problems

12. Being Present with Children

janko-ferlic-303881I find kids to be a great cross-reference for me to show me whether I am here, present with them or in my mind – if for example I’m allowing myself to go into worries and fears and concerns instead of being here with them…

I would for example be sitting and not realizing time has gone by and I was in my head until a child comes up and asks me a question. I realize  whoa wait – what did I miss? Where did the time go by? This is a serious point because time goes by and if our attention is placed around problems we keep thinking, obsessing and focusing about, we are allowing our reality and our kids to ”go on by” without our attention, guidance and direction – and in some cases our inattention and unawareness of what is going around us can create consequences in reality we don’t want to experience.

Kids are also exceptionally great at testing you for real-time change. There was a specific moment where I was not happy in how I interacted with a parent. I wish I could have said and done something better and I dipped into this low-experience of judging myself but soon enough kids came into my presence and ”interrupted” me from this experience – rattling me out of the mood, present, physical, needing me HERE with them.  I saw this very clearly the distinction of what matters – what matters is for me to be present, here, stable with the kids. They are what matters. They need an adult ”here” in reality because they are here in reality.

I’d say you really see who you are and where you place importance when you are with kids. Kids are very physical, very ”in-tune” with themselves and their bodies. They don’t think or have so many thoughts like us – they live in the present, they express themselves unconditionally, they are HERE in reality, and they will naturally interrupt or snap us back to reality with their questions, their need of our presence, their tugs at our arm or a grab of our hand… THEY NEED US and so we need to BE THERE for them.

Suggested Steps to Assist in Remaining Present with Children:

  • Acknowledge what we are so pre-occupied with in our heads (ie: what are the emotions, experiences or unresolved issues you can’t seem to understand or forgive, in fact)
  • Help yourself to find the resources and tools you need to resolve these issues that are unresolved and busy mulling around in your head. Match the emotions to specific memories and walk forgiveness to release yourself, gain clarity and realizations. These personal issues you have can take up so much space and energy in your self and body to the point where it’s hard to stay present with the kids. Kids need you to be present here with them, just as you would have liked your parents/adults to be present and with you when you were a kid.
  • Be consistent in supporting yourself, taking care of yourself and resolving points in you on a daily, moment-by-moment basis to ensure you keep your body and self working properly, steady, and strong.

 

Recommended Resources:

DIP Lite – Free Self-Development Course

EQAFE.com – Self-Perfection Merchandise

School of Ultimate Living – Life Creation through Words

 

Additional Support:

Parenting – Perfecting the Human Race

Extraordinary Parenting: Leila Zamora Moreno

Teacher’s Journey to Life with Anna Brix Thomsen

5. From Reacting to Understanding

children montessori reacting to understanding helping them fufill a needI had for a long time reacted to 4 year old V for his behavior and difficulty listening to teachers and children. He is different in that he cannot connect easily with the school materials and/or with other children by socializing.

What started happening was V began to give a lot of physical contact to the teachers and children, where he would randomly go up to a children and try to kiss them on the cheek, lips, or arm. Children would react to this, yelling or hitting him to go away, and so we as teachers started to teach V about space and asking before kissing children. This helped to an extent but then V continued with the physical attention without asking.

One day I looked deeper at the point, looking at human needs, and what this child’s behavior is showing me about needs he wants fulfilled. I saw V needed personal attention and physical touch as groundedness, which was what he was trying to do for himself by kissing and touching children, but it was bringing consequence to him.

Sunette from EQAFE.com showed me how V is an emotionally oriented child and does require personal attention because it is what he needs and by me supporting this need will support him with less consequences. One example to support him is sitting with him and reading a book for example, where we act out certain parts from the book (the character jumps so we physically jump) — making the together time a physical activity thing supporting him to stay grounded in the physical (so it’s not just all mental like reading and looking at pictures) but combining the mental, physical and potential education for him.

By supporting V to fulfill his need of attention, this can assist him to settle down within himself and not need so much attention from others, which then lessens consequences. Then additionally V now can move on to fulfill another need that will support him in reaching his utmost potential the more he develops/walks in life.

So for me, I have been shifting my focus to reacting to V to observing V — asking myself what does he NEED, what is his (problematic) behavior showing me that I can support himself with?

I got to apply this point of supporting him when V started to cause conflict between two boys. He kept poking them and being in their space when they were telling him to stop and go away. I used the opportunity to invite V to help me with laundry, since all the other children were busy. V came with me, and I showed him how the dryer works, and had him participate with me in taking the lint off of the lint catcher and putting clothes in the dryer.  We talked and I made sure he was engaged in the task. Once we were finished we went upstairs to look for something, then eventually we went back downstairs where V was more calmer and went to join children drawing.

So, this was a cool point to realize for myself, to shift focus from reacting to understanding – asking myself what does this child need, how can I support him…and find ways to get the child involved mentally and physically by fulfilling his need.  If we as adults practice and apply this consistently for our children, we support them in developing their self-stability, talents and self-awareness.

Thanks for reading.