Is it human programming for us to get so fixated on the things we need to fix or the things that are broken? Is it one of those things that comes along with parenting? maybe it’s just me. This might be just a reminder for me, but if you are also one of those people who sometimes gets wrapped up in the wrong then read on, breath and remember your children aren’t broken.
We’ve been having an interesting time of late transitioning into our new unschooling life. its not that unschooling is hard or taxing infact it’s the complete opposite (but that’s a whole other post), its just that for some of us change can be a bit of a learning curve. I’ve watched our kids learn to navigate change, but it never dawned on me that I too may need to give myself some space and kindness whilst adjusting to these changes. I have felt the gentleness and patience I normally have begin to slip away in some areas, and the empathy I normally pride myself on seemed to be so much harder to find.
It wasn’t that the kids were having a harder time, it wasn’t that they were needing me more, it wasn’t even related to the fact that I now had 3 children home 24/7. I had simply got so lost focusing on the new and different aspects of life that I forgot to pay attention to the reliable reassuring things in life. Those precious tiny moments when the kindness, wisdom and empathy of a young child remind you of what is important.
This afternoon after a very stressful appointment for Miss P we were heading home when J-man asked Miss P if she would come play outside with him when we got home. Miss P worried about the impending storm, firmly said NO! J-man upset by this decision decided to beg and plead, please please just one chapter of our story (yep they tell their own stories by narrating and naming the chapters) before the rain comes. Miss P still not committing decided to change the subject. Meanwhile I was so worried about the argument that was bound to start up at home when he would inevitably ask again, that I didn’t even notice how calm they both were, despite the fact that they both had opposing views.
Finally home again and J-man asks Miss P again, “please come play with me”.
Ok she says, “but only 4 chapters”
J-man happily asks “7 chapters ok?”
*insert me silently anticipating J-man’s request being shot down in screams and anger*
Miss P “5 chapters”
J-man “hmmmm 7 chapters?”
Miss P “6 chapters, that’s my last offer.”
J-man “ok lets go start with the lion den chapter!”
Off they went to play outside, happily having worked through their different needs and arriving at a compromise without any adult intervention.
Leaving me sitting inside alone, wondering how many moments like these I had missed recently because I had been so busy focusing on the things that weren’t working.
So here is my reminder to myself: change can be hard on everyone, finding positive things helps take the pressure off the list of ‘broken’ things and if I want my children to be kind, considerate and gracious then I must do and be those things. After all you can’t fix yourself by breaking someone else.