Knowledge is power, but only wisdom is liberty - Will Durant
Kids are a gift. No doubt in my mind.
But. When they're struggling with stuff they can't figure out themselves. They express emotions that we adults feel inconvenienced by at times.
Think about the person you trust most in your life. The person you feel most drawn to. Now, would you feel comfortable expressing your pain and frustration when you're struggling? Would you feel vulnerable with them? Why not? Do they make you feel safe? Whatever it is you've got, they can handle it - is that what you picture?
Let's be that person for our kids. They need us to help them deal with stuff.
If kids could do well, they would do well. Let's give them a chance. Like our trusted person would give us a chance, unconditionally.
I'd like to share 3 of my favourite concepts that helps me to help my kids figure out tricky problems and how to go about solving them.
I hope it blesses you and helps you and your kids do well together.
Every emotional storm has a lifecycle. This pictogram is one way to visualise the antecedents (things that feeds the storm) and the factors that siphons energy away from the storm.
I suggest using it as a way to develop your understanding of how the storms in your life live and breathe.
The short version of this post, is that we cannot extinguish an emotional fire. Unless it's ready to be extinguished. In most cases, we have to just let it pass. Now that's highly inconvenient. But like in nature, a storm is just a storm. Nothing more, nothing less. It's only when that storm happens to pass over some hapless township and causes havoc that it becomes a disaster. The nature of the storm hasn't changed though. This is not dissimilar to what we observe when children (or adults for that matter) experience an emotional storm...once it starts, it is very difficult to stop.
So what can we do about it? Well we can work to understand it's nature for instance. What feeds the storm? What saps it of energy? What gives it momentum. If we can learn more about it's lifecycle, we can start to plan and put together a 'disaster kit' so to speak. We can do better though. Prevention is always better than cure, but sometimes we simply have to batten down the hatches despite our...
Sometimes we make impulsive decisions in the heat of the moment when our lizard brains get far too ferocious. It's not all our fault, we were designed so that our limbic systems kick into gear when we sense threat or danger in the environment.
But sometimes we need a wizard to keep our lizard brain in check. We need a wizard to be able to assess threat with a little more nuance so we're not making decisions that we might regret later.
Of course, it's important that our lizard brain helps us to stay away from danger or deal with danger if it is imminent. But sometimes we use our lizard brain too much when we're making decisions in the future, and we over-estimate threat; that's when our wizard brain is more useful.
The reality is that we need both lizard and wizard. But i think it's better that the ol' wizard is riding the lizard than the other way around!
Tune in to Episode 7 of the Huddle Wisdom Podcast where I talk about this a bit...
Sometimes kids have a hard time talking to you about things when they need the most help. Learn to use emotional intelligence and empathic connection to gain co-operation without the friction.