True Colors #54

“Don’t trade your authenticity for approval.~Unknown

quotes-STAND-OUT---SHOW-you

TRUE COLORS
Cyndi Lauper
You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
It’s hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small
But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow
Show me a smile then
Don’t be unhappy, can’t remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there
And I’ll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there
And I’ll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors
True colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow

How often do you find yourself doing things just because you have to and not because you want to?

 

I’m not talking about the hard work we do to improve at our jobs or the responsibilities we have to our families. I’m referring to those things we do just to please others, to project a certain image of ourselves to the world that isn’t in line with who we really are.

I can totally relate to these lyrics with absolute reflection…growing up in a household where coercion and manipulation were huge, I unfortunately ended up with a distorted way of thinking and found myself dealing with resentment and bitterness towards family and friends.  I didn’t find my own voice until much later in life, sadly after horrific outcomes and broken relationships due to being conformed to this dysfunctional thinking.

I do think my parents meant well…as to wanting their children to be respectful and follow directions of authority.  However, there must be a balance to teaching children, especially young children that it’s okay to have your own voice when appropriate.
Although I’ve learned from my own parenting, if we let them make too many of their own decisions, or don’t set strict boundaries, we can lose our children to a way of thinking that can lead to selfish behaviors and inappropriate choices as adults.
BALANCE IS KEY!

Here are 5 guidelines for giving kids a voice and a say:

 

Avoid overwhelming them

Kids want and expect their parents to provide structure and make key family decisions. It helps them feel safe. While it’s great to give kids a say in things, too many or too big of  choices can overwhelm them or put too much pressure on them.

Give young children the choice between only two things. If they don’t or can’t pick between the two, don’t offer a third. (This doesn’t include “free play time,” where they should be able to do whatever they’re interested in.)

Be consistent 

If you give children choices once, but not the next time, they naturally get frustrated and protest. Their confusion often results in them “pushing back,” questioning, or refusing to comply as a way to determine where the “real” boundaries are. Adults often end up viewing this “push-back” as uncooperative or acting-out behavior when it is really just a way for children to determine the extent of their power.

If one night you say, “What do you want for dinner?” and the next night you say, “We’re having lasagna and you can’t have anything different,” they are likely to whine or protest because boundaries become confusing.

If one weekend you ask, “What do you want to do this morning? Our whole family will do anything you want.” And the next weekend you say, “You are going with Dad to the grocery store then coming to a friend’s house with me,” kids may not understand the incongruence.

Create a ritual around choices

Make certain choices “rituals.” For example, when you go to the park, name two parks and they choose which one. Every Saturday morning they may choose to run errands with you or stay home. Every Friday movie night, put two movies in front of your child and let them choose one. At the library, always let them choose 5 books. At night, they can choose night light on or door open. At lunch, they can choose water or milk to drink. At dinner, they can eat the regular meal or eat Cheerios instead (or whatever choices work for your own family).

Ask them to help you fix problems

If your child is having trouble doing the tasks needed to get out the door, put him in charge. Create a checklist on a clipboard of stick-figure pictures of all the things he needs to do to get ready, and have him cross off each thing as it gets done.

Ask your child to help you solve the problem of caps not being put back on markers. (She will be more likely to put the caps on, no matter what strategy she comes up with).

If there are books all over your child’s bedroom floor, ask her how she thinks the floor could stay clear.

Thank and reinforce 

If your child shoveled his books off the floor, you could say, “Wow, this shovel idea you thought of is really working out well. I see the floor is as clear as ever! You’re really taking care of your room.”

If your child chose swimming over hiking, you might say, “Thanks for choosing swimming. It was so fun to splash in the water with you.”

If your child chooses to run errands with you, comment, “I’m so glad you chose to help me out. Doing errands is always more fun with you by my side.”

Caught-up-in-your-head
“Lingering, bottled-up anger never reveals the ‘true colors’ of an individual. It, on the contrary, becomes all mixed up, rotten, confused, forms a highly combustible, chemical compound then explodes as something foreign, something very different than one’s natural self.”
― Criss Jami, Healology
~Never be afraid to show your true colors~

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