Rich With Desire

by Scott Noelle

It feels good to be a “yes-oriented” parent, but how do you respond to your children when they ask for more than you can give?

The real problem is that we’ve come to believe (and society reinforces the belief) that we are the only avenue through which our kids can fulfill their desires.

To find relief from that false burden, you need to start looking for evidence that we live in an abundant universe which can provide for the fulfillment of all your desires — and your child’s.

Then you can celebrate your child’s desires without feeling obliged to be the channel through which all of them are realized.

Scenario 1: Feels Bad

CHILD: I want that bicycle.

MOTHER: (Frowning) I’m sorry, but we can’t afford that... Besides, I don’t think you’re ready... (blah, blah, blah).

CHILD: Waaaahhhhh!

Scenario 2: Feels Better

CHILD: I want that bicycle.

MOTHER: (Smiling) Oooh! That’s a great bike!

CHILD: Can I have it?

MOTHER: You can have everything your heart desires... when the time is right.

CHILD: But I want it NOW!

MOTHER: (Unfazed... smile widens) Indeed, you do!

CHILD: (Hopeful) Will you buy it for me?

MOTHER: (Checking in with herself... open to the idea... hmm, it doesn’t feel right... pleased with her clarity... still smiling) No.

CHILD: But I REALLY want it!! :-(

MOTHER: (Long pause... gets really centered... waits until heart feels wide open...) Sweetheart, I know absolutely that you can have this bike or something even better. I also know that you won’t be getting it through me, at least not today. But I’m willing to hold this dream with you... I know that if we are clear in our desire and think often about how good it will feel when this dream comes true, it will come true. There are many, many ways to receive a bicycle, and Mommy is only one of them. Now, let’s take a picture of you sitting on this bike with a big smile, and I’ll put the picture on my screensaver so we can rekindle the dream every day when we see it! (Etc...)

Of course, this is not a prescription of what to say. It only demonstrates one of many ways a “no” can have a “yes vibe.”

The only reason a child (or anyone) wants something is because s/he believes s/he’ll feel good having it. When you say “no” with a “yes vibe,” you teach your child that s/he can feel good NOW by enjoying the desire as much as its fulfillment, and you demonstrate that one’s power lies in oneself, not in the objects of desire.

Just say yes to your child’s authentic desires and yes to your own Inner Guidance and yes to everyday miracles.

Originally published on 2006-08-28
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