What if you do nothing?

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What if you do nothing?

I’m always amazed at how smart kids are. Yours mine everyone’s kids are brilliant in some way. Like Dr Shafali says they are here to teach us 

My daughter is nine years old. She like many people sometimes let’s a rough spot in her day get her down for a long time. She can kind of get stuck in a bad mood. Happens to me too. I’m just now learning how to manage that for my self with mixed results

I find when my daughter feels this way I’m dying to help. “Ok take a deep breath, think of some else…” on and on. One day it finally dawned on me that none of my “help” was helping. So I did something crazy, I asked my daughter “How can I help you when you feel that way?”

What she said blew my mind, she said “what if you do nothing? Just let me get through it.

What a revelation. How do I feel when I’ve had a lousy day. Do I want someone constantly trying to fix me or do I want space and understanding?

Now if my kids are having a rough time I let them lead. To be fair doing nothing does not mean I ignore them. It simply means not pestering them to feel better. Not forcing my need for them to be calm. What it means is I ask how they’re doing? Can I do anything for them? Do they need a hug? 

And what do you know. They sort themselves out they return to calm and we carry on.


Here’s what I’ve learned 

I’m realizing for myself that often my reaction is based on fear for my kids. In this case some kind of fear that they will never be calm again, they will never learn to self regulate and will grow up to be wildly dysfunctional (seems totally reasonable right)

This is why I believe it’s so important to have a goal and a purpose as a parent mine is to ensure that my kids are capable, accountable, and confident. 

Confident for me means not just in day to day tasks but also able to know and understand their internal world because perception shapes reality,  Im amazed at how we are taught what to think and feel but not how to do it.

Accountable to themselves their actions and emotions.

Finally confident. Comfortable with who they are and how they operate. Again in an effort to own their internal world. 

So next time your little one is having a rough time let them know your are there for them give them space to feel what they’re feeling offer a hug. You can always talk about it after. It’s even a nice moment to say “hey I have bad days too, I know how you feel.” They’re going to be just fine after all kids are smart

Happy Dadding everyone!

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