A child around the age of two begins their explorations into the bigger world. Parents often mistake the child’s need to practice independence and autonomy as disrespect, stubbornness, or selfishness. Not True! At two, a child’s ‘rebellion’ is not disrespect but rather an attempt to listen to new and emerging messages. The little person is having an explosions of sensations, feelings, and ideas. It is their first tiny attempt to exert an “itty bitty” Separate Self. All humans begin what is known as “The Practicing Stage”. And we keep on practicing don’t we? Children must try out their independence in a variety of ways. Some ways of being don’t work so well and they get “extinguished”, others become part of the personality.
Hmmm, you ask, do we just let a child do their own thing? “Isn’t some guidance and limit setting necessary?” Of course! However, OVERLY compliant children grow up to be overly compliant adults. Such people have only the foggiest idea about what THEY want, feel, or think. Their only guide for living is to please others and to do exactly what is expected. I hear so many adults describe themselves as “Pleasers”.
In order to change, adult Pleasers, have to “re-find” themselves. Humans are born with the capacity for independence and autonomy. How we are encouraged and supported during our early efforts to separate will vary tremendously. It is, however, never too late to pay attention to YOU. We generally know what we want and need even if it is only a quiet inkling (that we keep to ourselves). Making room by taking YOU seriously is what creates the process of change. Simply tune in and turn up the volume! You will be surprised at what you find.