Hi, my name is Elisha, and I am with The Leaning Institute. Recently we posted a video on My Family Lines, and I would like to share my journey, how it changed my perspective on how I parent my children individually, and how we maintain close and wonderful relationships in the midst of divorce.
When I first heard about the concept of Family Lines, I immediately could say with confidence that my daughter is on her dad’s line, and my son is on mine. This is something that everyone can feel, either with their children, or with their parents. We just didn’t have a name to give it. A man I spoke to yesterday said that when he and his sister talked about their dad, it was like they were talking about two totally different people. But, he and his mom were like two peas in a pod. Likewise, I could tell early on that my daughter was drawn to her dad. I remember when she was about 3 years old she said to me, “Mommy, me and daddy have been best buddies for a very long time!” I believe she was telling me then where her allegiance was. When she was a toddler it frustrated me that she would calmly sit on her dad’s lap and let him sing and read to her, but she often squirmed away from me when I wanted to snuggle. I think she could sense my desperation! Most of the time I didn’t let it bother me, I just chalked it up to her being a “daddy’s girl.”
When my baby boy came along, though, I knew there was a difference. He was attached at my hip from day one, and as he got older he would defend me to the death. I could do no wrong in his eyes.
A mother’s love is a special thing that expands with each child that is born, and I love both my children so much. But there is a different energy with the child on your line. I accepted that my daughter was not on my line long before I had the words to define it, but what I didn’t know was how to keep our lines from drifting apart as she got older, and as her dad and I drifted apart.
This key phrase changed everything, “Positive Predictability for Leaning Moments.” With my son, I didn’t have to make an extra effort to lean to him because it came naturally for him to come to me for hugs and Leaning Moments. We charged each other’s spirit throughout the day without having to try. My daughter on the other hand, didn’t come to me as naturally. What I came to realize was that I needed to be proactive for her to get the same amount of Leaning Moments from me as my son did. Now that I know this, when she comes down for breakfast, I stop what I am doing and lean to her, give her a hug and say, “good morning my beautiful princess!” Every morning starts with her spirit being charged first. The beautiful thing is that more and more she comes to me for hugs, and says, “I need mommy time.”
When their father and I seperated my number one goal was for the children to feel at peace, no matter what our issues were. Because I knew and accepted Family Lines, I realized that the worst thing I could do for mine and my children’s relationships was to disturb the peace between me and their father, especially around the child on his line. That would only cause her to be defensive of her dad and push her away from me. If I can’t say something nice, I do not say anything at all.
The best thing I can do for the children is to lean to them both consistently, and try to never do anything that puts a wedge between them and their dad.
We have seen through our research that mom and dad being close brings the whole family closer, regardless of whose line the children are on. It’s not uncommon for people with close parents to have trouble deciding whose line they are on. So, in the case of divorce, It’s so important to keep those lines from being separated as much as possible. And now, I can honestly say that my relationship with my daughter has never been sronger.
There is harmony that has come with understanding Family Lines, not only for me and my children, but also between me and my mother. I know how Abbi feels, not being on her mother’s line. Understanding that has actually made me feel closer to them both. I have peace, realizing it was never my fault. It’s not her fault either. That energy she has with me and my siblings is just different, it’s not a bad thing. I’m glad she can experience having children on her line, like my son is on mine. Now I can relax. Now I know that the best gift I can give my mom is “positive predictability for leaning moments,” without worrying about what I will get in return, yet reaping so many benefits.
Please feel free to share my story if you know someone who is experiencing tension or frustration with a parent or child. And thank you for reading my story with My Family Lines.