It is in our very nature, our blood, to leap, to run, to test our powers of deduction, to be a warrior and to win the greatest game… Life.
How we mingle with the earth as children determines our success at dancing with life and fulfilling our deepest desires throughout our time.
This Lifeschool adventure to California has empowered our timid baby to blossom into fearless-spirit boy. I feel my breath in so many moments taken away, in pure joy and sometimes in motherly concern, but I always pause before speaking.
As mentors, our words can ignite a curious soul or snuff out its very desire to know itself full.
Liam is in the grip of curiosity and it is spectacular to watch and an opportunity to arm him with knowledge and surrender him to the vital lessons he must learn as a head-strong boy.
We stop alongside a cliff in Burrego Springs and he must climb. The trodden path is no longer enough. He scampers up before I realize he is so high that one slip could leave me wishing I’d been a more timid mom. I scale the wall and we make it down together, but I am suddenly aware that I need to find a way to guide him without squelching.
And so we pause a moment (during a mandatory centering time after he has definitely continued climbing despite my firm and adamant ‘Nos’).
And this is the wise oasis to which our journey of discussion lead…
5 Tips for Fueling a Curious Boy While Quenching a Mothers’ Need to Instill a Healthy Dose of Caution:
1. Praise the Adventure-Seeking spirit.
I let Liam know how proud I was of him for wanting to explore the world about him more fully and independently.
2. Let him in on the Adventure-Seekers Guide to Buzz without Injury… RISK MANAGEMENT.
We took time to view our surroundings and assess risk. Then I asked him what he would do to minimize that risk and ensure his safety. He was bang on.
3. Implement the I Love You Enough to Say No to High Risk Understanding and be clear about expectation of compliance.
We talked about his degree of freedom being in direct relation to his ability to listen and act when mom warns or gives an instruction. This is only because as this moment in time I can anticipate risk slightly better than he can;)
4. Let Go, Stand Back. Resist the Urge to Hover, but always be there if the need to run or command or catch (if necessary) should arise.
I let go and watched as Liam explored the unknown with his uncle. Where I may of cautioned or said ‘No’ I, trusting his uncle completely, backed off and watched as my son’s confidence expanded before my very eyes. A few slips, but no major falls later, I was very thrilled and particularly proud of me 😉
5. Praise with Knowing not Surprise. Once they’ve achieved success at that adventurous task, always act as if you always knew they could. We never want our little ones to know we doubted them for a second or that we held our breath for half of it. And make it about effort rather than them. Not ‘You are Amazing’ (because if they can’t next time, are they less than amazing? Kiddies wonder things like this subconsciously), but rather “Wow, I thought how you worked so hard, focused so completely, on that was amazing. Congratulations, you must feel so great right now.”
We will always wonder, worry and feel a pang when one day a foot hold they thought was secure causes them to slip and even fall, but it is ours to have trained them well in the ways of resilience. If we protect them now they will fight harder later or lose their drive completely to please another. We know we don’t want this.
We want to encourage, empower, cheer and most importantly ease fears, wipe tears and teach our children to leap, run, test their abilities and soar, except when they don’t, which sometime they won’t, and then we teach them to adapt and then give it a go again and again and again and again ….
Here is our master rock climber who says, “Mom, I have to climb. It’s just who I am. I mean what would life be if there was no climbing?”
Live your passions my boy. Live your passions.
I am here if ever you do need me.