Last month I had Grandma’s Camp at our house. It was a lot of fun. For several days my grandchildren and I played and did activities together.
I had checked out a movie from the library - geared especially for little children - and we decided to watch it. But - my little five-year-old granddaughter looked at the cover, and said, “It’s too scary for me.” Since it was a very child-friendly movie, I said, “Oh, I think it will be okay.”
This wonderful, precocious, dear-to-my-heart granddaughter said, very earnestly, “It won’t be okay to me.”
We can think of “fear” as a tool. This is a “tool” to help us figure out a response to an immediate threat.
When we’re curious about our fear, we want to understand what the fear means.
As we’re curious, we wonder: What does this experience mean to me? What does it represent? What choices am I making because of this situation? What choices or options do I see because of how I am looking at it? Are there other options or choices? I wonder what would happen if I were to look at the situation with another viewpoint?
Most people today would say that they feel a significant amount of stress all the time. It’s that uncomfortable feeling that says, “There’s no ability to relax.”
Over and over in my private craniosacral therapy practice, I find that people are saying “stress” is their “normal.”
What would it like to NOT feel stress? People don’t know.
“Finding the center of strength within ourselves is
in the long run the best contribution we can make
to our fellow men. ... One person with indigenous inner strength exercises a great calming effect
on panic among people around him. This is what
our society needs — not new ideas and inventions; important as these are, and not geniuses
and supermen, but persons who can "be", that
is, persons who have a center of strength within themselves.”
― Rollo May, Man's Search for Himself
Babies and children are supposed to learn:
*When I need something, others will willingly take care of me.
*I am loved just because I exist.
*My needs are important to other people.
*It is okay to have needs.
When those needs are met, at a core level, inside ourselves, we know:
“I am valued, loved, and important to others.
I know that my existence is important, and that others want to connect with me.”
What happens when something in childhood was not ideal, and we did not come away with those messages?
There is a solution.
Dictionary definition for overwhelmed:
1. To cover completely.
2. To overcome by superior force or numbers.
3. To overcome in thought or feeling.
Most people would say that “overwhelmed” is a feeling.
It is important to teach children about emotions. One of the most important things for them to know is that emotions affect our physical body.
Principle: Emotions lodge in the body.
This is a simply poster that I made up for our family. You can easily do the same thing. Post it on your frig, and talk periodically about it. Questions such as these can be simple, but meaningful. "What does your mouth do when you are angry?" Child might say that it could yell, or that it could scream. You could point out that we could also "hum a favorite hymn" to calm down, or we could remember to "keep our mouth closed until we have time to think."