Children are very aware of their feelings. They may not know how to articulate what they are feeling to us, but they definitely know how they feel. Being aware of how they feel is an important part of learning to use their Internal Guidance System (IGS), which will help them to live their highest path as children and as adults.
If we can teach our children at a very early age how to listen to their IGS, then they will learn to trust that inner wisdom and be the independent teens and adults that we wish them to be.
When children are very young, most haven’t learned to hide their feelings yet.
While there are times that, in the moment, this may not seem like a good thing, being aware of their feelings and learning to trust in them is a key to their future happiness.
Conventional wisdom has us teach our children to conform. This starts up a contradiction inside them.
They feel one way, but are told to behave in another way. When this happens often enough, they begin to doubt their feelings.
We want to encourage our children to trust their feelings so they can then use their Internal Guidance System as a tool throughout their lives. We can help our children develop their IGS “muscle” by reminding them to check in with their feelings.
When they are faced with a decision and they do not know which choice to make, ask them to consider how they are feeling with both options. Does this choice make them feel happy or sad? Do they feel lighter at the idea of it or heavier?
Of course, the words you use will vary depending on the age of your children and their vocabulary level. You can even use a chart that has pictures of different facial expressions to help them indicate if they feel good about a particular choice or not.
You can also help your children to determine how to proceed by exploring ideas that come about from the initial choice. You help them navigate the stream of emotions, always steering them towards the ones that most excite them, just as you would paddle a canoe with the river’s current rather than paddling upstream.
By coaching and mentoring them early to navigate using their Internal Guidance System when they encounter other people who would steer them wrong, they have already grown confident in their IGS and ability to make their own decisions for their lives.
Our children will not always make choices that we agree with, or even approve of, but by allowing them the room to make mistakes, we are helping them to fine-tune their IGS. Of course we will do everything we can to keep our children safe, but beyond that we are here to guide, support, and believe in their abilities.
We are not here to dictate what path they are on. We are all blessed with knowing our best and highest path and by teaching our children to trust in their Internal Guidance System, we will have the joy of watching them grow and follow the path that is right for them.