Sunday, September 18, 2011

Supporting the Child

More and more I am coming to the conclusion that supporting and guiding and teaching one's child does not mean trying to narrowly shape her into what society thinks she is supposed to look like.  It doesn't look like forcing her to participate in social events she has no interest in, it doesn't look like requiring her to sit when her body is telling her to move, it doesn't mean encouraging her to stifle that meltdown because it is more comfortable for other people, it doesn't mean redirecting or trying to teach-out a part of her that others consider "weird," and it doesn't mean teaching her that things like clothes, income, natural book smarts and other such things make up her value as a person. 

Maybe it means encouraging her to pursue that which is her passion -- and if it interferes with your plans, my plans or even school, then too bad.  Maybe it means allowing her free expression, even if you think it is inappropriate, weird, strange or maybe even immature, even if I have to struggle uncomfortably through it to validate that she is who she is and there is nothing "wrong" with her.  Maybe it is holding her hand through a meltdown, to let her know I am there for her, and giving her the time to feel deeply about whatever it is she needs to feel deeply about.  Maybe it means supporting her through others narrowly judging her interests, behaviors, ideas, concepts and sense of style.  Maybe it looks like a "different" or at times, even difficult child to you, but it may look like a beautifully authentic and honest one to me.

This doesn't mean there is no accountability.  When she hurts another's feelings, she learns to make amends, and other life lessons of respect, kindness, justice, mercy and peace are still taught through gentle guidance and by example.  It simply means that when we honor the souls of our children, we instill the message to them that we have confidence in them, they are unique, important, unconditionally loved and have ownership over their being.  We reinforce that their mind-body-soul is beautiful, that they are valued, and all the other messages we hope our children receive to help them be the best THEM they can be.

For the record, this entry is not in response to any incident...it is just a parenting philosophy and a reflection on the trends in parenting that tend to encourage a cookie-cutter-kid instead of letting children and their uniqueness and quirks and ways-in-which-they-work-it-out SHINE.  May we all be blessed with the insight and ability to let our children SHINE as who they are, at all times.


My 9-year old shining child!

My 3-year old shining big girl!

3 comments:

Margit Crane said...

Do you have an FB page for this blog? I hope so!

Margit Crane
FB: @GiftedWithADD
Twitter: @GiftedWithADD

(makes it easier for people with ADD!!)

Jennifer said...

I agree, but how do you get society to realize this?

Rach said...

LOVE this blog! And of course you know that I totally agree with you and hope that I help my children shine.