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The theme for this week is centered around taking one small step toward recognizing and honoring your child as a unique spirit — a gift from God, the Universe, whatever you want to call the great cosmic power — with an appropriately unique set of skills, abilities, and needs.
I remember a conversation with my daughter Lily when she was very small, in elementary school, wherein she told me unprompted that she was like a sponge. When I asked her what she meant by that, she explained that she felt like she absorbed many emotions until she couldn’t absorb anymore, and just like water leaking out of the sponge, the tears leaked out of her eyes.
This was an eye-opening epiphany for me. Children feel the exact same emotions we feel. They are incredibly perceptive of nonverbal communication; it’s all they know until their brains develop language skills. They can sense when their parents are having a confrontation. They can tell when people are pretending to have one emotion while really feeling another. In addition, children are just like sponges — or perhaps it would be better to say they’re like paper towels. Just like all the competing paper towel brands, each child has their own emotional capacity before they hit their limit, and each is different from the rest!
Until children develop a basic set of tools to name a tricky emotion, understand why they’re feeling it, and execute appropriate strategies to deal with it, they are going to be sponges and towels, soaking wet with emotion. This is NORMAL for their age and stage. Even after they have those tools, they’ll get weepy often enough. I know I do — though much less now that I am practicing mind management and conscious parenting!
Make it your business to get curious, not furious, when your kids act out, so you can help them develop the tools they need to navigate tricky emotions successfully. You’ve got this!
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I loved this podcast and of course I love you. Savannah is really having a rough time lately. I took her to the doctor earlier this month because her grades and attitude have encountered a drastic change. Her pediatrician let me know she is very depressed and anxious. I was heart broken to say the least. But now I am understanding better. I love how you used the dog analogy. Because it is true. We never take what our dog does as a reflection of us. But so many times I take what my children do as a reflection of me as a parent. I am seeing that many issues Savannah is encountering actually stem from me, unintentionally. Especially with the clutter and my energy. With Tommy having cancer and many losses lately she is definitely picking up on my energy which hasn’tbeen the best energy. She will start therapy soon and I have started to re-train my mind to have and attitude of gratitude. Thank you so much Kelly