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Fairness In Your Family

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Can we talk about fairness in your family and equality with each of your kids?

This topic comes up a lot when I’m working with parents who want to treat their children “the same” and make sure they aren’t favoring one over the other. This is such a hard subject because it’s rooted in a generational pattern where we have experiences from our own childhood where we believe we weren’t treated the same as our siblings. As parents, we sometimes try to overcompensate for a lack of fairness in our own childhood by making the rules the same for everyone now that we are adults.

When you think back to your experience growing up, do you remember saying “that’s not fair!” or “why does so and so get to do that?”

How did that make you feel? Like you weren’t being seen or valued as a person? Like someone else was getting more attention even though they were behaving badly or didn’t deserve it? Like your parents didn’t really understand you?

Maybe you were the oldest child and your parents expected you to be more responsible than your siblings. Or you were the middle child that got caught in between and ignored all the time. Maybe you were the youngest and you felt like your parents were so busy with your older siblings that you had to raise yourself.

No matter what happened in your childhood, your experiences shaped the way you are as a parent. Whether you are choosing to break those generational patterns or unintentionally stuck in the cycle of your conditioning or overcompensating and doing exactly the opposite in your family now… your decisions as an adult are a direct reflection of your patterns from your childhood.

I truly believe that we made agreements with our family members before we came to earth, understanding that our connection to each other would be perfect for our growth. We chose our parents and our children chose us.

There is so much power in claiming that opportunity and responsibility. If we were born under different circumstances, we wouldn’t have the same experiences to learn and grow and reach our maximum potential. Our children came to us at exactly the right time and place for us to support each other as well.

We have to respect the qualities in each of our children without labeling them as good or bad. Take a minute and write down each of your kid’s names and write 3 things that you either dislike about them or things you wish they would change in their behavior. These are actually qualities that you have in yourself (that you might not be consciously aware of) because you were taught to be judgmental of them. They trigger you for a reason. They are a direct reflection of where you have blocks from your own childhood.

Now do the same exercise by writing down the names of your parents or caregivers. Write down 3 things you dislike about them or things you wish they would change in their behavior. Do you see a connection? Can you recognize where those generational patterns have a place in your current reality?

Just like our parents made mistakes with us, we are inevitably going to make mistakes raising our children. The difference is we can always choose to be different today than we were yesterday.

The more we honor that part of ourselves and own the fact that we have made mistakes along the way, the more transparent we can be for our children on their own growth journey.

You have to be able to acknowledge that refining process as a parent and be proud of who you’ve become.

Be willing to validate your child’s experiences (positive and negative) so that you can have the conversations you needed to have with your parents when you were growing up. Apologize to them. It’s never too late to change. Instead of reacting or projecting your childhood trauma triggers onto your children, take time to turn inward and ask where that pattern started. When you heal your own inner child, you become a better parent. Healing generational trauma looks like treating your children differently than your parents treated you.

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