You are not your behavior

Most of us have children, but we are not perfect ourselves. Of course, most human creatures are not perfect. In principle, we all have our flaws and our virtues. Our strengths and weaknesses. There is no perfect person under the sky. No matter how often we put on masks and adapt to the game of life.

The fact is that each of us, while alive, would have something to work on and develop, and thus grow in this life and existence. From an early age, especially in traditional families, we have been raised in a way that children view parents as unwavering authorities who are perfect, but we are not. Although, we are always perfect in the eyes of children, even when we are not. The problem is that most often our upbringing is done in a way that our being is equated with our behavior.

There’s a scene going on in my personal life, one night, on a park bench, while my friend and I are sipping coffee and watching the kids play. My friend’s child pushes all her boundaries. She herself is extremely patient and gentle. She talks and waits. Her borders are broken and completely shaken. She waits patiently and lovingly. Boundaries broken and neglected. At that moment, her character loses the battle and she shouts. She screams because she is helpless and does not see the way her son will hear her. After a short time, she calms down and talks to herself. “It’s not his fault you didn’t know how to set boundaries in time.” They calm down together in conversation. She tells him gently: “Look, if you got anything in life, you got a mom who loves you unconditionally. But some boundaries must exist. Because of yourself. Honestly, it would be easiest for me now to let you go and pose, like ‘I do not care’. I love you and if I think it’s important to you, I’ll try to help you change it, but to understand how you change it for yourself, not for me. “

The boy tells to her with eyes full of tears – “Okay, I won’t play tomorrow, because today I just played all day and I didn’t write my homework. I didn’t listen to you today and that’s why you’re angry now. “

The whole conversation flows in a calming direction with her gentle tone as she explains to him why it happened what happened. – “That’s enough. Tomorrow you and I will play a game together in which we will learn how to schedule the day. So you will see in that game how you will have time to write homework, study, play, socialize, clean the room, play a video game and you will still have time to do lots of things.”

From his side, she gets an answer that doesn’t sit well with her: “No, I won’t play at all tomorrow.”

Her tone is still mild, trying to reach him – “No, you will play. Sorry for yelling, because my temperament won over me, in which, when I felt powerless and felt like I had cracked all the options, I started yelling. That was wrong of me. But I’m not perfect. I have my flaws; I have a lot of them. I have a lot of things on me that I would like to change. “

“I wasn’t good and I won’t play anymore,” the little boy says, still with tears in his eyes.

At this, her eyes filled with tears – “Enough. You had a behavior that I didn’t like and I don’t think it’s good for you in the long run. But no matter what your behavior, you are always ‘good’ and I love you. Even when I yell at you. Nor was my shouting a behavior I liked. I would change that for myself, but then we will make a compromise in the relationship. You think about what led to my shouting, so try to change that. “

The kid nods and says – “I thought and I know. I will change that tomorrow. “

She smiles at him – “Good. You will change and don’t be surprised again if this situation, regardless of the effort, happens again sometimes. “

The kid nods resolutely – “No, no, no. No way. It’s over. Never again, nor will I play all day tomorrow. “

She knelt to be at eye level, and took his hand – “No, dear love. Tomorrow we play games learning how to schedule the day. Tomorrow I will teach you through play how you will have time for everything, even for playing. So, tomorrow you will do everything, even play. Is that clear? “

His eyes are no longer full of tears and a smile appears – “Agreed.” A moment of silence. “Mom, I’d like to change that behavior right away, so it never happens again.”

She sighed and smiled at him – “I’m telling you this because I’m thirty-three and I also want to change so much about myself. I used to, like you, want to change everything overnight. That never turned out to be good. Change is a process. Also, accept how you will change, upgrade and build yourself all your life. All my life. Yours: ‘I will never play again’, for one mistake is self-punishment. Did you remember fifty good and phenomenal things you did successfully today? Now brag about them. I love you unconditionally and you are ‘good’ and you will always be ‘good’. You are one thing; behavior is something else entirely. For me, just like for you. It’s the same thing. Run along now, Adam and the girls are waiting for you on the swings. “

So, if you change children or yourself from a position from which you do not distinguish a person from behavior, you make a belief in the background: “I am not worthy of love. Love should be earned. We have to fight for love. “

A cardinal mistake.

The general fact is that no one is perfect, life is a process and we develop, grow and learn all our lives. Our whole life. Break the myth of yourself as a parent who is a perfect being as soon as possible. The myth of how behavior is equated with love is also cut at the root. You are already “good”, as you are. I love you the way you are. What we change is behavior. Because, love should not be earned, nor does one have to become “good enough” for love.

28 thoughts on “You are not your behavior”

  1. NO ONE is perfect and sometimes it’s SO hard to remember that. I am not a parent but I think even just as an adult it’s hard to not try to be sometimes!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful lesson about life and character. I can’t agree more with you about that no one is perfect. I talk to my children about this all of the time especially when I talk to my children about marriage.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is really an awesome reminder. As we grow we learn a lot of things in this world. We just need to keep up with the flow of life

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed reading this post. I am a parent and I always tell my kids that it is okay to strive for perfection, but don’t obsess over it. As long as you are happy, that is all that matters. This post made me remember an incident at work years ago. My supervisor told me that every report should be perfect, there should be no room for mistakes, and that we must be as perfect as her. I told her this – “We are human. We are bound to make mistakes, but are always willing to correct those mistakes. I cannot be like you. And mind you, you are NOT perfect. Only God is perfect and YOU ARE NOT GOD.” (I was applauded by my peers) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this. It’s important to let our children know that we love them, but we don’t like a certain behavior. It’s equally important to give them the tools to change that behavior.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a sediment as we are all learning and growing. Especially give a little grace to children as they are still new on this earth and learning.

    Liked by 1 person

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