I’ve been asked many times, “How do you open to optimism?” When you come from a place where optimism doesn’t live, has never grown, modeled, talked about, you can resolve to think that’s all there is…until ALL you think there is, is not enough for you. You may feel it in your body, some know it in their mind, and some sense it in other ways.
I was never told by those I saw and trusted the most, that I was important too, of significance too, enough too, and I certainly didn’t feel it either. I do remember on one birthday, when there was more than enough money I got the party “of my dreams” or so I thought. It was a pricey birthday party at a kid’s pizza party place (similar to Chuck E. Cheese) and I was told many times over how it was so expensive and how lucky I was. And I was lucky; to experience it and to realize it wasn’t everything I had hoped for. I enjoyed the importance of having the party and yet there was so much fuss and attention of the to the party itself and lacked what I remember loving from other parties as a kid, like running with cousins all together (rather than running around with crowds of children and many I didn’t know), seeing our elders eating and talking and stopping from the running around to enjoy their company too (rather than squeezing into aisles of tables and seeing backs of some and faces of others), and on that note space for stillness in between it all.
It wasn’t just one time in my life where the feeling of “there has got to be more than this” rested in my heart. And it wasn’t the first time either, the more that I listened to my optimistic self; the more I grew and trusted in myself. Children naturally are born optimistic. It’s our experiences, which transform our optimism.
How do you express to your child the feeling of importance, worth and significance?
“Kid’s spell love T-I-M-E”
Tips for giving time to your children:
#1 Some part of your day blocked out for 1 and 1 time with your child
1 on 1 time with what my teacher, Magda Gerber of RIEäcalled “wants nothing time”. Time to just be AND relax with each other’s presence, when neither the child nor the parent has an agenda, other than to spend time with each other. Sometimes it could mean half the day other times 30 minutes of the day and sometimes 15 minutes after bath play.
#2 Slowing Down
Speak with your eyes and attention to your loved one. Sometimes it’s in the car, when you’re pulled over, before you exit the car and sometimes it’s when your child rushes up to you as you arrive home. Be conscious when you are not giving your full attention and let your child know when you will be available to be present with them.
#3 Tech Timeout
Give your media a break. When our heads are pointing downward or outward more often then not, while in the presence of our children. Or when your children say “to look it up on your phone or Google it” it’s time for a naptime for our technology. Even better would be, if your technology naptime was predictable and or part of your routine, then your child will learn when to expect it too!