Written by Julie Hinton Green
Turns out, the “no big deal”s in our lives have more of an impact on our children than we realize.
Disclaimer: Before I begin, think it’s important to first note that I am not writing this article to shame or point any fingers at parents. This is purely coming from a place of love, to help you bring more awareness and focus into your day-to-day life. Thank you for understanding!
We all know that our children are watching and modelling our every move. It has been documented by doctors over the years that children are most impacted from the day they are born up to 5 years of age. Some adults do not even realize that their kids are essentially sponges, soaking up their every action and reaction; they simply believe that their child is too young to be impacted or understand what’s going on. Yet, we know and can say with confidence that that’s simply not the case.
Once I started working in the realm of Reiki energy, I learned that opening up your third eye chakra (located right between your two eyes in the middle of your forehead) actually helps you to become aware of your traits, habits, patterns, and the way that you conduct yourself in general.
Once I tapped into this awareness, there was a flood of things I realized I needed to change...
I’m going to share with you the two main areas I recognized I needed to bring change to, in hopes that it will resonate with you or at least plant a seed to inspire you to do your own clearing (which will in turn also benefit your kids).
Area one: Making changes to eating habits
I realized that I had a major block with being able to simply sit at the dining table during meals, which I believe has interfered with teaching my kids about a healthy relationship with food. Personally, I have always hated sitting at the table to eat. This opposition began at a very young age - maybe 6 or 7, when my mom instilled in me the belief that I needed to sit there until I finished all my food. As a teenager, I would stay there until bedtime, sometimes just to prove to my mom that she couldn’t make me eat what I did not want to eat. I swore to myself at that time, that I would never force my kids to eat what they did not want to.
Now, I understand that there needs to be a healthy balance.
I noticed into my 20’s that during family events, I would serve everyone and then stand up and start cleaning the dishes in the kitchen while people were still eating. I felt uncomfortable sitting down and eating in front of people. Once I had my own kids, during the first five years of their lives, my husband would travel for work frequently - so I would have them sit at the island in the kitchen during dinner. Although I gave them complete meals, they never really saw me eat as well.
On a few occasions when I would be reading them bedtime story, they would say, “Mom, you never ate dinner - are you hungry?” They also picked up on the fact that, while I’d tell them that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, they would see me only having a coffee in the morning. They even noticed at family events how I was always cleaning when others were eating. Even the car driving home they would say again, “How come you never ate dinner?” I was completely unaware that they noticed all my unhealthy habits with food.
About four years ago, I had set the intention that I need to eat all meals at the table with the kids, and completely change my relationship with food and eating at the table. I am proud to report that I’ve made a considerable improvement - simply through becoming aware of my own habits and patterns.
Area two: Making changes to drinking habits
The second thing I realized I needed to change was my alcohol consumption. Although my husband and I never considered it to be a problem, it was something that I constantly partook in. In the summer, tequila became my drink of choice, and in the winter, I would drink red wine.
Although I never consumed more than one cocktail in a night, I probably drank 4 to 5 times a week. When my daughter was about three years old, she was at that phase where she always wanted to have a sip of what I was drinking. She must have been affected by my regular turning her down and saying“ No, you can’t have any - there’s alcohol in it”. At the time, I did not realize how impactful it must have been.
However, one summer four years ago when she was at a privately owned camp, she mentioned to one of her counsellors that her “mom always drinks alcohol”. The counsellor reported that to the head office, and then the head office called social services to inquire about my family life. It was a complete shock to both my husband and I that we were being called by child services to inquire about our lifestyle. They followed protocol and came to meet with us, they met with the kids, talked to them separately, and assessed our home. I remember it feeling so very scary and intense when it was going on.
Of course, in the end, they ended up dismissing the case - but at the time when it was happening, it was a real eye-opener to me to realize that what my daughter was seeing through her eyes was so different than what I was feeling as an adult.
I’ve never really shared this story, mostly out of feeling ashamed and embarrassed - but I am today because I believe it’s important for us to recognize the impact that these things we consider as “no big deal” may have on our pure and vulnerable children. We know we’re not driving under the influence; we know we’re still in complete control and refraining from pushing any inappropriate boundaries, but in a child’s eyes, these habits can still be perceived very differently.
The last thing that any parent wants is to instill any negative habits or behaviours in our children.
I feel vulnerable by sharing this personal information, but on the other hand, I know it will resonate with some of you. I encourage you to also take the time to critique, analyze and become more aware of all your habits, traits and patterns. I never would have thought that opening my third eye chakra would have helped so much.
Setting a goal to make any necessary changes in yourself for the betterment of your children will go a long way in helping you to raise them in the most healthy, loving and stable environment!