How might your own childhood have felt different, if you had a sense of being in Power With your family members?
Power With is very different from Power Over!
What happens in your body when you feel more sense of Agency in your own life? How might a greater sense of agency feel for your kids? (I suspect that a lot of the challenges that have come with the pandemic relate to a decreased sense of agency & power in our lives — how can that be restored, even in small ways?
Being in Power With our bodies is a helpful step!
True Power With (in my book) naturally promotes a sense of competence, courage, strength, and independence.
And, it’s tricky to navigate, sometimes, exactly how to encourage such things in appropriate ways as kids grow… and seems easier when rooted in my own Power Within myself, when I am more supported and resourced.
Because if I’m exhausted or rushed, it’s often easier to do things for the kiddos than to teach/show them new skills; it requires a level of Inner Resource to help them learn new skills and qualities in ways that are empowering, and that nourish the We-Space.
It’s also interesting to me how easy it is to focus on the things we didn’t learn or feel empowered about as kids, and to ignore some of the ways we did have power… especially if some key relationships later on don’t support us to embody that power in an ongoing way.
Reading your description, I’m actually immensely grateful to my mom for supporting me to have exactly those experiences of being in my own power! (I went around the world by myself at 17, could change my own tires, got a scholarship to a women’s college full of smart women, etc.)
But, a couple of less-than-ideal relationships as a young adult (combined with some conclusions drawn from earlier abusive situations) led me to not fully embody those senses of my own power that my mom worked so hard to help me have! At least for a while… (I learned that there are also ways that being too much in our own power can be isolating and actually detrimental — hence the importance of Power With others we trust!)
I’m grateful that some of the groundwork was there, though, so it was easier to re-write the stories I had come to believe (which weren’t serving me), so I could return to and deepen the sense of power within that I enjoy now.
It’s a good reminder, too, that whatever groundwork we lay for our kids is helpful, but there’s no guarantee that other things won’t interfere!
And, the more connected and openly communicative we are in our relationships, the easier it is to figure out new, healthy ways of being in Power With each other — at any age!