sea gulls in red sky

Our connections with our children are deeply intertwined with every level of our being.

When our child suffers, we suffer. We feel what they feel, and they feel what we feel. We can act as if there are significant degrees of separation between us, but the maddening truth is that there are not. When they are struggling, we feel the struggle and though we may defend against and attempt to “let it be his or her challenge to face,” we are no less affected by it. In turn, when we are under stress, they know it. They see and feel us.

Even subtle infusions of our discontent can be, to our child, very significant.

So what do we do?

First, we simply surrender:

let go, give up control, and turn a part of ourselves over to the situation. What does it mean to surrender? First off, it does not mean to take a defeat. It does not mean to give in. It is not about losing.

Parenting is not an “us or them” situation. We do not exist separately from our children and they do not exist separately from us.

Surrendering points to a willingness to allow ourselves to be taken over by the moment in such a way that there is ample room for all involved. This includes the unwanted memories, judgments, fears, doubt, and literally everything that emerges and nips at our equilibrium. If something influences our thoughts, feelings, or behaviors, we need to be aware of it, receive it into consciousness, and determine a course of action that best reflects the highest expectation we can hold for ourselves. 

Photo: r. nial bradshaw | CC License

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About The Author

Tim Dukes's picture

Tim Dukes, Ph.D. develops leaders and communications across fields ranging from executives and business owners to entrepreneurs and artists. His communications model and workshops, built on presence and mindfulness, foster open environments based on trust and candor. Tim’s clients emerge as socially conscious, culturally sustainable, and strategically focused innovators.​

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