Step 10: Celebrating the Child

What an amazing journey we have begun together. Not only am I able to celebrate my children, reveling in the excitement of strengthening our connection each and every day, but I am able to celebrate the child inside of me! Today I stand firm in my belief that building a loving connection between my children and I means (re)building a connection with my younger self – healing my hurts, taking care of my bruises, and letting my inner child know that everything is okay. It has all ended in a big smile!

As I celebrate this evolution in parenting, I am celebrating a new way of communicating. This new language of feelings and needs does not only support a positive relationship with my children, it also spills over into other aspects of my life. At work, when it is time to engage in a difficult conversation, the same tools I can draw on to speak about challenging topics with my children can be harnessed to communicate more effectively in the workplace. When trouble brews among friends, listening with empathy is just as important as it is when listening to the children. When I am triggered by any experience – when I feel stressed out and at the brink of loosing my cool, I can look to a sensory tool to help get me “back online” making more capable of finding my way to a solution. This new method of communication is also passed on to my children who watch me re-adjust my language when things get tense. They are surprised when I meet their anger and frustration with play, and as the calm energy of our home envelops us more and more, I know in my heart that the children will take these new skills with them into their worlds even when I’m not there to suggest it.

As I celebrate this evolution in parenting, I am celebrating a new level of respect for my family. The dominant paradigm suggests that children should be seen and not heard, bossed around and controlled, and forced to do what adults want when adults want it. But today it is clear that this is ineffective if we are truly invested in helping our children become responsible, loving, empathetic and gracious adults. For that to happen, they need their own feelings to be respected, and their own needs to be taken seriously. They need me to hold a space for them to work through big emotions and they need to be given the space to creatively consider new solutions. I am convinced that each success means we are taking two steps towards our goals, and when I see the pride in the children’s faces after finding their own way through tricky feelings and conflicting needs, I know that we are on the right track.

Today I celebrate our growth as a family. I celebrate our connections and I celebrate our disconnections, because each disconnection is an opportunity to re-connect in new and wonderful ways. I celebrate our loving community in and outside of the home, and I celebrate the joy that my children have brought to my life. And most of all, I celebrate the playfulness that raising them has allowed me to explore through their laughter and through their tears each and every day.

Welcome from all of us to all of you and congratulations on taking this step right alongside me.

With love, light & healing,

Laura Mae.

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