Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Don’t get so bugged . . .

 

Today’s parenting metaphor takes a closer look at why we sometimes are bothered by our kids.  Filmed in Temagami and  inpsired by nature, while we were canoe camping this past August.

Letting Go

I have created a short video below about letting go. I also included a story about how it came to be in this weeks post. Enjoy!

 

Sometimes it’s hard to let go of stuff. For some of us that means letting go of things we are sentimental about.  Sometimes its letting go of memories; things that happen that become our story or our truth. We may have invested our emotions in in the past with events that bothers us. As we hold on to these emotions they linger and overshadow our present moments. But in holding on we pay a price, the heavy load, the luggage we carry around wears us down.
With kids this holding on sounds like “he always does this” or “always gets his way” or the famous “its not fair” hanging on to perceived past injustices and carrying them into future experiences of what’s going on. Everything unjust becomes labeled as “always” happening and there doesn’t seem to be room for change because there is a holding on to the past experience so tightly that it is expected in the future. Holding on in this case is not the holding on of hope but rather of negativity.

 

The other weekend while canoe camping, a process in and of itself is a practice of letting go of stuff and leaving conveniences behind, the boys decided to make boats. They usually love collecting rocks like most boys or like to bring back souvenirs like chewed beaver sticks or other “keep-sakes” from their trip. Both enjoyed taking pictures of the sunset the first night. My youngest was photographing the sunset and was getting frustrated when he was not able to see the pictures right away on the camera screen. I reminded him that he could look at it anytime and to just enjoy the real thing in front of him, after a few more grumbles he was able to let it go and relax, not getting stuck in his expectation of how things should be.

 

After the boys made their nature boats they talked about bringing these back home with them. After hearing his brother talk about bringing them home my youngest decided he wanted to as well, even though on the way my youngest had made a boat on his own which he let go at the dock before we paddled off to our camp site. After talking about how we could document their launch with photos just as we had when they made them, they both agreed and became excited about launching their boat, sending it out into the water, out into the world, letting it go. Who knows what kind of travels their boats would go on perhaps it would be like the little carved canoe in the film “Paddle to the Sea” where a boy carves a wooden canoe and then releases it into the river which then travels down to the great lakes and eventually out to the ocean. This got them excited, they were ready to let go and open up to the possibilities. We talked more about not having to hang on to everything.

 

At one point when we were paddling back to the car, my youngest spontaneously released his boat, I thought prematurely, but he was fine with this. However, being the typical adult, who sometimes gets stuck and has a hard time letting go of stuff or ideas, I suggested we retrieve it because I missed photographing the moment of release.

 

We all can learn to let go a little more, whether it is letting go of fear of whether your kids are capable of something, or simply letting go of the past as in the last minute that just went by. Letting go of “hard” feelings is also a tough one. But if we don’t learn to how will our kids. Holding on to resentment or disappointment can also be a set up for us expecting similar unwanted behaviours from our children. If we just let go of our expectations a little more and be open to all the possibilities, imagine what adventures we can enjoy.

 

 

 


When I was a child I had a jewelry box that played a little tune every time the bottom drawer was opened; “raindrops keep falling on my head, ….the blues they send to meet me won’t defeat me…..’Cause I’m never gonna stop the rain by complainin’…”(Lyrics by Burt Bacharach).   I also remember the standard rain song that kids sing “it’s raining its pouring the old man is snoring bumped his head in the middle of the bed and couldn’t get up in the morning!” Two songs about rain with two different perspectives; in one the singer speaks of things getting better with the other things get worse.

The other day we were driving through a rain storm on the highway. I found myself battling thoughts about how horrible the weather was, yet admiring the beauty and the strength of the storm at the same time. I watched in awe as  the transformative beauty of the  lightening as it lit up the sky and horizon, while the power of the storm’s down pour managed to bring the cars on the highway to almost a halt . Then and there I realized something, storms are inevitable, a necessary release from mother nature.  After all it it has been pretty hot here lately and the gardens are pretty thirsty, right? Thats a good thing. The weather is only as bad as we make it. It’s all a matter of perspective.

 


Disappointment is a part of life that everyone needs to know how to deal with at some point. Storms are inevitable. When my kids cry or tantrum because they are unhappy about something I can take the opportunity to help them through those sad or angry feelings and show them it’s ok to cry.  They need to know that  it’s ok to feel disappointed, angry or sad and that you can feel these feelings and still be fine after. Just as the plants are quenched after the downpour, so too are our children. Crying is a normal part of the human response to pain and upset. Crying can help release emotions as well as the hormones that have built up inside in response to intense emotions.When plans are changed or canceled I can focus on the disappointment or on the opportunity for growth, to try something new and perhaps have a surprise adventure. Of course there will still be upset, this is natural, but the way we weather the storm with our children will make all the difference to how they are able to bounce back and look ahead. Sometimes disappointment can be a motivator to move forward and strive for something else as well. 

 

As parents it often hurts to see our children upset. We want to shelter them and protect them from the storm. But maybe going through the storm with our support is what they need to help them grow and flourish. These experiences prepare them for the inevitable storms ahead. Eventually these storms will be accepted as the storm before the calm, the necessary showers for transformation. When this happens with our support the stormy weather becomes showers that are necessary but not feared.

 

 

It never ceases to amaze me how much I can learn from my children. While I like to think they learn from me as well, I still need to remind myself how much they can figure things out themselves when given the chance. We would’nt give them the answers on a test, or do their homework for them.

Are our answers the only “answers”?

So why then is it so hard for us as parents to take a step back instead, and let them find their own solutions? Why do we feel the need to give them “the” answers? Are our answers the only “answers”?

We too need to look inside for the answers. Sometimes it is not so easy as a parent to do this. Sometimes we avoid looking inside for our own answers and we look to others instead. Looking for that perfect answer of what exactly we should do in a particular situation with our children. We second guess ourselves and miss what has been there all along, what is right in front of us: the answers are inside.

Look inside. I quarantee you will find the answer.

When my oldest son was in grade two, his class was asked to make a drawing of where they would like to live. They drew their pictures, cut them out, and displayed them at the school art show. I remember seeing all the wonderful drawings of homes. The pictures were two sided with the outside of the home on one side and the inside on the other. When I asked him where his was he showed me a large airplane. It was colourful and full of details. Talk about thinking outside of the box- or should I say house! He was so proud of it that he hung on to it for years hanging it in his room. Read the rest of this entry »

Eighteen years ago, I worked in an agency that helped children who had social and emotional difficulties stemming from their “learning disabilities” (L.D.).  At that time I had the opportunity to work with a group of boys who were identified as being “gifted L.D.”. They were an amazing bunch of boys. They had high I.Q. scores in certain areas of their abilities and deficits in the areas specific to their L.D. (which usually translated to being extremely sophisticated with their words on one hand yet socially ackward on the other). Read the rest of this entry »

Yesterday my eldest son, who was curious about the work that my husband Chris and I were doing on the website, decided he wanted to contirbute by making up his own language and post it on the website. He drew a picture and began to create his own symbolic language. Afterwards I thought to myself, that’s such a juicy metaphor for how kids operate.

They really do have their own language don’t they, and as their parents we are constantly trying to figure it out. Then like any new language one is trying to learn, there is only so much we can understand at any point in our learning before we scratch our head and say, “what does that mean?” (read – why is he doing that?) Or maybe we dont understand it because it is out of context, or there is a word we just are not getting the jist of because we are thinking in our first language. Read the rest of this entry »

A while back my husband and I decided to structure in some special time with the kids because of our work schedule and feeling we did not have a lot of time together as a family. While we had tried family game night where we play a board game (usually one that is cooperative rather than competitive) it just wasn’t as fun for the adults as when we were kids. Read the rest of this entry »

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Listen To The Beat Within