Monday, September 24, 2012

Kids, tantrums, having enlightenment thanks to kids pushing us to be awake when it's hard to be awake

After enlightenment, do the laundry. 
How to get enlightened?
 Be present with a child, 
or yourself, 
or any loved one or creature, plant or feature
on this planet. 

Kids are dissatisfied sometimes,
and they don't hold it in.

They scream, hit, throw things,
you know the drill.

And our job, as parents,
and as human beings working toward real
which in my opinion means
being awake to the present moment

we don't take it personally

unless we do,
and then we "flip our lids"
as Dan Siegel, MD amused us describing in Austin
recently talking about the Whole Brain Child.

and how this happens:

parents "lose it"

he says: okay, it happens,
admit it, apologize,
talk to your child about her or his feelings before you
"lost it" and when you "lost it"

just repair the damage and they'll be resiliant,
and know something wonderful:
you don't have to be perfect,
you just have to be willing to communicate the love
that got lost in the "lost it"

guess what,
that wasn't what this was headed to be about:
it was headed to be about
when the child is in tantrum, anger, or whine mode,
and you are still present,
a fun and useful thing to do,
is not to repress their anger,
not to make them feel bad about that,
but to make it a game,
where you present alternatives:

would you rather throw the book, or the ball?
would you rather scream this loud or this loud?
would you rather look at me when you scream or look at the floor?
Can you switch your whining to this tone?
To this tone?

Can you hit with your other hand?
Can you stomp with this foot?
And that foot.
Can you make this sound when you hit?

if their hitting hurts,
tell them:
I am a real person,
that hurts.

I get that you are angry and let's find six different
ways you can hit the couch,
and call it me,
and tell me you hate me

so you can be angry and hit,
but I don't get hurt

I'm a real person, so
the couch doesn't mind being hit,
and what about kicking the couch
(or those little blow up clowns with sand in the bottom,
punching bags)

This not only lets the child knwo
they are safe to be angry,
but that in the context of being angry,
a real adult can see alternatives,
can allow them to experience differences,
which means being more mindful and aware of themselves

and the adult is seeing anger as an energy,
something to be used
and used in a variety of ways

this is good news all around

and if that isn't enough;
Here's a  TED talk with Dan Siegel and Goldie Hawn
on mindfulness and childrearing:

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