As a Parenting Coach, I am often inspired to share with others the powerful ways I have grown as a parent and more importantly as a person. I have learned the importance of “leaning into” uncomfortable feelings. Doing this has accomplished two things. First, it has helped me role model for my children how to handle difficult feelings, like insecurities, sadness, emotional pain and inadequacies. These are the emotional states most people don’t want to acknowledge, let alone deal with. Showing vulnerability with my kids has normalized these feelings and opened the door to allow them to do the same.
These skills are not usually taught and without them can cause so much pain as children grow into adults. Everyone has these intense feelings, but not being aware of how to share them, or feeling safe enough to do so, causes people to ignore them or even be unaware of their existence. Unhealthy consequences are often the result, like becoming physically sick, having relationships end or experiencing loneliness and depression. While being vulnerable is scary for many of us, once we start to embrace the process, it is often rewarding and powerful, which is the second thing I have witnessed from this process.
As parents we often want to be seen as strong and in control around our children, but that teaches them to dismiss their vulnerable feelings as well. This is when parenting can be so difficult because the bond between parent and child is weakened. Instead, “leaning in” with our kids helps create a stronger connection with them. We are giving them permission and, a safe space, to explore and honor all feelings as an important part of who they are.