One of the greatest gifts a parent can give a child is to be a self-aware parent, to “know thyself”. This statement may surprise you and yet, I have found it to be profoundly true. The reasons this statement is true are far too numerous to cover in this brief blog, but consider the following: self-awareness has been identified as one of the essential requirements for great leadership. Self-aware leaders are more stable, possess higher relational/social/emotional intelligence, and are more empowering.
Parenting is definitely a leadership role. Self-awareness can dramatically improve your ability to be mindful parents and to be able to spend deeply meaningful time with your children in a state of non-anxious presence. This state of non-anxious presence results in being fully present, fully focused, and to see and hear your amazing children and grandchildren as they truly are.
As you grow in your own self-awareness, you begin to realize how truly unique you are. You begin to observe how dramatically different others are. You see how different your spouse, your friends, your co-workers and your children are from you. It is the understanding of these differences that leads to an even greater understanding that every person you know is just as unique as you are. Then, and only then, are you set free to see, to know and to celebrate others for who they truly are, with all of their unique qualities, talents and motivations.
This awareness and understanding is where the gift emerges. You can now begin to meet one of the deepest needs of every child: to be truly known and appreciated by their parents. You can “get them” in a very special way, that no one else can. And best of all, you give them the gift of freedom and encouragement to become self-aware in their own right.
The key is this: Until you know the unique you (self-awareness), you cannot truly know others (other awareness).
Investing in becoming self-aware is highly self-responsible. Self-awareness is highly valued in both the corporate and the not for profit world, it is relationally transforming, and it is powerful. Our process of becoming increasingly self-aware is very positive, affirming, clarifying, deliberate, focused and highly effective.
Are you interested in becoming increasingly self-aware? You and your children will be thankful you did.
By Joseph V Cavanaugh III