THE BLOG
02/24/2016 12:36 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Why Happiness Is Terrifying to Parents: The Journey to No Fear Parenting.

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There is a video circulating on the internet of Steve Harvey talking about "jumping". The magic that happens when one jumps from a career they hate and is only serving to further the cycle of paying more bills and buying more stuff, to a career of passion.

What if every human was following their passion? What would that world look like?

This incites the system to chant "life isn't all about rainbows, unicorns and happiness"!

If we truly get to the heart of what we were born to do, what we dreamed of doing....many of us aren't doing it. Fear is the reason. Yes, we all have bills to pay, and we are living in a world of doing what you gotta do to get to where you want to be. A world that the system created. We have anxiety passed down from generations around not following the system. We teach what our parent's taught us when it comes to the system.

A seeker is always looking for the reason. They are always questioning and asking for more. I have been a seeker from the time I could walk. I asked so many questions, and processed out loud from the beginning. Many times, my seeking was met with fear. This is completely understandable coming from the generation that my parents were born into. Seeking was not encouraged by most. Seeking was not nurtured. Seeking was feared, but for a few brave souls.

Seeking does not serve the system and you must be brave enough to withstand the curiosity. The curiosity looks like rejection. The curiosity looks like silence. The curiosity looks like difference. Difference is scary.

This is by design. Seekers do not serve the system. Seeking is all about how can we change the system.

It's not about responsibility, it's about fear. It is absolutely possible to be both a seeker and a responsible human being. I would argue a seeker is more responsible, because it takes the victim out of the equation. You are in control of your own journey. The information is available, but how trained are you in seeking the answer? Does your brain go to the easiest solution, the one served up by a society that may or may not have your best interest at heart or does it look for more?

This is a different world, if we let it be. There are many more options that we didn't have. If we raise our children to be seekers, then we instill in them a belief in more. That is not something to fear, it is something to admire.

Anxiety is the silent poison we pass on to our children when we parent out of fear. But we press on. We do this out of protection and habit. We do this out of our participation in a cycle that we may not even be aware of. Parental fear has good intentions, but it is no less poisonous than many things we would never dream of feeding our children.

We feed our children the hype.
We feed our children the fear.
We feed our children the rhetoric.
We feed our children the noise.
We feed our children the internal struggle of bucking the system we hate.

If our children are seekers, they may be met with resistance. If they are seekers, they may be singled out as trouble makers. Seekers are critical thinkers, and in the system, critical thinking is not always encouraged. We operate on a need to know basis in schools. We teach what to think, not necessarily how to think.

I believe there is a fear around teaching our children "how" to think. If our children know "how" to think, then they may not subscribe to the system. This is a very real possiblity. What would that mean for our precious system?

We want the best for our children.
We want our children to be accepted.
We want our children to be successful.
We want our children to not struggle.
We want our children to be safe from judgement.
We want our children to fit.

What are willing to do to ensure this protection? Turns out we are willing to funnel them into a system that we may not agree with, but we have no idea how to get out of.

This same system is the one that has funneled us into 9-5 jobs that may pay well, but offer no satisfaction at the end of the day.

This same system has convinced us that we must work longer hours, to make more money, to buy more stuff.

This same system tells us college is the answer, and then promptly sends us the bill sending us in to deep, deep debt the day we walk out.

The same system that claims there is a formula to success, but is nowhere to be found when the formula fails.

This same system plays on our fears by offering up daily news stories scaring us into submission.

This same system hand feeds us photo shopped bodies adorning the covers of magazines, for our children to aspire to.

Submit. Conform. Blend in.

Yet we, as parents, continue to focus on letter grades, we continue to sign our kids up for sports whether they are interested or not. We continue to believe that the road the system has laid out for us is the road we should train our children to take. We continue to groom our children for a system we despise. Because if we don't......what does that mean for our kids?

If they take the road less traveled, it might mean heartache.
It might mean struggle.
It might mean disapproval.
It might mean rejection.

But you see, that's where the journey is! When we parent our children according to fear, we rob them of the journey. We funnel them into a system, that may not be the path they are created to take. The growth is in the pain. The rejection, the disapproval, the heartache....it is all there for a reason. It is there as a sign, that we are supposed to go within. Our happy lies within us, but as parents sometimes we neglect to teach this lesson. Because we are scared. Because no one taught us. When we teach our children that their happy is always with them, and does not lie in outside opinions of their specific journey, we teach them freedom. We teach them to be seekers.

If we are truly honest with ourselves, we can see how the system infiltrates how we parent on an everyday basis. Breaking this cycle, requires self awareness, accountability, and empathy. Breaking this cycle requires facing our fears about happiness. If we teach our children to aspire to happiness...

Happiness could equate to laziness.
Happiness could equate to less.
Happiness could equate to struggle.
Happiness could equate to not caring about the system.

Would that be so bad? If our generation of parents hates the system, then shouldn't we be a part of changing the system? That doesn't include creating a different system, it includes creating a different road for every child to follow. It includes open minds and open hearts. It includes acceptance and compassion for differences. We need every type of human and every type of passion in this world.

I dare to dream. If that dream is to come true, as parents, we must turn this ship around for our children. We must at least take the helm and try and steer it towards happy. Fearful or not.

Creating the window for us to observe our own thoughts around the system and our children's place in it requires mindfulness. It requires us to be mindful of our fears. It requires a quiet place in our minds to simply observe our thoughts around the system and be curious of the root. It requires us to not believe all of our thoughts, just because we are having them.

Let's not be fearful of the "more" for our children.
Let's model "jumping" whenever we can.
Let's not be fearful of stepping a foot out of the system.
Let's not be fearful of our power or our children's.
Let's model fearlessness in the face of judgment.
Let's model authenticity.

I'm scared too, let's hold each others hands and jump! Let's do it for our kids. Let's do it for the happy. Let's make "jumping" the word for how we parent.

Let's jump from fear to happy.
Let's jump from fear to acceptance.
Let's jump from fear to seeking.

Let's jump blindly without a guarantee that everything will be okay. Let's admit that everything is not okay in the system. Let's take the helm and turn the ship because if we don't who is going to? Let's show our kids that seeking isn't something to be afraid of, but something to aspire to.

We are talking about this and more on Get Grounded. Come connect with me and let's further the conversation. www.facebook.com/groundedone/ and www.groundedblog.com