3 Things I Learned From My Parents
The daughter of self-help guru Dr. Wayne Dyer recounts the ways in which her parents shaped her approach to motherhood.
Who else thought they had it all figured out before they became parents? You envisioned that everything would be perfect. You read the baby books. You felt prepared. Well, I am going to guess that changed the moment your first child was born. I had my first child, a little boy named Waylen, last October. Those first months were challenging —things still are but in vastly different ways. I know my son now. I can now decipher the roots of his cries, which makes me feel like I have more of a grasp on things.
My own parents were crucial in paving the way for me as a mom. My dad, Dr. Wayne Dyer, was a self-help author and speaker. His first book, “Your Erroneous Zones,” was a best-seller, and he went on to write many other influential books in the field of self-development. So many people tell me that he changed their lives, but to me, he was just Dad. He taught me so many things, one of the most influential being that you are responsible for your thoughts. I use one of his famous quotes on a regular basis, which also happens to be the title of one of his books: “Change Your Thoughts — Change Your Life.”
He passed away in 2015, and he also taught me how to think about death. He said, "Choose to see death as simply removing a garment, or moving from room to room. It is merely a transition." Even in death, people are close and always sending love.
I always knew my mom was superwoman, but after having a baby, I realize “superwoman” doesn’t even begin to describe it. I am part of a big family: I have five sisters and two brothers. No matter how much we fight the idea, we inevitably end up like our parents. And in my case, I’m grateful. Here are three things my parents taught me.
1. Trust your intuition.
When you have children — through any process — they pick you as parents or guides. I know it seems a little out there, but my parents were adamant about this idea. They believed that the answers for raising their children existed within them, rather than with someone else or in books. We are so quick to think something is wrong or want someone else’s advice that we have stopped listening to our own intuition and become disconnected from our own inner-knowing. It isn't wrong to feel confused or want help, but when you rely on your own insight you will be amazed at how it strengthens your connection with your child. I have tried to do this throughout my son's first 11 months. It has been crucial in navigating our relationship.
2. Discipline calmly.
I remember being out with my parents and people saying, “Your kids are so well-behaved.” My parents would smile graciously and thank them, and my dad would add that it was due to my mom and her patience. My mom always believed that if she was calm, we would be too. It's common sense, really. When you are uptight or stressed, it affects everyone around you, so imagine what it does to your children, who are influenced by your moods. Kids will be kids, but if you can stay in a patient and loving state — which is easier said than done — the benefits are immeasurable.
My parents both meditated every day, and it is something I do, too. My mom even had a sign on her door that said, “Mom is meditating. Do not come in.” It was her 30 minutes to herself. And before you say, “I don’t have the time!” five to 15 minutes of deep breathing can change your whole outlook.
3. Give the gift of freedom.
Your kids come through you, not for you. Those familiar with my dad might recognize this line. He wanted people to understand the importance of letting go of the desire for your children to fulfill your dreams. My parents never forced their agendas or interests on any of us. They gave us the freedom to be ourselves.
All you can do is be present, and be so full of love that your children always feel it.
Skye Dyer is a singer and writer. She spent most of her life touring and performing with her late father, Dr. Wayne Dyer. You can follow her on Instagram @skyedyer.