Recently, I entrusted my fifth child to my partner and to my former boss/mentor/teacher for the next stage of her education.

“Haha, she is so much like you,” they said.

“Sure, she looks just like me,” I replied.

“No, no,” they laughed  “It’s her mannerisms, attitude, way of thinking, everything. Even your negative character traits.”

It is not surprising. Our children are the product of their genes and also the household they grow up in. Even though I have been working on improving myself by addressing my negative character traits – arrogance, impatience, intolerance, untidiness  – my daughter had insidiously absorbed them because of the energy that still hangs around in our household, despite my awareness and continual efforts in these areas.

It reminded me of a mum I once knew, who gave her everything into caring for a sick relative. She had nothing else to give when it came to her own children; she was bitter, resentful and harsh, lashing out at her burdens in life, because her burden was indeed heavy.  Her children left home as soon as they could, never to return. And in  their adult lives, they struggled with the bitter legacy she had unwittingly bestowed upon them.

In the words of Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga:

“You cannot love me if you will not love your first teacher, who is woman. You are born of a woman. If you do not learn to respect woman, the Supreme Consciousness will not talk to you. You will end up with broken homes and broken hearts.
[The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan p. 28]

In a world where kindness and generosity is the currency for happiness, it is indeed tough for those who have never been taught how to speak this language from home. Speaking with kindness all the time and displaying generosity of soul is difficult, but I think it is so very important to be aware of the impact we have on our children on an everyday basis.  Our words become their inner voice. For better or for worse.

We carry our parents’ energy with us, as our children will carry ours.

Note: I advocate self-care for parents, be it an afternoon’s peace or a weekend away.  Parents are human beings with finite goodwill, and we need to recharge so that we burn Happy Fuel at home.