Is the tail end of August bringing up those ‘back to school’ feelings for you ?
Perhaps , as a hangover from childhood, the new school year feels more important and significant to you than the actual new year in January. Maybe you get the sense that this is a time for change , new beginnings, letting go of old patterns of behaviour and maybe feelings of excitement and anticipation as to what lies in the year ahead. In all the business that this time of year brings, I would encourage you to take some moments to listen to the messages these feelings might have for you.
As well as being frantically busy, for many parents this time of year can bring a mixture of feelings. Often a new transition, whether it be going to nursery or school for the first time or moving up into the next school year,
going to secondary school
a gap year or university
or ultimately finishing education and going out into the big wide world
can bring into focus that your child is becoming more and more independent and there is a need to appropriately let go a little more – not always easy !
As parents we need to provide love and care for our children, whatever stage they are at, but it is all to easy to confuse care with worry and instead come from a restricting place of fear.
We worry – what if they have no friends, don’t fit in, don’t get the grades they need, don’t get a job, even if we don’t say this to them they always feel our fear.
It is a classic thing to say – I just want my child to be happy – but parents often don’t realise they hold a specific image of what that happiness might be and on some level this can feel restrictive and be a pressure for their child.
Nowadays we are encouraged as parents to make our children feel better, so as to promote good self esteem. Have you ever thought that perhaps instead we should be concentrating on helping them get better at feeling !
Feelings are one of our greatest links to our unconscious mind and intuition. A big part of hypnotherapy is encouraging people to listen to their feelings instead of ignoring them or pushing them down with food, numbing them with alcohol, drugs, shopping or even perfectionism and business. Listening and validating their feelings is the most nurturing thing we can do for our children ( and spouses and friends!)
So whatever stage your children may be, what about making this September a time for welcoming and validating all feelings, both theirs and yours, and start choosing thoughts of love and care rather than those of worry, control and fear
I always find this poem by the Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran a great reminder of this
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.