By far one of my favorite people on this planet is my own grandson. There is something wonderful about being a grandparent and it’s even better when there is an energetic connection that seems to go beyond the physical. (When he was in utero, he came to me in a dream to tell me the number of the day he would be born and that he would call me “Nama” instead of Grandma. Both came to pass.) To this day, I instantly feel better in this kids presence and he seems to calm in mine. We make a good team.
Like any grandparent, I can clearly see that what he is exposed to out in the world. Possibly unlike other grandparents, my energetic sight allows me to see what actually impacts him and more importantly how he is energetically shifting those around him. I know we often assume that the children have no impact on the world around them, but that actually has more to do with how we view our own authority than it does their capacity to create change.
Our children are connected in ways that we rarely recognize because we have not yet grown back into that level of connection ourselves. (I say “grown back into” because we all had it to one degree or another when we were kids too. We just got conditioned out of it.)
When we watch our kids, especially their behaviors, we learn a lot about the environment they find themselves in. We learn if that environment is stressful or if they have a handle on it. When we watch ourselves and the people who find themselves in the presence of our children, we begin to see the impact that they have on us and them.
I’ve always felt that the greatest complements come from children. They are so attuned that they easily see through our facade and call us out on our inconsistencies with laser clarity. It’s not their fault that they are this tuned in. They don’t share what they see to make us feel bad. They do it, almost instinctually, as a reflection of what lies hidden in our own unconscious. If we understand this, we can use their clarity to help us find our own.
There is a dance that goes on between my grandson and myself every time he visits. On the one hand, he is seven and thus he asks for everything to be about him (meaning his way of being) and if not he gets bored. On the other hand, I find that when I follow his lead, I am more engaged and present than I am at other times. I also notice that he praises me when I am in the flow that he has created for me and I notice that when I have to step out of that flow to live in the adult world of time, he is much more willing to let me go there.
I know that as parents and grandparents it is unreasonable to think that we can be “in our kids flow” on a regular basis, but I will say that touching into that flow from time to time often feels like both a remembering and a liberation. It’s a degree of presence that has an immediate personal benefit as long as I don’t fight it.
Just like most little kids, Khai has seen a wide variety of energies in his short seven years. He, like others, went through a period of being afraid of “ghosts” in the house or energies that followed us in the car. I personally believe that if I can see something that I can do something about it, so I apply that to him as well. When he sees something that he does not like, I tell him what I believe and also empower him to do the same. It seems to have an immediate impact.
When we assume that children have no power over their environments, they become fearful, helpless or, worse yet, dependent on others to constantly meet their needs. How many adults in your life do you know who have never grown out of this phase? When we invite children to solve their perceived problems, they learn that they have dominion over their environments. They become confident and thus we can relax a bit more.
This is true on many levels and regardless of the child. It’s so easy to see their small body or a child that is meeting with challenges and assume that they can’t. What happens if we assume that they can?
I have a dear friend who used to support children diagnosed on the spectrum through cooking activities. She shared that parents consistently underestimated what their children could do on their own and when they saw what they were capable of, they were amazed. How often have we seen others underestimate the capacities of children? I know I have underestimated my own on many times.
Don’t get me wrong this is no fault of the parents, grandparent and professionals who are trying to support their children. It is however an invitation to explore beyond our own limitations. We all assume according to our belief system, but what else is possible?
I recently had a conversation with a client. (She has given me permission to share this story and her video. )Her son is a teenager, diagnosed with autism and has inconsistent verbal skills. She has been noticing that he has been helping to solve household problems. They recently had a power outage and in the middle of a rainstorm, he decided he needed to take a walk. My client went along for the journey. He walked her right to the truck with the men who were repairing the electricity. They came back to the house to make sure hers was working.
Within a week they had a similar experience and he was perseverating on the need to get the lights back on. Of course mom felt the pressure to make that happen as he became more anxious as time passed. We discussed asking him what he could do about it. He had after all been able to find repair men before. This time we wanted to fully empower him to create a change in the situation. With no preconceived idea of what resources he had his mother simply said “You do it.”
Take a look at the video to see what happened and then read below to see what followed.
NOTE FROM SALLY:
So after I filmed the video I ran back inside in the rain, it was pouring down rain. K asked to go out and listen to music in my car (which means windows, doors, and sunroof open usually). I said “no dude it’s raining”. He then asked to do it at 7pm (an hour later) and I said ok dude you make that happen…. and he got the BIGGEST grin on his face!!! The rain is starting to subside now so we shall see, but I had to send this message while I had the time and energy!
After he turned on the power and realized he perhaps could stop the rain he asked me for yogurt. I told him to get it himself, he’s been refusing to for months. Then I laughed at MYSELF! He’s turning on power and stopping rain, who am I to complain that he won’t get his yogurt haha! But that too will change.
Wow. Cool stuff!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
There are a wide variety of assumptions that we have about our children and there are also a wide variety of capacities that exist just beyond those assumptions. If we are going to assume anything, Let’s assume they can. Let’s stretch beyond what we believe is possible.
It’s likely that they and we will be surprised and delighted in the process.