What are your kids THINKING!???!!
What ARE your kids thinking?
I wonder that a lot and I love to find different ways to get inside my kids heads.
When I was a kid I had a pretty busy brain . . . but when adults talked to me it felt like they thought I was . . . um... not stupid - I just felt super-underestimated. I wasn't bold enough to ask my questions - or state my assumptions.. I just believed some sad stuff - like I need to work hard and win in order to be valuable. Everyone just thought I was a hard worker and wanted me on their team. But when I made mistakes, my world literally fell apart.. because I assumed my value as human.. disappears. ALL because there was no one to intercept my painful beliefs and say, "GIRL.. you believing some CRAAAAAZY #^&&*!" ... WHICH WE WOULD NEVER SAY TO A KID!! It's inappropriate OF COURSE. We would find a nicer, kinder, more gentler way.. wouldn't we:)
But there was some good stuff AND a lot of garbage that I believed about myself.
This weekend I was listening to a podcast where the guest said that when she was 10 years old, her dad was hit by a drunk driver and he died. She had a tumultuous relationship with him so she thought it was her fault that he didn't come home.
10 years old. Made an assumption. Felt guilty for years. Thought something was wrong with her. Finally figuring it out in her 40's that this is crazy talk.
We all have some of our own crazy talk that we carry with us from childhood. Stuff people said or didn't say. Looks we interpreted. Misinterpreted.
It's one of the reasons I write books for kids. I hope that the truths I tell in my stories will cause kids to connect and stop and look at me in the middle of my reading - and in that moment, I know I need to talk to that kid because I just contradicted a belief that they've never told anyone. Something about them being a failure, or believing that they are worthless because they have ups AND downs and they think "DOWNS" means they are making some huge mistake.
I hope the same thing for you when you read my stories and sing to my songs. That your kid will look at you with wonder and say, "I think. . . " and let you in on something that's been going on inside their head.
Honestly made me cry just writing this.
And I think about you too. Just because you're all grown up, doesn't mean the stuff you thought as a kid went away. It's there. Some of it's good. Some of it is slowing you down.
I wrote a song when one of my kids was super struggling with anxiety. Re-organizing her room every day. Extreme melt downs multiple times every day. Unhappy. Scared. I was in therapy at the time (still am!! It can be a great thing if it's the right person!) and my therapist said I needed to step up for my kids and really BE THERE. I use phrases from this song in my daily life - to intercept ideas that I believe get into my kid's heads. I GOT YOU. YOU CAN COUNT ON ME. DOESN'T MATTER WHAT KIND OF DAY YOU HAVE (you can have up days, down days, things can go different ways even side ways). - I got you. You're good. I'm here. What's going on for you.
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So, happy Tuesday. It's ok to challenge some old beliefs. You are loved. You are lovable. Always. Failure is an IMPORTANT part of your journey. It's not where you stay - it's what you learn from. It's a gift we can give to ourselves AND our kids.
See you later, Alligator!