When a child speaks their opinion, they are often told to be quiet or the opinion goes in one ear and out the other of the parent or caretaker, especially if the child’s opinion is in contradiction to the adult’s.
Hence, the child learns that some of their thoughts and feelings are heard and some are not. The child further interprets that in order to receive attention or acknowledgement they must filter some thoughts and feelings.
The child quickly learns which ones to filter. The filtered thoughts and feelings are the ones the parent is not interested in or doesn't agree with.
There are countless examples of how children are taught to be or not be like someone else. Children are taught that love is shown to them when they do certain acts, and it is not shown to them if they mess up. Parents feed into this belief because of society's pressure to act and react to their children in certain ways. If parents don’t follow the status quo, they and their kids may not be accepted.
Girls and boys are expected to abide by strict physical and emotional standards that bring about acceptance from others. Girls are expected to like certain colors and boys other colors. They are just colors, aren’t they? Some names of boys are girlish and some girl names are boyish. Some names attract more bullying than other names. Society, especially the media, insists what a good look is for the body. The cyclical feed of information from magazines to television and from peers to parents is making it nearly impossible for people to accept and love themselves. Children who are surrounded by these messages learn to hide parts of themselves.
The Rainbow Freedom Technique can help you learn to fully accept yourself and others. Visualize yourself as a bright, beautiful rainbow with rich colors. Every part of you is important beyond belief, even the colors or parts of you that you or others disagree with. See children as rainbows too. Nurture their colors instead of trying to change them. Love yourself and children will love themselves! Celebrate your differences instead of eliminating them. The wealth of diversity in everyone is part of the meaning of life.
To see every part of us as a magnificent, shimmering color in a rainbow immediately diffuses any dualistic charge around a feeling, thought or action. Parents who have used this metaphor to change their viewpoint and feelings about their children have indirectly changed their children’s behavior. When children feel their parents see them as beautiful colors rather than ‘bad’ or ‘negative’, they naturally change because the child feels they are accepted unconditionally.
© 2015 Jason Nelson
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