Planting the Seeds of Resilience
How can we cultivate resilience in the moments at home with our children?
Do you remember your child’s first steps?
It’s during those early moments with our children that we have the opportunity to begin to plant the seeds of resilience.
What’s beautiful about these early years is that we don’t set a goal to use the moment to teach them resilience, we don’t have a specific agenda, there’s no date on the calendar. We are simply present, in the moment to the miracle of our child’s natural evolution.
We are witness to their life experience.
No matter what age or stage of life our children are in, opportunities to cultivate resilience will arise. Though it’s challenging, it’s possible to stay as open and agenda-less when they’re older as when they’re babies. But how?
Where they are is not nearly as important as noticing where we are in those moments. As a conscious parent, we always start with self. We tune in and pay attention in those moments of struggle to how resilient we are. This will inform us which state of consciousness we are in when teaching our kids.
How do we teach our kids to bounce back from disappointment and rejection? We teach them what we know, of course.
How did I bounce back from that latest rejection at work? Or from my argument with my spouse or friend? How did I handle that recent disappointment?
We cannot teach that which we do not yet know.
Just like their first steps. We tune into the clues that they are ready. First, they learn to crawl, then pull up, then stand holding the sofa or coffee table, then they gradually let go, usually because they are more interested in holding that shiny new thing with two hands than feeling “safe”. We hold our breath and marvel at the accomplishment. We snap photos and celebrate - all the while they are just doing what feels good in the moment. They see something else they want, they move towards it, and soon they are taking their first steps!! We wait patiently with open arms, we encourage, cajole and celebrate each tiny step as a huge success. We catch them when they fall, and then we encourage them to get up and try again.
Our excitement is contagious. They can feel it. Can you remember? We are bursting with excitement at this new skill.
What else occurred in those moments of success? Along with resilience, you’ve built trust with your child, you became an ally and cultivated lasting connection.
At every stage of their life our kids are showing us how amazing, supportive, resilient, compassionate, and present, we are. Sure it's easy when they are one, completely dependent on us and just learning everything for the first time. We honor the opportunity to show them the way. And we can do so, because we've been there, done that. We know the result! We have faith in the process. We realize it's just a matter of time before they walk or ride a bike, get their first job and fall in and out love.
We hold the faith for them when they are in fear - or experiencing doubt. We know they will get it in time. We do not allow fear to get in the way.
We are simply present.
In all stages of life, our kids need our unwavering faith, undeniable trust, and unbridled joy for every and every success along the way.
The greatest gift we can give to ourselves and our kids is to simply to be the witness on their journey of this thing called life.
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