. Allow them to fail. Let them find their own way to absolve the situation or at least learn from it.

This will help them to build their confidence and self awareness. It hurts to watch them fall, but think of how proud you will be when they dust themselves off and outsmart the odds.

Don’t focus on the negatives, look for the strengths.

Remember what we spoke about the nine intelligence’s? Well, they’re making a comeback. Instead of focusing on what your child cannot do, help them search for what they can. They’re not a failure because they’re not an all-star athlete like their parent. Perhaps they are book smart or artistically talented instead. Help them to identify these strengths and nurture them. You will have a common goal, and it will only bring you closer.

Give them responsibilities.

By doing so, you are putting your trust in them to do a job well done. It is now their personal responsibility to complete these tasks, which gives them a sense of obligation and achievement.

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Home is where the heart is.

Make sure that they know no matter what, home is where they can feel sake. Home is where they are accepted, and where they are loved. Always take the time to show interest and affection to your children. Let them know all of the qualities that you love about them, and ask them to name what they like about themselves. Practicing love and self-love is the best thing you can do for their emotional well being.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1]Cardinal Glennon: Parents can influence child’s self-esteem
[2]KidsHealth: Developing Your Child’s Self-Esteem
[3]Skyview High School: The Nine Types of Intelligence
[4]Developmental Psychology at Vanderbilt: Instilling Self-Esteem in Children

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Jenn Beach

Traveling vagabond, freelance writer, & plantbased food enthusiast.

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Published on November 28, 2018

How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind

How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind

The woman in yoga pants sitting in a lotus position atop a rocky cliff, overlooking a valley draped in fog — this is the glamorized version of meditation you’ll come across as you search. Yet if you’re seeking meditation to calm your mind, a fantastic setting with no distractions is rarely available.

So how to do meditation?

The truth about meditation is it’s an everyday practice for anybody. You could be a mountain climber or you could be an accountant — either way, your home is just as good a place for meditation as any.

Are you seeking to corral your racing thoughts and relieve a sense of unease, awkwardness, or uncertainty? Look to home meditation to cultivate a laid-back, creative, confident, and organized frame of mind. According to extensive scientific research, meditation relieves stress and anxiety, decreases blood pressure, improves sleep, and improves your ability to pay attention. [1]

From start to finish, this article will give you quick, easy steps to follow so that you can meditate at home regularly. You’ll begin by assessing, identifying and altering things that need to change in your home environment. You’ll end by understanding the basics of meditation so that you can let yourself do what you already know how to do deep down in the hidden reality of your mind.

You’re ready to let your mind be, and just be, in your own home — let’s begin.

1. Find the Right Space in Your Home

Where is your right space for meditation at home? Is it in your basement, your bedroom, your living room, or your study?

The right space will be one with the least distractions built in to its purpose. In that case, it may be your bedroom. If you’ve set up your bedroom to be a place for sleep and only sleep, it will lend itself well to meditation.

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The right space will also be a reasonably spacious one. Although comfort is not your goal, you need room to sit. Choose a space that is private, spacious, and quiet. If you don’t have a space in your home like this, create one. Free it from clutter and get it ready for you to meditate there any time.

Ultimately, your right space is one you feel comfortable meditating in, the space you can enter with no other expectations.

2. Improve the Feng Shui in Your Home and Meditation Space

Feng shui means “wind and water.” It’s the ancient Chinese art of placement.[2]

Feng shui improves harmony with nature. Adherents to the principles of feng shui believe all things have energy (chi). The focus of feng shui is to send negative chi (sha) out of the space and attract positive chi (yun).

Here’s the truth about feng shui: it’s not complicated or hard. The following will influence feng shui positively in your home and meditation space:

  • Living things, such as plants
  • Beautiful objects, such as sculptures or even a well-polished piece of driftwood
  • Mirrors in symmetrical placement with the lines in a room
  • Mellifluous sounds, such as trickling water or wind chimes
  • Furniture away from walls
  • A centerpiece, such as a small table with books or an ornate lamp on it
  • Incense or something else that smells good
  • A lack of clutter and an attention to organization that emphasizes the usefulness, purpose, and essential being of each item in your house

Given that feng shui is connected to Taoism and Buddhism, it will complement the meditative atmosphere you want to cultivate in your home.

3. Eliminate Pervasive Distractions That Can Harm Your Wellbeing

In part, meditation is about accepting the existence of distractions. When you meditate, you don’t judge and assign a positive or a negative value to distractions — the ticking of a clock, an itch, the barking of a dog — you let them occur and let them dissipate like waves.

However, in the same way that feng shui removes objects that attract negative chi, there are certain types of distractions that don’t belong in your meditative space. You must remove them.

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In a survey of 1,700 people who visited social media sites at least 30 times per week, 30 percent reported high levels of sleep disturbance and 25 percent presented symptoms of depression. [3]

Those individuals who experience sleep disturbances or mental health issues due to social media are not setting boundaries between themselves and their connected devices.

Part of learning how to meditate at home is learning how and when to set boundaries between yourself and your connected devices and social media accounts. If you need your phone for a timed meditation practice, but you normally receive social media notifications on your phone, set it on Do Not Disturb or Airplane mode during your meditation time.

4. Flow into Meditation Through Time

Next, set aside a time for meditation each day. It’s right to be structured and disciplined about your meditation time.

Buddhist monks whose lives revolve around meditation are very structured and organized with their tasks each day. Structure provides the balance your being needs. Once you are meditating, your mind has no need for time. Outside of your given meditation time, you are completing tasks essential to the wellbeing of yourself and your home.

Consider meditating as the sun rises. This is a quiet and contemplative time of the day when it is natural to set your day’s balance through meditation.

5. Recognize the Rightness of Doing Nothing

At home, you’re probably used to always doing something. When you do meditation at home, you are being, which is doing something and nothing simultaneously.

Maryville University points out that successful people unplug by doing nothing. [4] Not only this, but they set the right expectations for the time during which they will do nothing.

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We oftentimes look forward to the future by expecting something to happen and by expecting something of ourselves. To meditate from home, look to that time and that space by expecting nothing. You will not do any chores. You will not catch up on work. You will do nothing but meditate for a certain amount of time each day.

This might sound crazy, but in taking on meditation from home, you’re not expecting yourself to improve and become a better person. As Ram Dass put it, you are expecting yourself to be here now.

6. Choose from the Incredible Variety of Meditative Practices

As I outlined in my post on types of meditation, there are many different and not-so-different types of meditation from which to choose.

Many beginners find it right to choose guided meditation, for which there are apps, videos, and audio tapes available.

If you are not necessarily a beginner but are merely moving your meditative practice into the home, you can facilitate a practice such as Nada Yoga — sound meditation — by placing a fountain in your space or listening to ambient alpha wave music.

If you’re used to meditating outside of your home — perhaps you are drawn to the outdoors because of the sounds of nature — a practice like Nada Yoga can help you transition into your home space.

7. Understand You Can Meditate Any Time at Home

What if I told you to throw out all of the tips that came before this? Sounds crazy but that is how radical mindfulness meditation really is. We don’t think of it as radical because it is now ingrained in our popular discourse.

Mindfulness meditation does start as a sitting meditation practice. It goes like this:

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  1. Sit comfortably and close your eyes.
  2. Focus on breathing. Inhale through your nose slowly and exhale slowly.
  3. As distracting thoughts arise, don’t judge them and don’t hang onto them. Let each thought go as you focus on breathing.
  4. Treat all physical sensations and feelings in the same way you do thoughts: register them, then let them go, returning to breathing.
  5. Extend this practice to everyday activity, remaining “in the moment” of the body’s activity with each new breath.

As you practice mindfulness around your home, note the physical characteristics of the things in themselves. Note physical sensations: sounds, smells, textures, appearances, tastes. Stop now and then and do a body scan from head to toe, noting what each section is doing and how it’s feeling.

Note thoughts that come and the emotions attached to them: let them go. Concentrate on the breath and the physical activities — including the details of the objects with which you’re interacting.

You’ll notice that your home will lend itself to a meditative state when things are in order. This is where true feng shui originates. You will naturally sense how the arrangement of things affects the energy in a room.

Clutter will disappear because mindfulness tells you to dispose of unnecessary things. Plants will bloom. Birds will make their nests in your backyard. Your home will smell pleasing and people will naturally be attracted to it and your presence.

You’ve Reached the Beginning and the End

Once you are able to do mindfulness meditation even as you are attending to the normal and abnormal requirements of your home, the mundane and the unusual, you are at both the beginning and the end.

You are at the beginning because meditation never ends. Continue setting aside time each day to do sitting meditation in the space you’ve set aside. Continue practicing mindfulness as you attend to the energy of your house, your own energy, and the energy of those around you.

You are at the end because you grasped what it means to do meditation at home: it means letting go of cares and concerns and being in your home as you attend to the right tasks. The right tasks are those necessary for being in your home.

As you sit in your home, rise, open the door and you leave, you are calm in your mind because you are home.

Featured photo credit: Simon Rae via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Healthline: 12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation
[2]Marquette University: Feng Shui: The Wind and Water
[3]Rutgers University: Social Media and Well-Being
[4]Maryville University: How Successful People Unplug

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