Tikkun Winter 2019 (34.1) - Page 56

We long to see a world in which it’s common for adults to maintain an unwavering commitment to children’s freedom, wisdom, and power. intentions, so you can remember why you are embarking on this difficult path and why the obstacles are there: it’s not your doing that par- enting is so challenging; it’s systemic. Empathy: Whenever you have a challenge with your children, aim to remember that your chil- dren have their own needs, plans, hopes, and perspectives, independent of your own. Aim to understand your children’s needs on their terms, whether or not you are able or willing to do what they want, because this in itself is a deep act of love. Use words and body language to communicate to your children that you understand them even if you disagree. Tip: The more you express yourself by guessing their ex- perience, and end your words with a question mark, the more you create bonding and trust, and thus diminish conflicts. Transparency and limits: Make every effort possible to include your own needs in the mix, and make them known to your children, es- 56 W W W .T I K K U N . O R G pecially when conflict is present. In this way, rather than establishing imposed limits by naming what should happen, or by control- ling the outcome or telling children what to do, you create natural limits by naming your own needs. Children then learn organically that others have their own needs instead of being told and expected to act on it without understanding. They then have the freedom to recognize their own generosity and care so they can learn organically how to attend to others’ needs rather than struggling to integrate rules that arise from what is ultimately patriarchal authority. Proactive conversations: The more you initi- ate islands of conversations away from the heat of the moment, the more you can experience the transformative potential of such moments. Talking with your children at a chosen time gives you the opportunity to prepare yourself, thus having more choice in applying the bond- WINTER 2019