Are your kids "acting their age?" (I guess in this moment I'm asking myself if I act MY age. What does that even mean?)
Over the last month or so, while everyone has been spending 24/7 with their kids in lockdown, I've sensed an anxiety about whether your children are "on level" or "doing well." There's been a lot of "How will they turn out?"
So, I wanted to get something out there. Every person is doing the best they can.
Even when there's no pandemic stress and overwhelm, children will explore behaviors and have ups and downs in experience. (they are people!)
Over 18 years of parenting, with 3 kids, I can tell you it wasn't always sunshine and roses.
My daughters, who are 10 months apart, used to stamp on each other’s feet and then tell me it was an accident.
Then there was the time that we spent hours searching for my daughter’s doll, only to find out that her sister had hid it under a slide because she was jealous.
My son used to have a temper that would boil up inside of him until it explodes all over the house, with a slam of his door, a few choice words and a melt down which I can’t get near.
I don’t share these stories often, not because I’m ashamed of them, but because I didn’t want to hold my kids to their past behaviors, I don’t want the stories of their off moments to define them.
So, let me balance with this.
These past few months my eldest laughs a laugh I haven’t heard for years.
She just got into art college for September, has started meditating and exploring her own magic, just because she feels called to it. (I’ve always made sure my kids found their own path to spirituality. They’ve only heard me discuss mine and the minute they need anything to explore their own, they just have to ask. No pressure.)
My second daughter asks her oracle cards what to do each day and is doing her own exercise routine each morning. She is so full of light, and we drive our family mad with our goofiness together.
My son, yesterday he came down asking about how to communicate something to his cousin. I’m hearing him talk about his feelings, and notice that before his temper rises he’s discussing his insecurities and how things feel instead.
I’ve learnt over the years of parenting and self development work that there’s no such thing as a Good Kid, or a Bad Kid… or a Good Person or a Bad Person.
People don’t “turn out”, they evolve, and as they evolve and grow they make choices based on what they know.
When I first started parenting my girls oh boy, I tried the whole getting mad thing.
I shouted, I flipped out, I ranted. I lectured.
But, I watched as my girls shut down and didn’t hear me. (and proceeded to still stamp on each other’s feet while shouting “Whoops, don’t get mad mom, it was an accident.)
Power plays were aplenty and our relationship started to fall through the cracks.
So, I started to learn myself, that maybe life wasn’t a ladder to climb, maybe it wasn’t about being a “better person" or being "good", maybe it was about allowing each person to get to know themselves and, as they made mistakes and felt bad, discuss emotional awareness and explore kindness as something that feels better.
Life is an exploration.
Just as little toddlers who want to explore all their senses and feel frustrated when we say no to tasting dirt because how are you going to know what dirt tastes like if you don’t try! (Not saying you let your kid eat dirt, but when you see it as exploration you divert them differently.)
Your children are exploring life, through lockdown, through fears, through your own stress, they are exploring what they like and what they don’t like, what they think and what they feel.
Over the past few weeks I’ve had a number of parents sigh in relief when I tell them “yeah, your child is acting the way most kids their age act.”
Your child is feeling the immense energy system that is flowing through them RIGHT NOW. They feel the Full Moon and the rising and falling of the planet’s frequency even stronger than we do.
They feel the stress and can’t intellectualize it.
They feel the fear and know that it is so far away from our natural essence of LOVE.
They know. And sometimes it all feels so big, so very, very big, that it sweeps over them and creates an explosion.
My son used to call this his blender brain, when even me trying to calm him down would add to the mix that was building pressure.
Please go slow with your darlings at this time.
They are exploring, and as they do they are feeling everything so strongly.
Breathe deep with them, don’t judge them. Ground their feet, talk in soft voices, read, laugh, play. See the world through their eyes. Because they have solutions we might all need.
And they have hearts that need holding as well as hands.
We’re all people in this, and our little people are working through a heck of a lot. (but then, aren't we all?)
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.