Allow and Then Accept

I’m very excited to feature a guest post from Betsy Henry. Betsy is a writer and teacher, and has a wonderful inspirational blog called The Zen Mama’s Blog.  Her blog and her books offer down-to-earth wisdom on how to incorporate more positivity and optimism into your parenting and relationships.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

~ Albert Einstein

This quote reminded me of Chapter 4 in my book, HOW TO BE A ZEN MAMA. Chapter 4 is “Each Child Is Different”. This seems so obvious, that we’re all different and we should appreciate those differences. However we all fall into the trap of making someone be and do something they don’t want to do or be.

Do these phrases sound familiar? (Please feel free to exchange child with husband, wife, brother, sister…. you get the picture!)

“I know my child better than they know themselves.”
“I know what’s best for my child.”
“If I don’t push him/her in the right direction, they won’t succeed or make it into college.”

Control and push.
These words describe what most parents do. And if you have an agreeable child, they’ll go along until it’s too much. These children often quietly rebel somewhere later down the line. And you’ll say, “What brought that on??”.

But if you have a child with a strong personality, anger and fighting will be the relationship that defines you and your child.

How do you create the relationship that you want to have with your child? (Or anyone else for that matter) You allow them to be the person they are. Read the following definition:

1. To let do or happen
2. To take a possibility into account
(from middle English to approve, permit, Latin to praise)

I love this definition! Especially approve and praise! Also, possibility and to let happen.

By allowing, you can give up expectations, too. Wayne Dyer illustrates this concept of giving without expectations by quoting the great poet Hafiz: “Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth ‘you owe me.’ ”

How do you allow?

1. Think before you speak. I’m often guilty of this. Be open to possibilities. Don’t just automatically say no. Guide your children towards an activity you think they’ll like not just what you want them to do.

2. When an idea is raised, approve and praise! A lot of what we all talk about never comes to pass. And if an idea becomes a success… think of the possibilities!!

3. When you feel yourself getting angry at someone for not doing what you want, take a deep breath and remove yourself to another room until you’re ready to think rationally.

4. Compliment others! Everyone loves a good compliment. And stop trying to be right. Instead of trying to prove your point and that you are right, say, “Interesting, I’ve never looked at ___ from that point of view.”

5. Practice gratitude. Be thankful for an independent child who is following their own path. Life will be easier for them when the tough times come along.

6. Lastly, follow this Harry Truman quote: “I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.”

By the way, are you wondering what are the benefits of allowing someone to be their own person?

1. They will appreciate you! When you want to do something, you don’t want to hear the negatives, do you? You want support! Even if you’re just dreaming.

2. You children will gain independence! Isn’t that what you want in the end when they leave home? Making decisions in a structured environment now.

3. You will feel better about yourself. There will be no parental guilt if you take all into account before judging your child. Maybe you can help the process along rather than hinder.

There is nothing you can do but let that child be him/herself. Then they can be their best self. Just as a daffodil can’t grow a tomato or an eagle suddenly decide to become a vegetarian, nor can you or anyone else make someone be somebody they’re not! Otherwise, your children will carry around your expectations as baggage that they will only try to let go in adulthood or maybe even during therapy.

“Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible – the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.”
~ Virginia Satir

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Betsy/Zen Mama November 6, 2012 at 12:15 am

Thank you so much for having me guest post on your beautiful new blog! Looking forward to reading many wonderful posts here. So glad to be one of the first!!


christineonthebrighterside November 6, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Betsy, it’s such a pleasure to have you here! You were the first person that came to mind when I decided to feature guests posts on my site – so thank you for writing the first!!!

I love your tips for embracing and encouraging our kids’ unique spirits. Too often we “guide” our kids by subconsciously trying to control them and impose our own expectations on them – when instead we can focus on nurturing their own great qualities and interests.

Thanks for your wisdom!
Christine xoxo


Vidya Sury November 6, 2012 at 2:57 am

My favorite quote here, and one I’ve found valuable to practice is this one: “I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.” – especially with growing children who are learning quickly!

Wonderful post, Betsy.

What a lovely blog, Christine! Looking forward to visiting again!


christineonthebrighterside November 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Thank you so much, Vidya! I’m so glad to have you here.

I love that quote too – and your blog, by the way!

Look forward to seeing you again!



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