What we think we ideally would do and what we end up doing in reality may be two different things. Ideal situations don’t really account for our fears and old patterns. Real situations may be overwhelming to step into the space of ideals. Whatever the reason, it is a human thing to have such gaps in ideals and behaviour and reducing these gaps is what takes us to authenticity and integrity.
Children provide a clear mirror for such gaps in our teachings given to them and our own behaviours.They easily point out the discrepancies in our ideals and our behaviours. The usual reactions of our egos in such situations is to deny or to give reasons for how what we did is justified or to tell our child how they also show gaps like us (defence through offence).
The ability of our child to catch these discrepancies in us (which later as adolescents, they may term as hypocrisy) is uncanny. Instead of doing any of the above, if we use this mirror that they show us and welcome their input we
- Get opportunities to be more and more authentic in our life
- Make our child feel valued and seen
- Make sure we don’t gaslight our child
- Model integrity, taking responsibility for our actions
- Contribute to self-confidence, self-worth and self-respect of our child
Activity: Identify any discrepancies between your teachings and your behaviours which your child points out for you. Ask yourself what creates this discrepancy (there’s always a valid reason for these gaps). Once you know this reason (may it be fear or social conditioning or convenience and so on) ask yourself, what step can I take today to reduce or remove this gap.