11/13/12

Thankful: A thread of understanding

Today I am thankful for my ability to see a thread of understanding woven through my experience in life, yoga, and raising or teaching children.  This whispy thread that lets me know sometimes the most helpful thing I can do is that thing, act, or feeling that seems directly contrary to what my intuition tells me is the right thing, act or feeling.  For instance, now that I have 3 children and my youngest is 4, I know that all that advice about never laying down in your child's bed with them or rubbing their backs, rocking or nursing them till they go to sleep else they become too dependent on me for their sleep, is hogwash pure and simple, based on the fear that our children will never outgrow their reliance on us their parents.  Obviously that one was made up by someone who:

  •  A. needed little sleep to function in life,
  •  B. had no kids of his or her own, 
  • C. never had a little person snuggle up to them with a contented sigh after a nightmare, or
  •  D. never experienced their child outgrowing hugs and cuddles
  • E. all of the above
I know this because my kids are older now and sleep just fine, they are not all piled into my bed requiring us to go king sized, and I know this because my two oldest are on the brink of growing out of snuggles and hugs completely. . . Lucky for them I know this trick.  Despite their pleas of  "aaagh!", I will continue to hug them whenever possible and be greatful for the memories I would not have had if I had followed the sage advisors.
 
As a parent of a child who struggled at school with unruly behaviors and hidden disability, I learned the hard way that following traditional parenting protocols would not help my son succeed.  I am thankful I accepted that the common practice of time out  or other consequences often had little useful affect on my kiddo's behaviors.  "Backing up" the teachers at home for difficulties at school resulted in a snowball of misbehavior and anxiety that grew like a monstrous blob into every area of our life.  I am thankful I learned that angry belligerence from my son met with angry belligerence from me resulted always in more anger, but met with understanding and time the anger receded like the tide revealing the scared child hiding in the sand.

As a Yogi, I learned that although my classmate insists it "feels better" to stretch her lower back, pressing it into the floor, my instructor's advice to keep a slight arch in the back while performing the excercise that day was wise and true and resulted in a much happier lower back for me.  I am thankful I learned to breath through pain rather than brace for it, it works for more than just physical pain.

As a teacher, I am thankful to understand that teaching is less about squeezing information into my students brains and more about drawing information out of their minds and hearts.  I am thankful I can see the possibilities that loosening the idea of stereotypical "control" over a classroom full of kids or even just one can result in more order and less defiance than I once dreamed.  I am greatful to have learned the power of a hug when a child's actions scream for an angry response.

I am thankful for the friends and family who have stitched into my brain the idea that when I feel like hating when you feel like hating, we should look for something, someone to love. . .

 Lila's wiggling hips and singing lips,
 the smile in Charlie's eyes when he is feeling wise,
 the kindness in Joey's heart that he wears on his sleeve,
 the pride on my husband's face during any of the above.

Love On and Great Thanks to you all for Reading this first year in my blog!!!
amy

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