A few days ago we went to Concord Mills mall, which I believe is a mile walk around from start to finish. The girls almost always love going because they get to walk around and explore pretty freely. Its exhausting to say the least, but they love it and it wears them out fast. We rarely actually shop when we go but there is one store I like there. Venna loves it too, unfortunately there are so many breakables that I have to keep a sharp eye on her the entire time, leaving little room at actually look around and browse at things.
Well, she was not having it, her mood was shifting quickly. All she wanted was to ride in the little car carousel outside the store. She fought me the entire time abouteaving to go play, mean while Nova was doing the same with Watson. Running around touching and grabbing at anything within reach. I could feel myself losing my shit and I could see it in Watsons face too. So we decided on another route. He went back to the car with Nova to put her in a carrier and I continued to try to browse and watch Venna.
She was so mad!! I was so frustrated, but I didn’t want to hurt her feelings more than they already were because she wasnt able to do what she wanted. Which is fine, we dont always get what we want…right? Well, if you ask me, certainly not if that’s what is fed to us.
“You can’t do this, you can’t touch that. Stay here and be still.”
Its contradictory to what we typically want our children to learn, if you take the time to step back away from your own feelings and wants as an adult. The main things adults want with their children is control. “Do what I say!!”
Do we not want the very best for our children? Do we not tell them they can be anything and that we want them to learn and grow everyday… After all, that is what the life of a child is, playful, hands on learning… I’f you think hard enough on that you will find that it is also the life of an adult.
When we tell our children that they cant explore we actually hinder their growth and knowledge of what things are and how life works. I’m not saying guidelines and boundaries arent wonderful tools, I am saying that exploration in childhood even when it is aggravating to an adult is absolutely necessary.
Continuously hearing that you cannot do something can cause anyone to lose their fight, especially in small children who dont have the same understanding. They lose their motivation and inspiration to get what we want, to explore further. We create children who just settle for what someone else says they deserve.
That is not right!!
In the case of our mall trip, neither would it be right for me to put how I feel and what I want before her.
I am an adult and more emotional stable. I have greater understanding of what is happening and what is okay and what is not. So in that moment I decided to try to make what I was doing a little more about her. She didn’t understand and it was my duty as her protector to guide her to the best decisions and actions in this very public place.
When we walked into my favorite store we were there for me and what I wanted, but I wasnt alone and that needed to be taken into consideration too. I decided to shift that and ask if she would like to buy something for her or someone else before we go ride the carousel. The excitement in her face brightened my day and helped me to find control in what felt to be a powerless situation.
As adults we are told that we come first. Our first priority is self and yet with our children we encourage them to place others especially those who are older in years before themselves. It is but another contradictory teaching that will be taking to adulthood and then will unintentionally cause harm to a young adult trying to find their way.
To me it would be confusing at any age, placing thoughts like that in a child’s subconscious is a pretty harmful learning experience and even harder when it comes from someone who is suppose to be guiding them to greatness.
Building a child up and instilling conscious thought patterns and engaging in real life experiences is important. There is no appropriate age for growth. It is universal and it is the fabric of our awareness and realities.
Start young! Start when the questions start, our child need the freedom to explore, they also need to be taught about boundaries and respect. The best ways to bring these things to light with any child is through open, honest communication, understanding that as adults we have an advantage and of course full support and encouragement to be who they are, explore what calls to them. For me it is also excruciatingly importantly is to respect our children as individuals with all the big emotions that they are moving and learning through.
Remember that you have a voice and it does not need to be exploited. You domt need to raise it, instead raise your vibrations. Instead of reacting in frustration when things are out of your control, find the loop hole. Shrink down to their size and feel the world from that tiny evolving being! Allow the curiosity of your inner child to fuel you and just for the heck of it, be a kid with your kid!! Learn with them!!
Explore with them unapologetically, because you are just a larger child of the universe yourself. Growing, learning and expanding in who you are and what you have come here to be!!
Venna ended up buying a unicorn magnet for herself and she picked out several other things for people special to her. She and her sister explored in their own ways and wore themselves out with all the new amazing things they were able to experience. All it took was a little freedom to just be.
A few photos from our adventure