I’ve been in the counseling field for over 20 years now and I can say with confidence that mainstream society focuses on what our children need to change to better fit in with our lives. The focus is on identifying areas of weakness, scaffolding, behavior modification and self regulation. Words are used like acting out, defiance, laziness, distraction, hyperactivity and more. These words all identify something that may make it hard for a child to live comfortably in a mainstream society and they also all direct our attention to something being wrong with the child.
I can hardly I stand to listen to the negative way in which many in my field describe atypical kids and the ways that we as parents talk about them in social media and in social circles is even more shocking. Imagine if they could hear those words.
It hurts my mama heart.
In full disclosure and before everyone jumps all over me , I used to believe these ideas too before my oldest daughter forced me to re-examine every belief I had about parenting, education, and well society even and EVERYTHING changed for the better. As I began to learn about conscious parenting, self directed education and unschooling I was reborn so to speak. Prior to that I was one of the professionals who also looked to these words to help give me a sense of understanding of my differently wired kid and to help me figure out how to parent her. Still if I was being completely truthful it was because I felt so inadequate to get her to comply with the things I wanted her to do and of course to fit into the box that was traditional school, work and life.
These days I’m finding my work as a life coach for homeschooling mamas is focused on conscious parenting - meaning really being in relationship with our kids and listening to their needs, wants and hopes. We look for what their strengths are, really get to know them instead of thinking of them as something that is broken that needs fixing or changing. Our lives slow way down and we begin to trust the process and we become a partner and advocate in helping our kids develop and grow in their own time and in their own way. We are not passive observers nor do we try and manipulate and control. In listening to our children and learning to trust ourselves , we find flow.
It is amazing how often we know the answers if only we would truly listen to our inner knowing.
Still it doesn’t stop there - our little ones are so sensitive to our own energy that when we are feeling down, overwhelmed, distracted and generally not at peace - guess what- everything seems to be chaos. So while we discover who they are and find new ways of showing up so must we rediscover our inner joy, make room for our own passions and desires and resolve to stop avoiding what is not working in our lives - because it always comes out mamas. Always.
The coolest thing begins to happen when we make the shift and focus more on being fully present, mindful and intentional with our lives.
We begin to live A Spacious Life.
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