The Three Most Important Words Parents Need To Know ~ Clement Goh
Have you ever felt frustrated not getting your message across to your child?
Have you ever felt insecure about your parenting journey?
Have you wondered why it seems to work out for some parents yet are difficult for you?
The words I am about to share are so powerful that it has become a mission to be an ally to parents and children. It’s taken me over thirty years to learn, and you can implement them in a matter of seconds or minutes when you choose to. Gone are the days of second guessing yourself, once you understand a simple pattern that breaks the cycle.
By the end of this article, when you apply how these words can direct your attention to what truly matters, you are going to feel more yourself, empowered, and enough.
Growing up, I noticed that my parents worked seven to seven, and it was out of love and wanting to provide a better life for my brother and I. As you can imagine, their amazing work ethic and expectations had a downside, constantly pushing their children to surpass where they got to in life.
And that created this feeling of not being enough, where having more and being more was the surest path to success in life.
As you can imagine and relate, this constant push created a lot of insecurity, self-doubt and feeling that success was so far away. I believe that affects both parents and children, the feeling of not being enough for this world, and it has drastic effects. As you read this, you may have memories of this feeling, or may still be living in some of these memories. There is a way out.
There is a different option for a different future, so follow me down this for a minute.
The three most important words a parent needs to know are simple: you are enough.
Is there more to this? Absolutely. Each word stands for something that can alter the way you see yourself, and that can positively affect how your child grows up watching your lead.
First, a secret. In my decade of being a martial arts instructor, I have worked with over a thousand families, and noticed one real thing. You, the parent, are your child’s first superhero.
That is why these words matter.
Let’s start with the word – YOU. You are more than just a parent. When I speak at events, parents usually first identify as a parent over anything else. Yet you are more than just that. You could be a lover of learning, a person who has different gifts you share with others, a human who has amassed knowledge and experience.
When you share your identity with your child outside of a parent, with stories of life lessons you learnt, they grow proud of knowing you differently. They now know they can chart the path, just like you.
Take a quick sheet of paper and answer these two questions with three to five things:
What parts of my identity outside of a parent make me special/unique?
What do I stand for?
By having a few points in each, you have the opportunity to share these with your child, and let them see the dimensions and depth of who you are, and who they could become.
Next, the word is are or am. Now that’s a strange one, you might think. Let’s use am and are in the right place. These words dictate something when used correctly, a sense of permanence. Say these words in your head.
“I feel strong”. Truth is, feelings are often fleeting, as the human experience shows us. They can occur and disappear when the next feeling shows up.
Now say to yourself, “I am strong”. When you detect that subtle and important difference, you realize how that can affect you and your child when important conversations happen, when you have to pick them up emotionally or after a difficult situation.
For example, it could be used like this “You are feeling sad right now, and it will go away. What you should know is that you are strong, and that’s a part of who you are”.
By reframing the negative to a fleeting feeling, and the positive to a part of who you are, or who your child is, the words start to take hold into a different possibility and reality.
This last one is the most important of the three. It is the word – enough. It describes the right thing at the right moment.
A year ago when I first took this concept out to parents, I was pleasantly surprised when a mom came up to me, saying it changed the way she parents. This one simple lesson with three words I am sharing with you.
She no longer attaches her children’s performance in any activity to identity, rather to remind them that they are enough as they are, and that has empowered them to thrive. When we had this conversation, imagine the tear forming in her eye, because she empowered herself to feel enough, and her children felt enough too. What would that do for you, when you feel enough, imagine that.
Putting the word enough in context, is realizing that you were made powerfully as you are, with a gut and instinct. Take a handshake for example, some are limp like holding a cold fish, some are too strong and make you wonder if the other person is trying to crush your hand. And then there are some that are firm, last for the right amount of time, and feel just right. Why is this important to you, is that you have a gut or instinct that knows what is enough.
By aligning yourself with it, you can take a step further in your career, your hobbies, and your words and actions. That feeling of enough makes you feel more of yourself, in the best way possible, and that spills over to your children. They can feel and see it in you.
For you, it might hit immediately, a few hours from now, or even wake you up at two in the morning. You might walk to the mirror and say to yourself…
“I am enough” or “you are enough” – with a big brilliant smile.
When that feeling hits you, go over to someone you love, and give them the biggest hug ever, and remind them that they are enough too.
It can change your life, and theirs too.
I am here to be your ally, and you are enough because you are.
You can find me at www.buddyadventures.one, or any of my social media accounts, and tell me how you felt by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to cheer you on.