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The Lee Academy

Free to play, learn and love

Month

May 2017

Listening to the little voices

In a world of expectations, a world of competition and a world where we should constantly show empathy, but secretly want to not just survive, but be better… we have little children who only wish to be heard, to be cared for and to be accepted… by us.

The more I listen to my children and spend time with them, the more they seem to tell me (either in words or their emotions) what they want from me, need from me. It could be a look, it could be a cry of frustration, or it could be a long constant dialogue from my verbal processing little girl. But the more I discover their hearts and mind, the more I realise that they simply want me to hear them, love them and accept them… no matter what.

Unfortunately, the sad part of all this is that I see heart-breaking images of children being told off, yelled at, ignored or harshly spoken to because they won’t comply, and not because they were doing something ‘naughty’, but all because they were afraid, felt they weren’t being heard, or that they simply wanted to choose a different path.

I see all this beautiful children, fully capable of beauty, love and kindness, with such a willingness to please their parents, crushed by the weight of expectations and their unheard cries for help. Not wanting to enter water with a stranger, not wanting to do that particular sport, unable to just choose… because a future has been set for them.

I saw a beautiful souled boy today (he looked just like my Mr. 3 so maybe that’s why he caught my attention), crying because he didn’t want to do his lesson today, he wanted his father to hold him. He just wanted to be held. But his father and mother sat him down, and felt it necessary to tell him off loudly, with a finger pointed in his face. The boy complied and did what was expected of him. And every-time he did something right, he instantly looked as his father’s face, to see love, gratitude and acceptance. It was at this time he saw that to receive the love he wanted, he would need to listen. His father’s love for him appeared conditional.

Sometimes children get use to the disappointment and conditional love. Some children grow to work extremely hard to ensure that they keep receiving this love. Some walk away from it. For me, neither outcome seems ideal. The idea that achievement is expected would not be my message for my child’s life and future.

I hear some interesting conversations from parents to their children in the change rooms of some sports and lessons. Most are of parents who are telling their kids that they could have done better if they had listened, concentrated, watched that other kid or why couldn’t they be like that other kid. There isn’t a lot of praise. And I get that…

I understand for a parent, it’s hard. Because we sign our kids up to all these activities, and we rush them to them, because we want them to succeed, be better, be better than we were, be given more opportunities than we may have had, or if you were successful, be just like you were. It’s hard, life is hard, and we want them to try hard, appreciate these opportunities, appreciate how hard we are working for them, and doing for them.

But without the listening, the support, the hugs and without the UNconditional love, the effort you put in for your kids might just be ignored and unrecognised. Because all these beautiful children want to do is have your love, make you happy and be in their world.

See, in their eyes, you are their world. When your kids are young, you simply are their world. Their eyes are full of love, acceptance and warmth for you. You could be unaccepted in the world, look like a mushroom and have no teeth, they will still look at you like you’re Christmas. You are simply amazing just as you are.

And so are they.

So lets start by stopping all the expectations, and let our children be freely loved and recognised for how wonderful and miraculous they are. Children have such a wonderful beauty inside them wanting to come out and be shared with the world. How about we stop trying to make them fit into someone else’s box, and let them create their own artistic wondrous forest of magic?

Love those little ones as long as you can, and be there for them when they need you. They love you, and cry to you, because you are the one person that they trust more than anyone else.

Let’s not make our kids fit into this world. Let’s help them be themselves and change it for the better.

 

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Precious minds

So this is a photo of Mr 6. He has been busy in his own little world, creating his first language. This one was called the Rufus Code, however, he says that it’s not good enough. He’s aim is to create a whole new language.  He is now using these codes as a really fun and engaging way to spell new words, make sentences and like a ‘secret ANZAC soldier’, pass secret messages to people to work out.

Totally stunned.

I am loving how much this space has allowed him to shine in his own brilliance.

Mr 6 is shining with all his science knowledge, creativity with all his drawings, stories and ideas, as well as swimming through creating ciphers and codes. He even made a codex that simply makes no sense to me.

 

Safe and Protected

This is the first night in so many nights that I am unable to sleep well.

This Homeschooling journey has blessed my family so much, that rather than documenting it here, I wanted to bask in the glorious sunny glow that is our family routine. Everything that I had wanted for our family has happened, and we are in love with it.

So when today’s incident with Miss 5 (she had a birthday! Yay) occurred, I was not just stunned by my response, but so convicted by it, that I felt I could not choose any other option.

Miss 5 and Mr. 6 have swim classes. Mr. 6 loves them. He has them so he doesn’t drown. He spends most of the time submerged. Miss 5 however, has always had a intense fear of water, especially over her face. She has had this fear since baths as a little baby, and has only now been okay with showers. Miss 5’s first classes began this year, and we began our 2nd term last week. Still not wanting to completely submerge her face into the water, she is now happy to have the goggles on, and quickly put her face into the water for a second. If you had seen her at the beginning of term 1, this is actually progress. Getting in the water was difficult. To see her happy to look through googles, even briefly, made me happy. She progressed well with her kicking, her floating… all was going well. Until they changed the instructor.

And the instructor, not understanding Miss 5’s previous apprehensions, saw her unwillingness as stubbornness. She kept asking her to just simply put her face in, how hard can it be, everyone else is doing it. She started to cry, but only a little. She kept it in. She held it in.

Today, the instructor was less delicate. And Miss 5 broke down. She quickly rushed out of the pool, wet, distressed and upset, ran up to me, and without waiting, held on to me, wet and soaking, and asked me not to let her go. Begging me to hold her.

Another instructor who was attending to other students, simply said to me, “You’re better off just leaving her, going away, and getting a cup of coffee. You are making it worse by holding her.”

I looked at the instructor, and did something I would have previously not done. I said to her, “No. I’m going to hold her.”

Previously, and I have done this with Mr. 6, I have left my child crying, upset, distressed. I had left them because the world told me that if I stayed and made an issue of it, that they would then believe that something was wrong. So ignore their cries, walk away calmly, and let us deal with it. And I listened, thinking that this was what I should have done, that it was right.

Spending so much time with my children this year, getting to know them intimately, how they think, feel, act, I am getting to a place where I understand how every fleck of difference and change affects them. It is a wonderful place. It is a place I am gradually getting to. So slowly in fact, that until an incident occurs, I don’t realise how much I have changed.

Because today, every part of me did not see a stubborn child, or a child that needed to simply get use to fear and get over it, or a child who would not be affected by their mother walking away from them because the world says that this is the way children should be treated when they cry for them.

Every part of me was angry. And like a big lioness surrounding her cubs, I simply could not let my child go. I just could not walk away and get a coffee, put her back into that pool, screaming, crying, distressed and upset.

She had no one to trust but me at that point… and I was not going to walk away from her.

I am still shaken. Not so much by the incident today, as seemingly small as it was compared to so many other incidents that have/could occur. But I am shaken by how much getting to know my children, spending most of my days just talking with them and being with them, has made me so different to who I was, even just 6 months ago.

And I am still getting to know this new person, that I have become. I have always loved my children. I use to believe I knew them. But I now know, that I know them so well, that I feel that I know exactly what they want, need, crave, wish for, everything before they do. I love learning every single thing they learn, I love seeing what makes them tick, and I absolutely love just being able to hold them through their tantrums, their hard times, and their stubborn outbursts. I love running to them in the middle of the night, if they cry from a nightmare. I am their defender, and I am there for them, no matter what anyone says or will say. My world has changed, as I suddenly, am only living for this family. I am there for them and my husband, 100%.

I have read a lot of articles, blogs and a few books on resilience. Yes, I am concerned that Miss 5’s resilience isn’t quite where I would like it to be. I had hoped that this time of homeschooling could have made her stronger.  She use to be the strong one of the family. Teasing about her height and people calling her ‘baby’ has somewhat etched that away. She still talks about these incidents that occurred last year (please see previous blog). When she is on the stage, when she is singing and dancing, acting, she shines. She is brilliant and beautiful and such a graceful being. But there are things in her mind she is still dealing with.

So my time here, at home with her, has been to build her up. What I have somehow inadvertently done is allowed her to project all of her that energy into ensuring that I am her protector. Being at home, I had no idea this was the case, until today.  So the thing that shook me, was that if I walked away from her today, she would have been alone, without her protector.

Was it the right thing to do? I don’t know.

I just know that at the time, it was all I could do. I simply could not, and would not, go away, and get a coffee.

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