Today I want to finish off our week-long series by looking at what we can do when this happens to help ourselves or our loved ones heal.
I was sitting with a friend the other day and she asked me, “Heather, what exactly is a life coach? What do you do?” And I figured maybe she wasn’t the only one who was uncertain…
Sitting with requires that we allow ourselves to feel the feelings of loss and grief, fear, rejection, being silenced or abandoned. It’s difficult, but difficult isn’t the same as impossible.
Affirmation, support, responding to bids, giving words and celebration – those are our five keys to attachment from 0 – 18 and beyond. When we put these together with the other ideas we’ve explored this month, we find we can be increasingly successful at raising adults by the age of 18!
We’ve already talked about affirmation, support and bids. Today we want to look at the power of giving words as another step in helping our child feel known.
Our kids are busy learning on every axes of life – social, emotional, physical and mental – and that means that often things are going to happen that they simply don’t understand themselves.
Today we look at “bids” – the way that we as humans make it known that we need a little more support, engagement or attachment.
This week we are looking at five ways of helping to give our kids the attachment – the sense of safety and connectedness that comes from feeling seen, known and precious – that allows them to learn and develop to reach their full potential. Today, we are looking at the idea of support.
Attachment parenting has been a phrase in parenting circles for quite a while now – you see it talked about a fair amount in books on parenting infants, babies and toddlers, and it even seems to sneak into a few of the books on preschoolers, but then it’s as if it simply disappears.
As if, having laid this foundation of attachment you don’t really have to think about it after that.
And although I completely understand that life is life and there will be times when we can’t be as attached and connected with our kids and teens as we might want, that doesn’t mean this is a program we can set up at the beginning of life and then walk away and leave to run on it’s own. The simple truth is that we as humans can’t learn if we’re afraid, and the best way to turn off the alarm bells in our kids’ heads is by helping them to maintain the feeling that they are connected and attached – that they are ‘seen, known and precious’ – whatever age they may be.
We might never admit it to anyone else, but we sometimes like to believe that we live in a twisted Otherworld. This Otherworld (also known as ‘Solipsism’) is often seen as an issue just for people who are on the Autistic Spectrum, but the more I talk to people the more I think it’s there for most of us unless we have consciously made a different choice.
In this Otherworld, the world revolves around me: people exist to make me happy and their negative responses are deliberate and malicious attacks against me. And while most people don’t take it all the way to it’s logical conclusions, it does seem to show up more often than would be strictly speaking helpful.
The idea of forgiveness can be very difficult for many people. It had always been drilled into me that it was important to forgive, and I would screw up my eyes and try hard to forgive those who had hurt me, but it rarely seemed to make much of a difference.
Then a couple of years ago I ran across a book by the Rev. Desmond Tutu and his daughter, Mpho Tutu, called, The Book of Forgiving: The Four-Fold Path For Healing Ourselves and Our World. And I figured that since Desmond Tutu had grown up under the horrors of apartheid as a black South African, and overseen the Truth and Reconciliation commission there, he might have something of value to say on the subject of forgiveness.