Sunday, 16 November 2014
I am having something of a parental re-vamp, at the moment. There have been a lot of changes at home, lately, bringing with them a number of challenges. It's OK to have these challenges in life, I think, but I want to be conscious of my parenting by being able to connect with my children as much as I can, in order to understand them. I want them to understand their own feelings.
That said, they are pretty good at being able to articulate their thoughts and fears. "I just don't know how to work this out" was a tearful remark made by my 5 year-old son, recently. This sentence stung my heart, because I could totally feel his pain and confusion in the midst of all these changes we are going through. I don't expect him to be able to "work this out"; I don't expect him to be able to process this all like an adult; I do expect wobbles and tears and fears and that is why I am doing my best to be able to keep this line of communication open, for my children to know that they can talk to me about their feelings; and for them to know that their feelings are completely valid and acceptable.
I want them to know that I know it's hard for them and that I am trying to make things better for them. I hope that I am, because I don't think I can try any harder than what I'm already doing.
Part of the work I have been doing in the schools I did some sessions with, involved choosing one of the printed intentions I'd organised. Intentions are sentences or themes which inspire the child (or member of staff) and can choose to follow each day. They select a sentence out of the box, and decide whether or not they are going to go ahead with it. It is a voluntary thing, but the idea is to practice mindfulness using this intention as they go about their day. My aim is for the individual to reach the end of the school day, and think, "yes, I achieved this" when they reflect back on their activities, conversations, lessons, and feelings. Reflection is a mindful activity in itself, and good practice in which to be thankful for ourselves and others, and think about how to modify any behaviours that the individual wishes to change - or to be able to simply identify a need to modify a behaviour/thought/intention etc - for the better.
I decided that today I would bring this into my home, because it gives us all a focus. It gives each of us a chance to not only pick an intention at the beginning of the day, but to re-connect with each other at the end of the day at our evening meal, give each other support, praise, encouragement and reflect together. My aim is that this will bring us closer together as a family, to give recognition for each other's feelings, as well as reinforce and grow our love.
What do you think? How do you bring emotional development into your family? I'd love to know and learn from other's experiences, so please share! Thank you.