Could we shortcut what our kids are trying to teach us
“Our kids are here to teach us” is a well known phrase, but what are they here to teach us. I once thought it was things like new technologies, for example how to get to the moon, but now I think it is about being better human being. I often read firsthand accounts by parents about autistic children and they frequently talk at the end of the story about the amazing lessons they have learnt, in terms of compassion, understanding themselves, being more mindful of their actions etc. For example, Dyslexic children are often reflecting their parents’ issues in the hope of helping them change too.
So how about collecting up the lessons that parents have learnt, and shortcut the agony by helping parents and indeed all of humanity learn these simple skills. There is nothing like an autistic child to force home the lessons, and there might be an easier way.
Lessons 1: Stay grounded at all times it is your “membership card to planet earth”[i]. Even when your children are triggering you off it is your duty to behave as an adult grounded person, who can help them. When you get stressed and ungrounded, they will mirror you x 100 and that really isn’t what you or your child wants.
Lesson 2: Clear your stuff/emotional blocks. When things trigger you off, it is a present; an opportunity to clear something. You are allowed to take a big gulp at this point and feel like throwing something at the screen. But you will learn to realize it is a present to help you clear your emotions, or they will just resurface again later. Take the opportunity and quickly clear it, see “Bridges to Success – how to Transform Learning Difficulties”, for some simple tips to do this quickly and easily.
Lesson 3: Try to see the world from your child’s perspective, be curious as to why and how they are doing what they are doing. It is your job to help them clear their stuff, that may well be nothing to do with you. We too frequently concentrate on behavior, whereas the problem is often at a higher level of capability, e.g. Not knowing that the easy way to spell is to create a mental image of the word is a skill. Without this skill frustration and poor behavior magnify.
Lesson 4: notice what they are really good at, reinforce their self concept and self esteem, encouraging them to work for success – holding a space that anything is possible. Create a CAN DO environment is the best present you can ever give your child.
Lesson 5: Get grounded and keep calm.
[i] John Friedlander