Let’s explore the topic of childhood and adulthood. Which of those times of our life is actually better, and where do we feel more comfortable, happy, safe, and accomplished?
I am sure you have heard your parents saying that they wish they were kids again and that we don’t appreciate being a child. On the other hand, if you would talk to any child or teenager, we will soon find out that they cannot wait when they will be adults. Confusing right?
So, what is what? Is our childhood so blissful and easy, that we should never want to grow up, and that every adult wishes to come back to their childhood? Or maybe, the adults only said it because they didn’t want us to grow up, and they were only projecting their needs onto us, at the same time expecting that we will accept it without questioning it.
That sounded very philosophical, but let’s get deeper…
We know that majority of our core beliefs come from our childhood. How we perceive the world and ourselves is based on the subconscious beliefs that were created in our minds in our early childhood. Our parents and caregivers passed on their values to us. Some of our beliefs systems come directly from them.
As children we are very vulnerable, open, soft, needy, we constantly are looking for love, safety, and attention. We need to feel that we are important, to our parents and friends. We need it to survive. Based on that, whether the other person will meet our needs or not we assess our self-worth.
If we believe and feel that we are lovable and good enough, as a child, it is more likely that we will have a healthy relationship with ourselves in adulthood. And that will impact our happiness. But what happens when the caregiver is not meeting our needs?
Being a child means that you constantly are dependent on other people. You don’t really have much freedom, your opinions don’t really matter, or you can’t really make many decisions. (That is the experience of the majority of people). Adults don’t really treat you seriously, very often they have a tendency to look down on you, but at the same time, they might demand a lot from you. If you won’t meet their expectations, then you are made feel not good enough. This will have a huge impact on our confidence and attachment.
Being an adult, in general, means that you should be making decisions for yourself, that you should become more responsible for your actions. That you should not make any mistakes… No pressure, right? 😊 But, what if the “preparation” in your childhood had nothing to do with how to be a happy, successful adult?
Then you are left with your old core unhealthy beliefs about yourself, have no skills to be assertive, have no idea what boundaries are, believe that having your own opinion is something bad, that thinking about yourself is very selfish and unacceptable. On top of that, there are those social expectations put on you. A lot to carry. A lot to deal with it.
But there is good news as well when you are an adult, you are independent, you don’t have to rely on other people, you don’t need others to make you happy. You are in charge. Your adulthood is the time when you take the main role in your movie. You become the main character. And that is your strength and power that no one will be ever take away from you. In your adulthood you CAN make decisions for yourself, you can rearrange the whole life, you can change anything you want.
However, you need to realize it first. You need to take full ownership of your life and to want to be in charge of your life. You need to want to be independent. Once you realize that, you will break the chains that were put on you in your childhood. It doesn’t mean that it will “fix” everything at once, but it will get you started to start creating the life you desire. It will be some journey, but the lesson and experience will be priceless. You will gain your wisdom and even more strength.
So don’t feed into the “I CAN’T mode”, because if you will believe in it, then it will become your reality.
My own experience
This article might seem very subjective and biased… and it probably is. However, based on my personal and professional experience, I can honestly say that it is the reality for the majority of people. I have been working with many people over the last few years, all with different, very unique stories. And only one person told me that they would be actually delighted to come back in time to their childhood. That was the second person I knew personally that would do that… the other one is my husband.
When I was a child, I hated being told what to do. Since my early years, I always had something against it. (By the way, it didn’t change at all 😊) That was one of the many reasons why I didn’t like being a child. I didn’t like the lack of control, that I felt.
I didn’t like the idea of someone else looking after me or me being dependent on someone else. So, I became very independent very quick. The first job I had was when I was 16 years old. (That was the legal age in Ireland to work). I remember, on Saturday I turned 16 and on Monday was my first day at work! So, I was going to school, and I was working. It suited me. It gave me a sense of freedom and independence. Now, many years later, I am working for myself. Being an employee just didn’t suit me anymore. I guess some things never change, huh? 😊
Lesson to be learned
I am aware that I have put the concept of childhood in a “dark” colour. I am also aware that this is not the paradigm for many of you. And I am delighted for you.
However, the whole point of this article is to make you more aware of the subconscious blocks, that you might have. But believe it or not, you are still in charge of them. Because your life belongs to you.
Another hope of this article is that if a parent reads it, it will broaden the awareness of the parenting style. Parents got to allow their children to be their own people. You got to love your children wisely. Teach them values and self-worth without taking the power away from them. Stop manipulating your kids into your own desires and expectations. Accept your children as they are, listen to them. Children are the fastest learning creatures… trust it.
Myself as a parent
I am not saying that being a parent is easy, OMG! Absolutely not! For me, as a mother of two amazing kids, motherhood of all my life challenges is the most difficult job I have ever taken on! And this is not because there is something wrong with my children, but it is because my kids are the only people that will trigger me the most. Sometimes I feel that they know more about me than I actually do. Sometimes, I am wonder do they know my subconscious mind more than I do!
They know when I am trying to hide the truth, so in response, they will say it up straight, so I can’t avoid it.
They know when I am trying to get them to do things to my advantage, and they refuse to do so, and they will confront me about it.
They know when I am trying to hide my vulnerability, and that’s when they will not allow me to do it, by asking about it.
When I am lost, confused, and not sure, they will insist on me a quick ability to make decisions.
When I am making a mistake, they will demand an explanation.
When I don’t like something, they did or said, it is the exact thing that I don’t like in myself or things that I find it hard to accept in myself.
So yes, being a parent is a very challenging task and the most valuable lesson. At the same time, it is very rewarding! My children are my best teachers, yet they are demanding. Being a parent is a journey of an emotional roller coaster. But being a child is no easier. So, the best way to make it work for both sides, (that works for me and my children), is to keep it balanced, open, authentic, and honest.