I do not wish to insinuate that I see myself as a teacher or in fact that my children need to be taught by me, but that, they are learning everyday, simply by existing, by observing, by interacting with the world around them. They look at the way in which we interact and react to the world and those experiences really play a big part in shaping how they will deal with certain situations.
It's a heavy burden to bare, No? Realizing that they observe everything we do, that they never miss a beat and even when we think that they have not heard or see us, they have. I have witnessed that on many times, our children are the ones that have eyes in the back of their heads, lol.
I used to be super worried about them seeing me react in certain ways, witnessing me losing my cool and getting pretty annoyed. I wanted to shield them, to protect them, cos that is one of our roles, to protect our children.
But if we take that stance, that what are we really protecting them from, themselves? And that does them more harm than good. It's not healthy to grow up thinking that certain emotions are bad, because that is never the case, it's merely how we react to them, how we harness them. That's were they real learning is and that is something that is really important for us to remember. I know that I grew up scared to be anything but the good quiet child, the obedient child, anything else was unacceptable.
But this leaves one, being very unbalanced and closed off to who we really are. I still see today, how certain expectations are placed on children, I catch myself doing it also sometimes. Encouraging them to always act a certain way, instead of helping them embrace all sides of who they are and the power that comes from recognizing how each emotion is as valid and as important as the other.
I get triggered sometimes by my girls and of course, I am reacting to the trigger and not what they are actually doing or experiencing. It can be really hard to get out of my own head sometimes, to take a step back and let things just unfold. Being a parent, really forces you to become more aware, to connect more deeply with who you are. Of course you first have to make the decision to do so and some parents miss the opportunity, unfortunately!
For me parenting has a lot to do with trusting my instincts, in trusting that I inherently know what to do. Of course there are so many things that affect that, simple things like whether or not I am hunger or tired, whether I feel emotional.
Those are the times when I tend to react in a way that I may later regret. But here in lies the beauty of it, because when you can admit that. When you can go to your child and tell them that you made a mistake, that you were sorry, that because you were tired etc, you lashed out, then you are showing them how human you are. How it is okay to make mistakes, how mistakes allow you to actually connect deeper with how you are feeling and bring more awareness into your life.
This to me is priceless, it is connecting with my girls on a human level, being honest and open with them, so that they can be open and honest with me.
I am not trying to be the perfect parent, I am just trying to be real, to allow my girls to see that it is okay to fuck up, that we all do, but that it is what you do afterwards that matters the most. That yes I can get angry and shout at them, that this is a normal reaction, but I can also tell them why and give them the space to tell me how they feel.
Talking about our emotions is so important and sharing them is a beautiful way in which we too, as parents can grow with our children.
Everyday brings new experiences, new feelings, new insights. Allowing my children to see me in all my colours, in all my different shades and this hopefully allows them to be more accepting of themselves and of others.
My girls are with me most of the time, I never wanted them to attend any school, but instead have the opportunity to choose for themselves how they wish to learn. To reach their potential without the interference of authority figures, or to be in an environment that has them doubt themselves and their capabilities.
Kids do not need to be placed in institutions that pits them up against one another, they need to be allowed to flourish in a stimulating environment, where they choose to help those around them and not compete with them. They need to be in natural environments where they can see how the world actually is.
One of the last conversations that I had with my girls father, he accused me of bringing my girls up in a bubble, that they are disconnected from the 'Real World'. But to me, there is nothing more real than the natural world. Giving my girls the opportunity to learn the skills in which to thrive in that environment, is what will stand to them in the future.
If there is anything I have learnt the last year or more like, been reminded of, it is, that we need to reconnect with the land, to relearn the old skills and take back responsibility for our lives. For my girls, that is just their life, there is no reconnecting or remembering, they are living life as it is meant to be lived.