Thought for the day

Thought for the day…How do we protect our kids? Some would say to keep them home, don’t send them to school, don’t send them to preschool. They say to stay home and not go out or have a life outside the home, but to live only for the child. I understand what they are saying, they want to protect the child from everything. They want to protect them from the ugly emotions and difficult moments. We also want to protect ourselves (it is sometimes easier at home). I respect that feeling, we all want to protect our kids, and we wish we could protect them from the ugly outside world. I wonder though if protecting them from everything is really in their best interest? With therapeutic parenting we use natural consequences. If we don’t allow them to experience failure, or mistakes, then how do they learn from them? They will also learn from success, so that experience they are being protected from just might teach them a lot more than you know. What about repair? How do we use repair as a tool if we make everything around them “perfect”? Repair is our way to show them that people make mistakes, that we make mistakes. It shows them what sorry looks like and how to be safe when things go wrong. The fact is that we can’t be perfect, and we can’t make our child’s world a perfect one where nothing will go wrong. So…what do we do? We do what we can to help them safely learn cause and effect. We allow for mistakes and learning from them. We build in structure and consistency so that they feel safe enough to explore their world and feel safe enough to not always be in fear. We use PACE and help them by using co-regulation until they can self regulate. I know that we all want to make everything perfect and constantly guess whether or not we are doing enough. I want you to know that what you are doing is good enough. You are good enough. What works for one parent, may not work for you. How one parent lives or the choices they make in no way lessens how good of a parent you are. You know your child, yourself and your home…believe in the parent you are and just keep doing your best. None of us can protect our child from every hurt and every scary moment, but we can be there playfully accepting with curiosity and empathy when they are hurt. We can allow for healing with repair and build in structure and consistency, helping them to build resilience and to feel safe. What ever your parenting choices are, even if different from the person next to you, know that doing our best is really all we can do…and that really is ok. You are doing a good job …value who you are, and remember above all…take care of you.

(please note that this post is not about homeschooling, but of trying to protect every child from every experience. What works for one child and family just may not work for the next. We are all doing our best with what we have and that is ok.)

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