Holding hands

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I had the gorgeous opportunity to experience spring in the desert of AZ last weekend (as captured above by my friend, Bea Solya) - Wow! So different from the east coast - love that! And...what a beautiful gift of growth and healing as a woman I was able to receive at the Elegant Femme event I was attending there.

So...Why is a HOLDING HAND sometimes better than a HELPING HAND ?

How hard is it for you to see your child frustrated or unhappy? Don't you sometimes just want to jump in and fix it for them! I know I used to do that a LOT when my kids were small…

It's undenyable that you need to jump in when necessary. However, in order for your child to have the self-confidence you desire for them - the self-confidence that will allow your child to feel really good about him or herself - it's crucial to strengthen you child's inner resources.

My friend, Stacy, posted this true story to fb recently and she said I could share it with you. Out of the mouth of her 3 year old, Sage, comes amazing wisdom!

As we are driving to daycare last week, the kids had whiteboards and they were practicing their letters. This is the discussion:
Stella (age 5): "Mom, I can't write an 'R.'"
Sage: "Stella, we don't say, 'can't' in this family."
Stella: "But I don't know how to do it…"
Sage: "Then you ask for help, sister, or try harder"
Stella: "Can you help me make the 'R' Sage?"
Sage: "No, Stella, I'm 3. I don't know how to make an 'R' but I can hold your hand." (holds out hand, Stella grabs it and tries again)
Stella: "Yay! I did it…I made an 'R'! "


It can be hard as a parent to make space for your own uncomfortable feelings that come up when your child is struggling. But the more space you're able to make for your own difficult feelings, the more you can stay present with your child and make room to validate their difficult feelings.

Simply offer to hold his or her hand or calmly sit nearby BEFORE jumping in to help your child AND before he or she melts down. This builds the resilience required to handle frustration, and develop great self-confidence.

Then, rather than praising the result - "Good job!" - which is OUTSIDE your child, acknowledge the quality INSIDE them that you see - "You really stuck to it till you got it" or "You really kept trying, even though you didn't know how to do all of it yet." "Let's finish it together."

I'm curious to hear what you got out of this interaction between Stella and Sage. Let me know by posting below...

If you want to learn even more about how to have the kind of relationship with your child that will build strong self-confidence, pick up my free bonus report today by putting your name and email in the box above.