Monday, January 02, 2006

I took my family to detoxify at a mineral springs and to get back to the trees and silence of the woods. We ended the stay by laughing and wrestling in a playroom in the main lodge. (The young ones always win, of course.)

There were no other children there. I appreciated the one person who came up and said it's nice to see young people here. I don't think anyone meant to be adultist exactly. They just were. (Kinda like racism.) The dining hall was so serious! I admit I began to be afraid to look at anyone. My husband suggested we help everyone out by jumping up and down at each table and singing with great joy. I declined but he did made me laugh.

On the drive home we were able to identify our focus for Listening For Change and put it on paper. A new class is forming and we set a date for our first retreat.

After we'd been home and had some funtime playing again, my daughter had a nice cry and fought us hard on the apparent pretext that we wouldn't let her have a cough drop. You see, young people need a place they can go and fly off at the mouth or try and hit you and someone just listens and doesn't try to tell them to shut up or what they said was bad. They just need a place to do that. Parents sometimes worry that their child will try that talk or hitting in public or some other inappropriate place. Uh, they will! But I found that after a while they just knew that doing it at home worked better. Babies and on up through four to six choose public places to work on stuff. I used to just say to passersby, "When this one's done, it's my turn." or if things were especially loud and wild, I'd leave the vicinity and say, "Excuse me we're just having a feeling. We'll be right back." Then I'd (usually) smile and say to my child, "I'm so glad you're getting this out." said with great delight. At that point, I'd created such safety they'd often try to lunge at me and tell me I was ugly and had stinky breath. Moments later, I was the next best thing since peanut butter and they were lucidly describing some beautiful moment in their existence.

People would see them afterward (who didn't' know what had gone on) and say, "Wow your kids are so calm." I'd be all thinking, "Yeah, whatever you idiot." No seriously, when young people have a place to do that sort of thing without judgment--and without the parent suddenly trying to be the one having a fit, then they are able to release the tension that was getting in the way of them realizing that life is good.

If you want more indepth suggestions, read this excellent article from PLI on Being With Children in Public Places


Blogger Persephone Rose said...

I'm not good with kids and most of them make me uncomfortable. I like the ones I can talk to and play with and feel like I'm connecting to as a person. I've said before that its not really kids I have a problem with, its their parents as I've noticed that parents the feed their kids right and make sure naps are available have kids that are a joy to be around. I remember feeling like a little adult as a kid. I understand that and I definetly don't coo at kids. All kids of any age adore me though, I guess they see me for who I really am, a muppet in the flesh.

I had something else to say but I'm not sure what it was at the moment. I'll post that too.

1:21 PM PST  
Blogger Persephone Rose said...

OH yeah, that's what it was. I still believe in being able to be in touch with your feelings and releasing them in the right places. The big joke with my close friends in family is that sometimes, I'm ready to sit in the kitchen floor and have a good cry. Its always on the kitchen floor-- the central point of my home I guess in a way. I wish that someway my husband could cry now and then. I've only seen him do it a few times and he's denied it afterwards. I think a big way to erase sexism is by letting men keep their emotions intact. Women do this for men by connecting them to this part of them without them losing face, but we're talking very intimate relationships here that some marriages don't get to.

That's another post topic I'm sure though. Blessings.

1:25 PM PST  
Blogger The Digital Illusion said...

As your long time christian retreat centers in pennsylvania, Joy El Camps provides various opportunities for everyone to be in communion with God while making fellowships with others. For a long time, we have served as a venue for many groups, individual and families who aimed at a close encounter with God.
We have been providing Parent Child camps: Mothers & Sons, Fathers & Daughters, Mothers & Daughters and Fathers & Sons. In these camps, we allow children to bond with their parents while experiencing perfect communion with God spiritually. Apart from bonding, both parents and child grow spiritually mature.

8:55 PM PDT  

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