Law Of Attraction For Parents

Sage ReddyHappiness, Health, Love53 Comments

It’s chow time and we’re guests at a family dinner table in India. As we enjoy ourselves, Becca, my wife, gets up to go use the bathroom. Unfortunately for her, the guest bathroom is occupied by the daugther of the family, who interestingly enough never eats at the family table. Because the bathroom’s occupied, Becca is forced to come back and sit down at the table and just grin and bear it.

Isn’t there another bathroom she could use? Yes, but Becca’s stuff is in the guest bathroom. My wife’s not upset about it; she’s gracious as ever. It is our host, the girl’s father, who is visibly upset. He shouts and scolds his daughter: “How many times have I told you? Use the one in your room….”

It’s not his parental words, but the tone of his voice that gets me.

A tone that says loud and clear, “You’re less worthy than our guests.”

Partly, his behavior is cultural. Guests in india are supposed to be honored and respected. Treated like gods even. But still, a lot of his conduct has to with the man himself, as a parent and as a person.

Laundry behind closed doors

I’ve known this man a long time now and know his children well too. While he’s always treated me (and other outsiders) well, seldom does he show the same respect for his children. He’s never without praise for other folks’ children, even when there’s nothing “special” about them. But even when his children do extraordinary things, he’ll doubt their abilities and find something negative to say. At best, he might offer a back-handed complement.

Is this man strange or what?! Yes, he is strange. Very strange indeed.

But no, not really. A lot of us are kinder to others than we’re to ourselves. We’re far more likely to forgive other people’s screw-ups than our own. And what’s more significant here, a lot of parents are kinder and gentler with other people’s kids than their own, even if they’re more protective of their own.

Apart from the fact that humans are a strange bunch, question is why?

One obvious reason is familiarity breeds contempt. But it gets a little more complicated when you take a closer look at parent-child dynamics. With some exceptions, most children are rarely good enough in their parents’ eyes. So many parents put out and endless stream of disapproval messages for their children. They can’t help themselves. It’s a form of compulsion. It’s a silent disease many parents suffer from.

Often, this disapproval is covert. The parent may simply withhold approval and instead give the child the “silent treatment. “And thus rob the child of oxygen. Where’s the life-giving-confidence-building-parental-validation? And thus we have good parents who want to improve their children… and wind up shaming them instead.

But lets get back to the dining table. Our host, who shall remain nameless, in addition to what he does behind closed doors is now publicly shaming his child. Not because our host is a bad man. Far from it. Here is a good man. In fact, he’s as good as they come. If you have him for a friend and need his help, he’ll be there for you. He’s friendly and kind and generous to a fault.

To everyone except his own children, that is.

Think he’s alone in this regard? Think again!

Most families I know are dysfunctional. The picture of that perfect family is just that—a picture. When it comes to families, the reality is often quite a bit different from that happy picture on the wall. Behind the typical family’s closed doors are many bruised relationships. The son who suffers silently because the father always invalidates him. The daughter who’s resentful because the “bitch” of a mother never shows her any respect.

Chances are, you too have been on one or either end of such family dynamics. If so, you’re tired of this family crap and want to change it. Question is how? Any attempt to change the other person only backfires. What should you do?

Here’s what: it takes only person to heal a relationship. And that person might as well be you.

If you’re a parent, chances are there are several things you can’t stand about your child. He’s is not responsible enough; she’s not ambitious enough; he wastes his money on trivia; she never finished school; he’s too hasty; she keeps dating the same kind of losers. How can you change your child?

Answer: don’t!

Don’t change your child, change yourself.

If you’re the typical parent, your child will never be perfect in your eyes. Just accept that, ok? Now ask yourself, “Why am I so critical of my child? Why do I find it so hard to accept her as she is?”

I’ll tell you why. You’ve never been able to accept yourself “as is,” that’s why. For all your outward success, you were never good enough in your own eyes. And you know it.

You harbor deep-seated, negative emotions inside you, some of which you know about, most you don’t. This subconscious stuff is what you project onto others. Hidden self-loathing is what makes us judge other people without mercy. You can hide your judgments from everyone in the world—except your own family. Your dirty laundry must gets washed somewhere.

And home is where it usually gets washed.

How can you release your hidden inner pile of negativity? Spend some time and learn a simple technique called energy-psychology. Also known as Tapping Technique, EFT etc. Better still, consult a competent energy-psychology practitioner. Regardless of how you go about it, you must let go of your need to change your child and go work on yourself first.

After a few sessions with your energy-psychology coach, you have sufficiently let go of your own “stuff.”

No you’re ready to reprogram your parental brain.

See if you can change how you “see” your child. For that, you must create new images of your child in your mind, which are opposite of what your disapproving parental emotions do. Whatever your particular hangups about your child, try to imagine him or her doing just the opposite of what you’re accustomed to. This will be hard at first, but will become easier with practice.

For instance, try to imagine your boy more responsible in life for a change. See your girl dating a better boyfriend. See your child happy and fulfilled and with a purpose. How does it feel? Feels good, doesn’t it? You have the power to generate these “feel good” emotions in your system using your imagination. Use it! You can manufacture any mental images of the child you wish to see, images that make you happy.

Hold onto these images. Bask in the good feelings the images generate.

Next, be grateful for the happy child you’ve imagined. What would you do different if he/she were different? How would you behave if your child stopped disappointing you and actually exceeded your expectations? What if your child were happy, fulfilled and successful, beyond your wildest dreams?

Well, why not go ahead and behave as if that were already the case?

Now sit back and expect miracles.

Happy parenting!

You don’t have to do this alone. Need help? Contact me.

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53 Comments on “Law Of Attraction For Parents”

  1. Hi Sage.
    Reading this post has come at a perfect time for me. I’m currently going through some of the things you mention with my own daughter and this has now put that into perspective.
    Great to see you mentioning EFT. I watched the Tapping Summit earlier in the year and found it fascinating!

  2. What a great post! I really enjoyed your application of the Law of Attraction related to parenting! It does have impact on every single area of our lives and when raising children and shaping their lives, what could be more important to helping them to grow up happy and successful than setting the example of positivity and manifestation in your own life!
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  3. With very rare exceptions, parents want to see their children succeed, have an “easier” life then they had themselves, and to be happy.

    Sadly, most of us do not have a clue where to start.

    We learned how to be parents from our parents, who learned from their parents, and so on. Not only did we get genes from our great-grandparents, we also got some parenting skills from them. And just as we may appreciate some of the genes we got and not be as grateful for others, it is true with our inherited parenting skills.

    Fortunately as conscious humans we can choose to change without going off the deep-end in the other direction! Indeed, it all starts with loving ourselves. Once we can love ourselves, “warts and all” we can accept the warts in others, including our own children.

  4. Toxic Parenting – Inconsistent Parents – Sometimes our parents were very consistent about being inconsistent in their toxic parenting of us. This has a big hangover effect on us as we grow up and as we parent our own children. Toxic Parents – the inner critical voice – One of the powerful byproducts of having toxic parents is that we are left with low self esteem and a strong inner critical voice that speaks continuously to us of our guilt, our shame and our wrongs. It attacks us and criticizes us, blames us and compares us, shames us and tells us we’re stupid, fat, selfish, ugly, and convinces us that it even knows what everyone else thinks!
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  5. It is important to build up a collection of rhymes (a rhyme bank). To do this, parents should be prepared to introduce one or two new rhymes each week, depending on their length and children’s interests and readiness to learn. Some days children are more receptive to new material and it is important to adjust to these moods.
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  6. Studies have also found that children who live in a two-parent family where one parent is abusive or has a high level of antisocial behavior do not do as well as children whose parents divorce if the child then lives in a single-parent family with the nonabusive parent.
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  7. Great article. Establishing good relationship is one way of improving our social skills. It will build your confidence and really gives you an edge towards others.

  8. Hello! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this page to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!
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  9. I’m a UK citizen and can’t tell you how bad the UK is getting in terms of the attitude and behaviour of our youngsters. Parents need to realise that it is their attitude and behaviour that rubs off on their kids.
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    1. Hello Amanda! Thanks for sharing that bit about UK. I know some folks there and so I get to hear about it. It is sad, but whether it’s UK or elsewhere the parents must be the change they want to see in their children.

  10. Sage,
    this is a fancinating article and truths throughout.

    As a parent of children this hits most families. We believe a live by a code. We find the good in each child and others. Edification and praising for the child is practice. No one is perfect, yet you can be happy and keep a loving surrounding.

    That child will develop as one based on their surroundings. You can’t teach your child the proper ways if your not doing it yourself? That is what confuses most children and parents.

    The parents see their mistakes through the children. What they dislike in themselves. Hey, the child picked it up from the parents. How else would they make attempts to do it.

    Perfect example is drinking and smoking. You do it around children without thinking. You wonder why the grow up doing the same. Your careless with spending and they do the same.

    You have to correct your lifestyle before you child will do the same. Reflection is the teacher. Love is the healer and action is to be taken with one self first.

    We live and learn through watching our children and must support them right or wrong. Stop saying “No”. Instead show the the proper ways of being. Do it yourself and they will follow.

    Sage, your wisdom is remarkable. Your choice in subject matter is a blessing and unique. You are one of our great coaches and visionaries in this industry.

    I have been reading most of your post. You bring a light to my mind and warmth to my life. You simple one who love life. You make it all seem effortless in keeping in harmony. Loving every minute of your sharing this insight.

    I look forward for more in the near future. Keep us smiling…
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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, William! I so appreciate it. Everything you say about how to raise children is right on the money. “Be the change you want to see in your children,” is what you’re suggesting. I couldn’t agree more. Bless you, my friend!

  11. Hey Sage,
    Wow, what a great post, and so many great comments as well. This is certainly a difficult subject for so many people at all stages of life, as you have acknowledged. I think your solution here is exactly what I have discovered as well… We cannot change anyone but our-self. The biggest effect we can have on the people around us and the world is to lead by example. Change yourself within and the whole world changes with you.
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  12. Hi Sage,

    I could so relate to this post. I know alot of my friends whose parents thought that was the way to go when we were younger. It has happened to me a couple of times during my teens. It was more of a cultural thing.

    And how rebellious those actions make us become then especially during our teen years. You know the identity crisis of the teen years 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this and making us know that members of the family are not inferior to outsiders. I really appreciate this!

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  13. I’ve found from visiting different countries that some people from the Southern US and then all hispanic countries also have this hospitality about them when it comes to guests.

    For me, I am content with my son’s behavior. He is a good boy and loves school… boy does he…lol. He even knows what he wants to do with his life and already lives some of it. He wants to make video games though he says for Nintendo… I am sure he will be happy making for any company as long as it is his passion.

    As a child, my father had expectations for me to become a lawyer. I could, but it would have made me die inside. It took him time to realize that my path in WordPress design and development as well as blogging, made me happy and a very passionate person.

    In return, I learned not to do what my father did with me in relation to my son. If Angel wants to be a video game maker, I will do what I can to support it.
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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Nile. I appreciate you for letting me get to know you a little better each time you comment. I’d say your son is lucky to have a mother like you, and I suspect he knows it. Good for you both! And I’m glad you went with your passion about blogging and blog design. It shows!

  14. Hi Sage,

    It is unfortunate when parents take out their emotional baggage on their children. It’s like that old famous story about the guy who gets mistreated by his boss so he goes home and kicks the dog. What did the dog do? Nothing, he was just an easy target that probably wouldn’t fight back.

    I adore my kids and I want to treat them with respect and I want them to know that they are valuable and loved. I don’t care if they choose to be a doctor or a garbage man (a young son’s current dream!) I think they will go far in life if they are loved and valued.

    Nobody will go far in life when they are constantly being beaten down and told how disappointing they are. Unless they go through a lot of personal development or even therapy, but it will be a lot more work than necessary. It’s not impossible but they will have a lot more hurdles in life than they need.

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    1. Exactly Stacy, why set children up for unnecessary and expensive therapy? I admire you for letting your child be a garbage man if that’s what he wants. Who knows? He might end up setting up a company that changes how people treat the earth, clean up the environment and help save the planet. Like Jayne, your children too are lucky to have a loving and enterprising mother in you. Thank you for sharing! God bless!

  15. HI Sage, what a great and desperately needed post for many parents.

    Lets face it, none of us are perfect but there is a right way and a wrong way.

    I have two children, both late in life surprises. (yes surprises)… but they are the greatest blessings from God that I could have ever imagined.

    My parenting style is much different than my own parents. My mom and dad were great, both very different and although my dad was ‘over-strict’ and could be very tough to take at times, it’s just the way it was back then and I love him regardless.

    With that said, I have never wanted to be the same as them. I find myself very respectful of my kids. Sometimes I might even treat them older than they are but they are very well balanced despite. they still no how to be kids… and we have a very strong and close bond.

    I am just finishing up a certification on Self Esteem for children. I think it’s the one most overlooked factor of raising happy, well balanced children. Happiness and strong self esteem creates a successful life. (I’m not talking ‘ego’ here)… I just think kids need to know they are valuable and deserving of respect. After all, they are little humans.

    wonderful post, Sage. I just loved it.

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    1. Thank you, dear Jayne. Many kids would love to have a mother like you. I appreciate you taking the time to paint a picture of your family. This loving relationship you have with your late surprises, I mean children 🙂 , is something you have consciously created and I admire you for that. While our parents did the best they could (and God bless them for that), let’s not repeat their mistakes. I agree, genuine self-esteem that a parent can foster in a child is worth more than all the gold in the world. I love children and learn plenty from them. All the best with your new certification, Jayne!

  16. Hi Sage, great points you make here. I’ve other seen parents tell their kids to get of their house or even quit hanging out with my son just to get them to change. I’ve also been pretty bad myself but changed pretty quick when I saw that I can’t make people change. I must have never accepted myself and all the things I could have done better in my life and tried to keep my son from doing the same thing. But because of the true love I have for him I’ve been supporting him for a while now…in almost anything and he’s growing up faster than if I would have still been on his back all the time. Not being confident in everything you do always starts somewhere. Great post Sage!

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    1. Hello Rick! Good to see you here! Thanks for taking the time to comment and for sharing your relationship with your son. Parenting is tough business, as you know. But it looks like you’ve made amends, become more self-aware, gotten off his back, and thanks to your own growth your kid’s doing better now. Good for you both! I wish you both the best of times!

    1. Hello Nathalie! Good to see you here! Thanks for your thoughts. Looks like you’ve got the parenting thing down. I’m happy for you and your family!

  17. Sage fabulous post as always:) I think you should treat everyone how you like to be treated. I have an amazing relationship with my 7 year old daughter and at times my mum has even said my relationship is a little wrong as I treat her like my equal rather than my daughter…

    I think some people are on a power trip and have the need to scold others and they can’t do it to adults so do it to children…
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    1. Hey Lilach! In my next life, I’d like to come back as your 7 year old. 🙂 More seriously, I bless the relationship you have with your little girl. She is blessed to have you for a mother and vice-versa. I agree, power struggles are all too common between parents and children, which wouldn’t happen if the parents themselves felt empowered.

  18. I think we as parents tend to forget that we can’t live out our dreams through our children. We do want the best for them and when we fail to express that to our kids in the right way they tend to rebel or resent you. Of course there is a fine line were we have the responsiblity to step in and intervene. If we don’t society will blame us as parents for our childs failure. Its called parenting not friending and if we have to make decisions that are not popular with our kids in order to teach them the ideals and values that they need to lead productive and successful lives regardless of what they choose to be in the future then its our responsibility to do so. Of course throwing in a lot of encouragement and supporting them when our kids starting making positive life decisions on their own is also key.

    1. Hello Clint! Good to have you here! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Well put! I agree, parents will do well to stop living their dreams through their children. Also agree that while you want to be a friends with your children, they need to know who the parent is. Cheers!

  19. Hmmm…Sage, you sure are stepping on some toes here 😉

    Your post is clearly one that is given looking from the outside in. I learned a long time ago to be careful of how I “perceive” things when it comes to parenting, considering now that I’m a parent myself.

    However, I understand your concern since many people grow up with negative emotions attached from their childhood.

    I think it’s extremely important for parents to have a balance when parenting. Its’ important enough for children to feel like they have a friend (when the time is right) but at the same time know that they have loving parents.

    All the best,
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    1. Hello Chante! It’s good to see you here. I don’t mind stepping on toes if it actually does some good. 🙂 You make a good point about the risks of looking “outside in” into a situation and coming to conclusions. I’m the intuitive type, however, and avoid projecting my stuff onto others. So I merely playing the role of a witness here. I’m merely observing, not projecting. You would know that about me if you actually knew me.

      That said, the last thing I want to do here is fault the parents. Most of them mean well, have good intentions, but end up doing more harm than good. Hence the post.

  20. Interesing post. Have a lot of Indian friends and none of them behave like the father in this story. Sad when someone takes his inner problems out on his family. But it’s unfortunately common.

    1. You’re right, Catarina, not every Indian parent behaves this way. This is more of a global phenomenon between parents and children than a purely Indian one. It just expresses itself differently in different cultures.

  21. Great post Sage and an unusual topic but one that just about anyone can relate to. It is verging on criminal the way parents talk their children down, this happened to me and when bringing up our own children Jane and I always praised them as much as possible.

    We didn’t manage it all the time though and that causes me a certain amount of sadness because it was only our own frustrations coming out.

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    1. Good to see you here again, David. And thanks for sharing that bit about your family. No parent will ever be perfect, but it’s fabulous when parents become aware of the parent-child dynamics and take responsibility for their end of it. And that seems to be case with you! Take care.

  22. An excellent article Sage! Your advice applies to my current situation totally.

    I have a daughter and son who we can’t stop comparing. I know we shouldn’t but it’s really hard since they do everything together.

    Anyway, a lot of the times we argue because one of them is not living to our expectation. As you said, we are not accepting the child as what he/she is.

    I will start to appreciate who they really are. Thanks.
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    1. I understand your situation, Alan. And thanks for sharing that. As you well know, parenting is anything but easy. Then again, we parents make it hard on ourselves. It’s so much easier when we “let go” and let children be who they are. In my view, any real change you want to see in your child is only possible through personal example, not words. I wish all the best to you in this endeavor.

  23. Hey Sage… is everything going? This is an excellent article. Very thorough, insightful….and makes one really think deep. Why is it sometimes we expect more from our own children…..because we want them to grow up and be respectable successful adults, right? Sometimes it is the influence of our own upbringing that causes us to behave in unbecoming ways.
    I have heard much about the EFT technique and I am intrigued by it and have intended to try it……..well, let’s just say it’s on my long list of things to do. It looks as if it should be at the top of the list! I seems powerful.
    Bless you!
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    1. Thank you, Lynn. Good to see you here again! I’m doing well, thank you. Becca and I are visiting my good folks in India until April. Then it’s back to Portland, Oregon.

      You’re right, most parents project their own stuff onto their children. Regardless, I cannot recommend energy psychology techniques enough. Here’s a thin book that’s a quick read, but phenomenally useful:

      Take care!

    1. I’d say you have an enlightened boy, Terry! As the Wisefool (my alter ego) would say, “The only point of growing up is to be a child again.” 🙂

  24. Hi Sage, I have to say that this post evoked quite a few strong feelings this evening. There are certain aspects that I can agree with you and some I don’t.

    I think that yes, at times I am quite critical of my eldest son, I am certainly not that way all the time, and I certainly give praise where praise is due and one thing that my father never did with me, I tell him how proud I am of him when he achieves something that he has worked really hard at.

    I don’t think it is about trying to change my kids, what I want is for them to have the opportunities that I didn’t. Now I am not saying that I want them to do what I wanted to do when I was a kid, but rather we want them to do what they want to do, regardless of choice, we will support them with anything.

    And believe you me, this is quite hard, considering the eldest wants to go to the Royal Marines Commandos. Not the profession I would have chosen for him if I had my way, but I am proud of the fact that he knows what he wants and goes after it with all his heart!

    Funnily enough, I and a friend of mine were having a conversation about this very topic today. We were just saying that at the end of the day, kids will be kids, as parents we need to guide them in what is right and wrong, but they will test the waters and they will test you as a parent. All I say is this, think back to when you were your child’s age, what did you do in his position? Probably the same thing!

    Keep moving forward!

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    1. Hello Alan! Good to have you here! I apologize if I touched a nerve in you. I know that you know that parenting is anything but easy. The last I want to do is fault the parent in a parent-child relationship. Many children who haven’t got it together in life do a great job of that already: they blame it all on their parents.

      When I was a kid, I wanted to join the air force and fly fighter planes. My folks never supported me on that and talked me out of it. I admire you for taking pride in your son wanting to join the Royal Marines, even if it’s not what you would have picked for him. Your son ought to be very proud of you.

      I agree, at the end of the day, kids everywhere will still be kids. We’ve got let them make the same mistakes we made growing up. 🙂

      All the best to you and your family!

  25. You are absolutely right talking about the way some people treat their own family members. Where you wrote that familiarity breeds contempt is such a true thing for describing the way some people treat their own family.

    I think sometimes that it is almost as if the parents think that the way their life is today, is going to be the way it is forever; that their kids are always going to be there in the home and area always going to be the same. So no need to treat them respectfully right now, because you can always make it up to them tomorrow. But so often, that tomorrow comes and the situation is till the same, except there is one more day of it.

    Start today being grateful, what an excellent idea. Easy to implement and with benefits that will last a lifetime. Thank you.

    1. Hello Michael! Good to see you here and thanks for taking the time to comment. I agree, if you want your children to respect you, you must demonstrate genuine respect for them first. Children are not stupid. And let’s not put off changing our parental attitudes till tomorrow—because tomorrow is always in the future.

  26. Hi Sage,

    Your comments certainly have relevance to people who have the problem you described. I’m a school bus driver when I’m not blogging, so I have no problem criticizing other people’s kids, nor do I withhold praise and approval. Maybe everyone should spend a couple of years driving a school bus before they become parents. 🙂

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    1. Ha ha, Lou. Great idea! Every parent should consider driving a school bus for a little while. That might truly teach them a lot about parenting. 🙂

  27. Hi

    Nice article share! I like what you say about leading by example.Life is attitude. I think it’s so important for us to be aware of our words and actions because everything we do, we teach our kids to do the same. And you’re so right, kids don’t fill their minds with doubts and worries like we do.

    Keep sharing.
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