Naughty or Nice or Misunderstood??
As the holidays approach parents will notice that kids may begin to act out. There are many reasons why this may occur, and as I asked questions about it, I became aware of a phenomenon that we as parents and society create that may well be a major part of the reason why kids' behavior changes at this time of year.
I call it the "Naughty or Nice" syndrome. With gift giving and Santa’s list, not only parents but also other adults will hold over kids that they need to be good in order to receive what they want. Even as I type these words I feel a heaviness fill me. Kids are asked to be good as if they aren't and don't intend to be. And when a child demonstrates behavior that doesn't fit the "being good" description it is assumed that the child is being bad. What if that assumption isn't true and the opportunity to find out what is really going on has just been passed over as well as sending the message to the child that they are choosing to be bad?
Here are some questions that adults can ask as they relate to kids this year?
How many people feel as if they just don’t measure up to being good enough? Is there a message that you are good no matter what you choose?
Sounds insane to me and having been a product of this insanity it gives me insight as to some of my own unworthiness issues.
I also wonder how many kids are so sensitive and trusting of adults to believe that they must be bad since they are continuously told to be good.
As a child continues to be told to be good, it may be that the message the child is getting is that s/he is bad since it is assumed that s/he won’t be good. I wonder if a child buys into the belief that they are bad, will they live their life proving their badness to themselves and others by doing things that are judged as bad and wrong? And to think it may have all started on a Santa’s lap in a department store or some other holiday tradition.
Let’s not fool ourselves though, this concept that we project onto kids about being good is present all year long. It is during the holiday season- the season of joy- the time of year that we wish goodwill upon one another- which mounds of judgment are heaped upon the children.
And it is being done throughout the world so the energy of being wrong and judged is thick and pervasive. In my reflection about judgment, I have found it to be a very destructive force that affects all areas of our lives and living.
This is a conflictual message that is presented to children and adults who have grown up in these traditions. This gives us more insight about the behaviors that children display during the holiday season. With these conflicting messages being thrown around we could ask the question-
How is a child of any young age supposed to interpret any of this?
The idea of gifts is ever present, the energy of desire is all around and yet these small beings are supposed to hold back and first be good-whatever that is and then it will be determined if they deserve to receive.
How do we change this? What can adults do to empower themselves and the children of the world this holiday season? I would suggest begin by asking some questions about your own sense of being worthy.
These questions are meant to bring up awareness not judgment. So if you find yourself connecting to any of these questions, just say
“Interesting point of view I have this point of view about myself- what would it take to change this?”
As the creator or co-creator of your life you can destroy and uncreate any of the beliefs you have about being good or bad, worthy or unworthy. You have the power to do that. As you begin to change your own perceptions of being good, deserving or worthy, it will be easier to see the true goodness in your child, knowing that while there may be reasons why your child can't have everything s/he desires, it will never be because s/he doesn't deserve it or isn't good enough.
If you want more information about being an Empowered Parent, refer to the book Empowered Parents Empowering Kids- A Guide to Be YOU Parenting by Mary Dravis-Parrish available on amazon. Or contact Mary at ParentWhispers@gmail.com
Feel free to share below how this article has touched your life.
Mary shares her desire to create different possibilities for families and individuals who are looking to live a more conscious and aware lifestyle. BE YOU Parenting is for parents who want to BE all that they truly BE and to allow their kids the same privilege.