It’s Not You, It’s Me… How our Children Reflect our Behaviour

Posted on 14 August 2012 by Annerley

About a year or so into parenthood, it slowly starts to dawn on you that bringing up baby is a lot more about how you behave than how your kid does. This is not something that gets explained to you in advance. When a child is born s/he knows absolutely nothing about social rules or how, when or where s/he should behave. In fact, all s/he really knows is water, darkness and sound. As a parent, it falls on us to teach the rest. So it follows that when we’re unhappy with aspects of their behaviour, we can’t really blame them as we were the ones who taught them to behave that way in the first place. We may have done this very consciously by deciding to respond to certain situations in specific ways or we could have done this unconsciously simply by being ourselves. That realisation is quite a big one because it means that we are one big walking, talking example for their behaviour. And that, of course, means that if we want them to change, we have to change first. GULP!

So how on earth do we start? Well, the good news is that your little one is a great indicator of your starting point. For the first 7 years of their lives, they pretty much learn from observing us. That means the chances are fairly high that aspects of their character that annoy us the most are, unfortunately, aspects of ourselves that annoy us the most. So when I once asked a wise man why my son was always moaning and complaining, he told me that it was because I too did a lot of that so my son thought it must be a good thing to do. Ouch! I had to take a long look at myself after that revelation and make some pretty drastic changes to my behaviour.

The benefits of taking this approach are really high. When we change and let go of those parts of ourselves that we don’t like, our children change too. As we behave, so they behave. It’s a simple truth but does require some kind of regular ongoing practice to maintain. That doesn’t mean that you need to take yourself to some mountain top somewhere and meditate in silence for long periods of time – although that is quite tempting when you’re with your kids 24/7 – even a couple of minutes a day of simple deep breathing can make the world of a difference.

Here at Annerley, we don’t just work with you whilst you’re going through the process of becoming a parent. We also offer workshops and evenings to assist at every stage of parenthood. Being a parent is a lifelong commitment and every parent could do with some extra tips and techniques from time to time. If you’re a new Dad or Dad-to-Be, you may like to get all your questions answered at our Daddy 101 evening. New Mums are welcome to join us for our Truth About Motherhood workshops where we let you in on the secrets to time-management and planning for the future and also introduce you to a couple of techniques for the kind of conscious parenting this article has talked about. And for those of you who want to work on specific issues that are coming up for your family, we offer one-to-one EFT sessions.  Further information on all of these courses can be found by clicking here on ‘Other Classes’. We hope to see you there!


Workshop Facilitator & EFT practitioner, Orla Breeze works with new parents and parents-to-be here at annerley where she runs her popular workshops Daddy 101 & The Truth About Motherhood 




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