OPEN UP YOUR WORLD TO THEM
Kids need to develop in your sustaining presence. As they experience you they try you on and learn how they want to do things. This give kids a sense of belonging.
Richard Geist in his paper, Empathic Understanding, gives the following examples:
Including your kids in your world will give them a place to feel like they belong, a sense of group identity. They will use that to become confident and mature.
Tuning into our kids and responding becomes their own ability to nurture themselves. Both Heinz Kohut and Richard Geist remind us that: more
BE THEIR HERO
Kids need strong adults in their life to look up to. They learn to use the strength of the adults, to borrow their power, and in doing so they eventually learn they too can be strong and the adult’s strength becomes their own. Often we can become worried that if we help our kids they will become dependent. This is true if we impose our help, but if we are responding to their request this does not need to be a worry. This can be a hard task if we as parents don’t feel “heroic” on the inside ourself. It can feel un-genuine when our child holds as “superhuman” at moments. Which can lead us to dismiss our child’s move towards maturity. Understanding that they need us to be strong can move us to accept their bid for assurance as well as it can spur us to work on our own stuff.
Richard Geist gives the following examples in his paper, Empathic Understanding:
In his new book Do Over, Jon Acuff points out that as kids we believed we had the power to declare a “Do Over” when we wanted to start again. http://acuff.me/do-over/
When we missed the mark, we’d just start over. If we miss-hit the ball, we’d yell out “Do Over” and try again. When the drawing wasn’t quite right, we’d crumple up the paper, throw it away, grab a new sheet and start again. We didn’t give a second thought to making a second attempt.
Jon points out that somewhere along the way we stopped believing in the power to declare a “Do Over.” He describes so eloquently what happens — We feel stuck. We stop opening doors. We start to think we already know where they all lead.
That describes so many couples who come to counseling. They have stopped reaching toward one another and asking for what they need from each other because they believe they already know what the response will be. And the fear of being ignored or rejected again is more painful than simply suffering in silence. more