Lessons in Letting Go #2 – Wanting vs. Needing with our Children
FROM KELLI: We are all completely accepting of where our children are on the developmental model, right? We want more and purely for US, right?
Well, I’m suggesting that you take a little time to check in. Why? Well, read on… it was only when I took a step back, looked objectively at my actions and feelings, that I could really see that I needed Jordyn’s expressive language to develop and the pressure we’d created for him to talk. When I transformed it to a want, became unattached to needing it now…. guess what?… his expressive language flourished.
OK, let me back up. At the Son-Rise Program Intensive, one of our main goals was to extend Jordyn’s sentence length. He could say “Jordyn wants _____” for just about anything, but if you listened objectively to him it was forced, flat, and more said because he had to. We wanted to give him more power words, more variations, etc. such that he could be more specific in his requests, maybe even do 2 loops. Everything we were doing up to that point was all about him talking – fun, playful, motivating, etc. – but all about talking.
At the Intensive, the Child Facilitators and Teachers saw that what was really needed was for Jordyn to be more connected, physically involved, and flexible – and that is what they focussed on for the week. Those things really would precede his expansion of his language.
I had to really look to see if I was OK with those being our goals, and in looking could see how attached I’d become to his talking. All I had to see what my feeling – “disappointment”, and there it was screaming in my face. All I’ve ever said I wanted was for Jordyn to be fully self-expressed – and yet my need was really defeating that goal – to have him really love expressing himself to, and with, people. Instead he was talking because he had to, with limited expression. Sort of like that kid who plays soccer because he loves it, at the beginning, but then as his parents put on more pressure to perform, he’s not enjoying himself and doing it because he has to, not because he chooses to – no fun.
Well, we then let go and transformed our need back to a pure want. We got really clear that what was REALLY important to us was that Jordyn’s expression comes from him. We worked on expanding his attention span, got him more involved in games with us, and more connected… and fancy that, his language started to come naturally.
We got what we wanted after all… expressive language coming from him.
He expresses himself in beautiful, deep, connected one-word requests (sometimes 2 or 3). He’s been coming up with words that capture the essence of what he wants almost magically (sometimes we have to figure out… did we model that? or has it been in there all along?). It is truly extraordinary.
So, my advice… take a look at your goals and get really clear that you aren’t attached (needing) anything to happen, but are really OK with what is. After all, our job is really to inspire and motivate our kids to want to stretch themselves… when we give them that control, that is where they will soar!
With much love – Kelli