Friday, September 4, 2015

Day 86: What you Resist will Persist

A snap of Cesar in his 'water phase' - his longest phase so far, still hasn't come to an end. Turns out there are just endless way in which to explore water (though he doesn't feel the need to get himself and his clothes all drenching wet each time ;-) )

Since Cesar was born, he has gone through many phases in his life. With these phases, I don't mean developmental phases (although in a way, they are), but points in his reality that he gets really interested and obsessed with. These are usually of a kind that is kind of, well 'unpleasant' for the rest of the people living in his environment.

One example would be throwing around the dogs' steel bowls. It makes such a big noise (like someone constantly banging on drum cymbals), but he was absolutely fascinated by it. My first instict was to 'make him stop' because I knew this could be bothersome and distracting to other people. Because I was coming from a point of fear of 'what others might think'; I wasn't considering Cesar within this equation. Making him stop or preventing it was very difficult and he would end up doing it anyway, but with even more vigour as he now knew that 'he might soon not be able to'.

This method was obviously not working for him or for me so I took a moment to stop and really look at what was happening. I looked at Cesar and I looked at myself when I was young and absolutely fascinated by something. I saw that what he was going through was simply a natural curiosity of cause and effect and exploring all the objects in his world. Once he had fully explored an object, he'd be done with it because through his exploration he now got a good understanding of what the object is all about and there is no longer a drive to 'see what happens'; he has tested it all, he know simply knows.

So instead of fighting whatever phase he finds himself in at any particular time; I embrace it - as I understand it's just part of his learning process. Instead of stopping him and getting frustrated I look at how else his particular point of focus can be explored. We can push a bowl sideways so it rolls like a wheel. We can spin it like a spinning top. We can bang it against different objects to see what different sounds it makes. He's learning new things about physical reality, and gets to know what he wants to know much quicker then if he would have gone through a continuous stop-start process where his curiosity never gets satisfied - leaving both him and myself disgruntled. So whenever you find yourself in a situation where you want to make your child stop, I ask yourself: "Am I empowering him or am I simply limiting him out of convenience?"
These simple shifts in perspective can make such a huge change in making your daily life a more flowing and smooth experience!

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