Hey guys welcome to the motherhood happened podcast. By the end of the show, you will begin to see how our teachings from a young age impacts our adult lives and what we could possibly do to change things up for our kids.
I will also share some things I am not proud of but had to face being an empathetic person and an empathetic mom. So, my empaths out there, stay tuned, I think you will be able to relate a whole lot. With that said … let’s begin.
I hope you’re doing well. There’s been a lot going on, on my end. I was out sick for a week which is why there is a gap between this episode and the last. But I am back now which makes me happy.
I feel and see a lot of changes coming which is good, but it can also be overwhelming at times.
Overall, I’m grateful there are exciting things in the works. As I always say, when your passion matches your actions, you’re in alignment. And when you’re in alignment, that’s when the good stuff happens.
Speaking of alignment, it’s insane how I really only learned what alignment is, what alignment feels like in the past few years. I’m thankful for the knowledge, but I can’t help but think of the kids growing up now and how different life would be had I been exposed to certain information as a child and as a teenager.
This brings me to my first question of the day: what do you think should be taught in school or what do you wish was taught aside from the usual main subjects?
I have this conversation with my sisters often, and the first two things I would say is to teach kids about taking care of themselves and second, how to get help when needed. It sounds like that doesn’t go together perfectly but hear me out.
The first part of teaching kids to take care of themselves. I know in my experience I have been taught to take care of others primarily. To be kind, to be generous, to be polite, to be selfless.
As amazing as all that sounds, what does that really do when you aren’t taught to take care of yourself first? The outcome may end up being a person who is insecure, disingenuous, confused, naïve, a person who is stepped on often. That was me … and that still is me at times.
The characteristics I listed first are great and should be taught but not taught at the expense of yourself. That’s where I see the issue, and I see it often.
Perhaps I will be judged for this, but I never told Jet that he has to share his food for example.
Anytime someone asks something of him, say a piece of a snack he is eating, and he says no, I would never ever correct him and say he absolutely has to give someone else that piece of snack. It doesn’t make sense to me. It’s his food, and I shouldn’t have to force him to give to someone else that’s asking.
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Does that mean my child isn’t kind? No.
Thus far, without me teaching him anything when he wants to share with someone, he will naturally say, “here you go” without anyone telling him or the person receiving the food asking. Or there are times he is asked, and he says yes willingly with a big smile on his face because he is happy to share in that moment and wanted to do so.
That makes me happy because in that moment he actually wanted to share. There wasn’t some kind of dilemma in his head if whether or not he should because of guilt that he has to do a certain thing in order to be “good” or looking for the approval of someone else versus his own natural desire to want to keep it.
I love that he is confident in his answers. And I never want to destroy that.
I am the same way when it comes to his toys. Hate me, but I am not the mom who constantly tells my kid that he has to share his toys. Now, if we are in a public place where it’s not his personal property then, of course, there are turns and he has to understand that.
But if it’s his toys, I would never butt in and say he has to share or correct him if he’s defending himself verbally because someone took his toy away from him. I really don’t butt in in general unless there is actual physical danger involved because I do want him to learn to stick up for himself. But once again, for us, it ends up with him willingly sharing his toys with other kids without me saying anything.
He always has at least two cars in hand wherever we go. If we are heading to the playground, he runs to a kid to give him or her a car to play with willingly. It’s his way of introducing himself almost and an invitation to play.
Now maybe that will change, and maybe it won’t but as of right now I honestly feel that the best course of action is to encourage him or maybe not even encourage him but not discourage him from being selfish in some ways and that will then lead to selflessness. I think they find the happy medium.
Selfishness has a negative connotation, I get it. I think I’ve spoken about this before. But imagine if we were taught that it is okay to be selfish. I am not saying it is okay to be an asshole or to treat others horribly, but what is wrong with treating yourself, sticking up for yourself, sticking up for what you want instead of worrying about what others want?
Imagine if we actually thought of our needs and wants first? Imagine being completely confident when you say yes, or when you say no? I will go more into this question in a bit, but I want to quickly mention the second point I said and that being, being taught how to ask for help when needed.
We are taught to give, and give, and give to others but then what the heck happens when we need the giving? We aren’t taught to ask for help right? At least not in my experience. You don’t know where to go or where to even begin.
You don’t want to seem weak. You don’t want to be needy. We aren’t taught that asking for help is okay. I understand wanting to be independent, but there is also this beauty in humanity that we really do need each other especially during horrible times.
You may be thinking hold up Mary, you just said you wouldn’t teach kids to be overly kind by forcing and conditioning them in a way, yet you expect people to want to help when someone needs it? And the answer is yes.
I think if we let people be, we can sway and are able to sway both ways.
I think it’s natural for us to be selfish, but I also think it is natural for us empathetic and kind. Everyone has different levels of each, but I do believe both sides are in us.
When we are conditioned or taught that you have to be kind no matter what or that you do not ask for help no matter what, that is where I see the trouble. It’s the rigidness of it all.
I know schools give out resources, phone numbers, websites, etc. to students if anyone ever needs help. I am sure they do. But what’s missing is the gap between the student and actually picking up that phone and calling, or doing the research, or staying behind to talk to a teacher, as examples.
It doesn’t even have to be something as serious as a mental health issue. It can be a student struggling with a subject. Many kids feel ashamed to ask for help. They don’t want to look stupid in front of their peers, or in front of their teachers.
Again, it’s this idea that needing help is a bad thing, it’s a shameful thing. They rather suffer than set aside their pride.
Perhaps more programs geared toward teamwork or having team building activities could help. Or simply even being more detailed in what is taught.
What I mean by that is, from what I remember in textbooks we usually just get the outcome, the accomplishment. We don’t read or learn about all the little steps, all the other people or things it took for that one accomplishment.
We see Apple, for example, we think Steve Jobs, we think the iPhone, we don’t think if all of the people, all of the things needed to have Apple be Apple today. Steve Jobs didn’t do it completely alone. We all need some kind of assistance.
The most successful people know how to ask for help, know how to use resources wisely. I can almost guarantee that every single successful person on this earth has needed and asked for help in some way, shape, or form.
That is what needs to be taught.
Imagine if we taught kids that one of the main components to success is setting pride aside and asking for help when needed? It’s almost held like a secret for the wise ones to figure out eventually, but why not instill that in kids early on? I believe it would have a positive effect in so many ways.
Quick side note: Even though there are things I wish was taught to me at an earlier age, think about what you are grateful that your parents or school did you teach you?
One thing I have been thinking a lot about and have to give my parents a huge applause for is never making me feel like a victim.
I know people will have different perspectives on this which is okay, but I come from a family of immigrants. I am so so so grateful that my parents never ever told me, or never alluded to the fact that certain things cannot happen for me, or that certain things will be that much harder for me because I am a first-generation child.
I knew I was different. I knew I was different from my peers. Was it difficult? Yes, of course. But never once did the idea of not being able to achieve something or excusing my failure on my background ever come up in my head. And I thank my parents.
I never have thought and never will think that I cannot achieve something just because my parents came from nothing because they have what some may consider funny accents because English isn’t my first language because I don’t have the privileges and blessings others do. I am not a victim. If anything, my background has pushed me so far, because I want to be proud of myself, make my family proud, and show that I can do whatever I set my mind to. I’m grateful and proud to be a first-generation kid.
Perhaps we should add not teaching victimhood. Our parents and schools should uplift us and not tell us we cannot do something because of x. I think it does our kids a disservice.
Now they have a crutch or excuse to point to for the rest of their lives. Now I understand there are horrible things in the world and there are actual victims out there.
But I feel like now more than ever before especially with the climate of things, for us to really see a change in our country, shouldn’t we teach our kids to achieve and reach for greatness no matter what?
To keep pushing, not give them something to point to as a fallback. Let me know your thoughts, I would love to know honestly. As always, it’s all about perspectives. Maybe I am not being sympathetic. What works for me may not work for someone else.
But something in my gut is telling me that instilling this blame game in our kids isn’t benefiting them in the long run. But I could be wrong.
Oh, how about emotional classes? I think that would be an amazing one. Kids spend the majority of their awake time in school I presume yet aren’t taught about emotions. And maybe it’s best for any of these teachings I’ve been talking about to be taught at home, so take the questions as home or school. Let’s do it interchangeably. What should be taught overall to kids? Let’s say that.
But like I was saying, envision a class of some kind that taught us about relationships. About how to handle breakups, how to see and know your self-worth, how to understand different feelings that come up especially as a teenager.
Learning about setting and receiving boundaries. That’s a big one. Imagine really learning at a young age that no means no?
This one really strikes me as crucial. It’s one that kind of bugs me.
Raising a little boy right now, especially in my Hispanic culture where everyone gives kisses on the cheeks when we say hello and bye every single time, I struggled with the balance of tradition and also making sure that Jet’s voice is heard.
There are times he doesn’t want to kiss people, and I have to make sure people respect his no.
If he doesn’t want to greet people with a kiss in Spanish, he would be known as “malcriado” or basically a bad or misbehaved kid. But how am I supposed to teach him that no means no when no one respects when he says no?
Kids are people too and we should respect their boundaries especially when we expect them to respect ours and to pay attention to us.
Again, if it is something that will likely cause him physical harm, I will definitely not respect his no, but I have to be conscious and aware with his interactions with people. I have to make sure I do not interrupt him when he’s setting his own boundaries with people so then he can receive the boundaries others give him whether it’s now or in the future.
I think many of us see kids, not as robots or not human, but I don’t think we treat them just as we would another adult where there are times, I think we should.
Teaching kids at a young age that it’s okay to set up boundaries, and it is not okay when someone else crosses them, even if it your own mom or dad that crosses them, I think is healthy. I think it’s needed.
Kids should also be okay with hearing a no and respecting that no.
Teaching kids about handling rejection would be amazing. Unfortunately, many people, kids, and adults fly off the handle when they experience rejection. Teaching kids to accept rejection is crucial for life, I think.
So many tragic, unspeakable things occur because of not being able to handle rejection and that sadness me. It saddens me because something must have happened or not happened to that individual that couldn’t handle the rejection and that perhaps could have been prevented.
Ehh I get overwhelmed at times talking about stuff like this.
At times I honestly hate that I am an empathetic person. You feel so much from so many directions that it is difficult to digest or break down.
I’m going to keep it real. Perhaps my other empaths out there can relate. It’s funny or I guess it makes sense why I am so passionate about this episode because I’m trying my best to avoid or fix my downfalls and teach Jet certain things to avoid going through what I did and somewhat still going through.
I have such a hard time saying no. Empaths have a tendency to want to make others happy no matter what. Others go first.
I naturally find myself wanting to give and cater to the needs of others which is fine, but I do it at my expense. And that’s not okay.
I have got to be kinder to myself. Especially as a mom, I struggle because I feel at times, I even think of others needs before the needs of my own family. I hate saying that, but it is so true. I hate it. Please let me know if anyone else out there feels the same. I feel like such a horrible mom by admitting that. But I do have that conflict in my head and sometimes I choose the others instead of my own family which really stinks.
Being an empath, I also have a hard time leaving my home. It’s my safe space. I try my best to avoid public places. It just drains me out. But one positive thing, depending on how you look at it, I can always tell when someone is lying to me or when someone feels very uncomfortable. I’m able to read people easier because I feel it essentially. I can pick up on the signs pretty easily which can be good at times but also overwhelming in others.
I got sidetracked, but just know I am nowhere near perfect. I have days I am feeling anxious, other days I feel great.
This brings me to meditation. I know I have spoken about it before, so I won’t spend much time on this. But how awesome would it be if meditation was actually part of a student’s day on a daily basis? Similar to a gym class where they can meditate for the first ten minutes. Or in the beginning of their day, they will take a breath first period and they do that. I think that would be really cool if schools were to implement that on a daily basis.
Just teachings kids to consciously breathe. That’s all it is. That would be so cool.
But for you guys, I did want to let you know guys know I did partner up with Aware. Aware is a meditation app. I’ve been using it for about a month now and I am sincerely happy with it.
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What I like about it is that’s organized. It’s set up like a timeline. It has an order; every day is a different topic or focus and it will remind you on your phone daily about the meditation that you should complete. You can set up the reminder for whatever time works for you.
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It’s worth a try, and if you do try it let me know how you liked it!
I am excited for you guys; I really do believe this is something that is going to be helpful for you.
Now we are moving on to the last segment, Project Learn You which is where I take a question from a bowl I have here, it’s the first time I will be reading it, and I will answer it on the spot and then challenge you guys to answer it as well. Let’s see what we get today.
In what way is wanting for a result to happen preventing you from enjoying the journey?
I think this is something a lot of people deal with because whatever goal is, it could be weight loss, or it could be financial goals that you have in mind, I definitely think that longing or the wanting of it, the desire so bad that you have in your head like you just want it, you want it, you want it, it’s taking you away from the actual process.
The process is what you should be enjoying because I feel like once we actually achieve whatever it is, you may not think so but once you have it, you’re just going to want more and you are going to want more. So I don’t really think it’s the end goal that you really are striving for and if you are I feel like you’re going to have a really hard, sucky time getting there, if you even end up getting there because you’re not enjoying the actual process of it all.
If you’re not seeing the positive side to it however sucky it may be, the hustle and grind trying to get to the end goal, if you’re not enjoying that process, it’s going to be really hard for you.
I know for me 1) definitely financial goals, there’s things that I want in my head. one day I want to be a homeowner, one day I want to have a space large enough for Jet and to have a playground and have all these things for him.
But if I was just think of that all the time, I’m definitely guilty of thinking about it there’s times where I can just dream for a few minutes a day and I just think about it like oh it’s going to be great whenever I get X Y and Z right?
I think it’s normal, but too long for it so much that it takes away from the actual process of me not being present, me not you know enjoy the hustle and work that I’m doing right now let’s say what this podcast or with my blog or figuring out different strategies and how to increase traffic into my website, like learning all these new things that I have been learning throughout the years.
If I didn’t find that fun, I don’t think I would ever get to my end goal to begin with and I would just be miserable, frankly.
So I think whatever goal that you have in mind now, try your best not to desire it so much and instead actually enjoy the little steps, the process of getting there and I think you’re going to have not only an easier time to get to your goal but a more enjoyable time to get to your goal.
And I hope whatever it is that you do get there, you know? There’s times where I definitely feel discouraged and think that I’m never going to get out of this hole that I’m in right now, there’s debt, there’s health bills, there’s things I want to afford for Jet and all of these things that do come to mind but if I focused on that so much I wouldn’t be present for him, and I wouldn’t be present for myself or for you guys, for example.
I don’t think I would be putting my best or most quality work out there if I was just so focused on the end goal. I hope that made sense, that was a lot of rambling, so I apologize.
But alright that was it guys! If you have any questions connect with me at motherhoodhappened.com where you can find all the links to my social media pages. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or stories you want to share on this podcast.
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This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.