the one question kids are always asking
When I was a new mama, my mom used to always remind me of a memorable phrase from a book she had when I was little:
CHILDREN SPELL LOVE, ‘T - I - M - E’.
It sonded cliché to me, but deep down I felt the truth of those words.
When I became a parent - I knew I had cycles to break, and I had hope that parenting could be conscious, co-creative, and mutually beneficial … but I had no clue how to be anything but a punitive, angry parent back then.
It’s tricky when we’re the ones with all the life experience in this 3D world … but our kiddos arrive all shiny and ‘new’ here.
They’re like little light-emissaries from another planet, so it’s reasonable to expect that they will make gaffes and mis-steps (and push buttons as they get acquainted with our typical customs and behaviors.
The burden of responsibility for both parties is really on our shoulders more than theirs, no matter how egalitarian we strive to be as parents.
On top of this - kids can be expert button-pushers, and they seem to know precisely where ALL of ours reside.
They're not doing this to annoy us or make us crazy (I'm mostly sure…)
After almost 23 years of parenting (so far) - I have observed that most kids don’t just wake up and choose to ‘misbehave’... Instead, I see that kids who have unmet needs will make increasingly desperate attempts to communicate to us about them.
Kids are seeking connection with us in any way they can get it, because they NEED this one question answered again and again.
Although they probably never say it out loud, kids will ask this question in a million different ways, always wanting to be reassured by our time and presence:
"Do you love me?"
"Do you still love me?"
"Will you love me and stand by me, even when I’ve done something we both know was unkind, annoying, or hurtful?"
Let them be assured that the answer is always, unequivocally, YES.
Even when we're annoyed and frustrated and feeling burnt out.
We can tackle those issues together, from a place of connection and love - not an us-vs-them mentality ... or worse, a master/subordinate dynamic.
Our kids deserve better than that, and so do we.
Remember, parent burnout is a huge risk to unschooling, and to partnerships, marriages, stable living arrangements, and so on.
Your time and focused presence can be a healing balm for your child, whether they’re 2, 12, or 22.
Prioritize them - and model healthy boundaries by prioritizing yourSelf, too.
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