Parents inwardly love their children and appreciate those special moments of closeness and richness they experience with them. So why do parents also often feel disconnected from the very children they love?
Every human being has a system of values, a hierarchy of ideas that are most important to him/her in their life. These are the things they think about, dream about, visualize about and talk about; the things they spend time, energy and money on. In this way, if we look at our own life, we can see what has been most important to us—it’s all in the doing—the acting out of our values systems to get what we want. Our life demonstrates our highest values.
For example, if eating healthy has been one of our most important values, we will have become a healthful eater in our life. If building wealth is our highest value, we will find ourselves financially stable and thriving. For each person, it’s different. And sometimes there appears to be more than one value that competes for the spot at the top of the pyramid. Sometimes you think your highest value is one thing, but in reality you spend all your time/energy actually doing something else—so your true value system can sometimes surprise you. What you think is most valuable and what your life demonstrates is most valuable are not always the same.
Sometimes we project our values onto our children and expect them to live outside their own unique values and, instead, value what is most important to us. When we do this, we can create an unrealistic expectation about who we believe our children should be—and we can then then try to change them to be more like us, becoming ungrateful for whom they really are. Any time we project our expectations onto our children or other people, we will experience or receive resistance when we attempt to communicate with them. As a result, some of our most challenging relationships in life are the ones with the people we love most.
As we think about our own value systems versus our own children’s value systems, it’s not surprising children often rebel, feel uninspired and fall prey to the influence of a “bad crowd” or addictions. If our children aren’t living out their highest values (aka, allowed to do what they value in life the most), they will not be fulfilled.
This year, as our children head back to school, let’s make a promise to take time to pause and appreciate our kids for who they truly are and discover what is most important to them in their own lives. Discovering your child’s unique highest value system will allow you to have a more fulfilling relationship with open communication and a true appreciation for who you both are in your family.
Dr. John Demartini
A world-renowned inspirational speaker, Dr. John Demartini is a noted educator, business consultant, author and founder of The Demartini Institute. He was featured in the acclaimed book and movie The Secret, and is the author of 40 books published in over 29 different languages. Holding a doctorate of chiropractic, Dr. Demartini is a retired chiropractor, and to this day carries with fondness his early memories of enjoying the use of hands, heart and mind at chiropractic college.