In the last post Nathan and I told Echo about Santa - that we parents put the presents under the tree but we don't create the magic and sparkle. That we believe in Santa and the spirit of giving that lives inside us, and that tingly feeling is REAL. Our friend Lulu commented on that post saying: LOVE this, you courageous and amazing people. I have always felt that there is actually magic all around us.. all the time. I would rather spend my time and energy honing this appreciation of the unseen in my children than making up a story about a dude in a suit sneaking into the house. So it is not a question of believing or not believing, it is a question of IN WHAT?
In what indeed. I love that. And Echo, even with all of the "facts" under her belt, heard about this writing-letters-to-Santa business, and wanted to go for it. She is so intrigued by it all. That a letter to Santa actually gets picked up by the mail carrier and... delivered? How cool is that!
On her list: a giant stuffed giraffe, a doll in a sari from Walking Stick Toys, and a compass. I love this girl.
How sweet for me to realize the magic is alive even without the lies.
Henry has been getting in the spirit too.
Actually I have been getting into the spirit of Henry. Several dear, beautiful, dogs have passed away in the last little while and my heart is aching for their owners. Steve, Kaye, Dave, Sarah, Scott, I can't stop thinking of them. These dogs, well we just love them so much. And the relationship is so rich in these later years with these old timers. Scott called the relationship elegant and I think that's the perfect word. You think the furry ball of cuteness at the puppy stage is just the cutest, and best it will ever get, but nope. It just gets better and better and better. And cuter.
Henry is eleven and a half now and I am drinking him in. I call him cheerfully even when I know he is behind on the walk because he stopped to eat cat poop. I want only kind words raining down on him. At night before bed I breathe in his yellow smell by burying my nose in his soft ear fur. I tell him over and over again how special he is and how much I love him.
Of course walking him these days is an act of love in and of itself. It's zero degrees! And there is wind on top of that! Holy shit. But that doesn't stop Henry from wanting to go out. Dogs are the best motivators with their doe eyes and silent let's GO! screams.
What's fun lately is that Echo has been joining me on these walks, not in the usual fashion, which normally means wrapping her in several puffy layers, and loading her into the stroller (yay for strollers that can carry six-year olds!) with a mound of blankets and a hot water bottle, but actually walking!
Our walk isn't short either. We travel through the neighborhoods, up the river and past it's giant ice floes, then back through the neighborhoods in a forty-five minute loop. She says she's building her stamina. Her goal is to hike an "official" hike like her mama did back when her job was to hike dogs five miles for GoFetch!.
The psychological difference between walking side-by-side compared to the stroller set up is huge! It feels like true companionship. I feel a hint of what it will feel like when she is 37 and I am 67 and we stroll along as two adults sharing a view of the world. We talk about everything. The book she is writing, the hierarchy of dogs, and snow angels. It's delicious.
Kiss your companions, whomever they may be.
So it begins. The holiday season. The time of year when I realize, with a panic, that The Holidays should really be called Additional Part-time Job. There is so much to do! Extra stuff. More stuff. More than the usual stuff that already fills the days.
But really, look at that Bird. (You have to call the turkey The Bird if you want to feel official about Thanksgiving.) Nothing says "grown-up" like your very own giant roasted turkey. But I can't take all the credit. I had consultants. Nathan was at the ready for basting. Apparently he loves basting. Who knew! Over a decade with someone and then you find out they love basting meat. And my mom was here too. Grammie! She flew in on a flight chock-full of holiday travelers. She even had pie dough in her suitcase. She wiped The Bird dry and made the rounds with those gizzards, making sure each girl had a chance to poke them and get grossed out.
We watched the parade too. On a webcam with no commentary. We'd look up occasionally to say, "Oh I bet that is someone famous." because we couldn't really see their faces and no t.v. personality was giving us the blow by blow. Somehow it fit our Thanksgiving, our wholesome hippie version with no tv, no alcohol, and a Tofurkey alongside The Bird.
In some ways our holidays now drive themselves. The girls are such sticklers for rituals that we need not reinvent the holiday wheel each year, just let ourselves be reminded of all the particular parts that they want to repeat. There are the food items: Xi makes mashed potatoes, Echo makes foccacia, and this year Bella teamed up with Papa for his famous sweet potato dish. Nathan also makes pumpkin pie. I make "all the other stuff". Grammie made apple pie with that suitcase pie dough and if I know these girls there will be some intense pressure on Grammie to make apple pie every year until forever.
And there is the Thankful Tree, a wire tree we trot out for all the holidays, but this time we adorn it with paper leaves on which we have written things we are grateful for.
The very next day we dragged our artificial but trusty Yule tree out of the basement and got her loaded up with Yuletide cheer. We also remembered Hanukkah and busted out our menorah. It's a mash up around here. We jump on anything that celebrates magic and miracles and light. Solstice will get some attention and we have some goals for Quanza as well.
Yesterday on our way back from the dentist Echo said: "Mom, I think Santa doesn't visit some houses. I think the parents put gifts under the tree and say they are from Santa. They lie to their kids. I don't like that. I don't like it that there is lying in this world."
I skirted things, things like: We are those very same parents!, by offering her empathy. Later, when she was involved in a game I surreptitiously spoke to Nathan about it. But like all kids across the globe, our girl has super human hearing when the parents start talking in low conspiratorial voices, and she joined the conversation to say: "Yes. And I want to know if you guys do that as well."
I paraphrased her question a thousand times and said I'd answer it after I grabbed the mail.
STALLING! RUNNING FOR MY LIFE!
But she followed me. In tears. Wanting an answer and feeling seriously spooked by my delay tactics. When we got back inside Nathan scooped her up and asked her what her beliefs are. She said she believes Santa is half spirit and half human, and that his spirit can live in other things as well, in other humans, and in special objects like the ornaments we use on our tree year after year. Nathan said that's what we believe too, and that we are filled with that Santa spirit...
when WE put the gifts under the tree.
The silence was long. The longest silence ever. My heart was pounding.
Echo said: "And when you fill the stockings as well?"
"Yes. When we fill the stockings too."
Then she crumpled into his chest for a good long time. She was happy we were honest with her. Happy we weren't the kind of parents who lie to their kids. And also sad that an actual man in a red suit didn't actually enter our house. I was sad too. Nathan explained that we the parents, do actually believe in Santa. We put the gifts out but we don't put the magic and sparkle and special feeling that happens. We feel that too and we don't make it up.
There are some moments when you feel so fucking happy to have a co-parent doing this kid-raising thing. This was one of those moments. I wanted to crawl onto his chest too and cry for Santa and growing up and the wonder of it all.
Happy Holidays y'all.
What I know from being a parent is that you're walking along, doing the routine: regular life, movie night, popcorn, toothbrushing, stories, bed, and then WHOOP! down you go, down a rabbit hole to a completely different reality. The fairly unwelcome reality of middle of the night phrases like: "Mom?..... I don't feeeeeeel gooooood." And the mad dash to the bathroom only to find the light is already on and the other kid is there too, holding barf in a wastebasket.
The ol' Barf in a Wastebasket Reality.
It's like going to the movie theatre, having to pee and slipping out to the restroom, then returning to what you think is your movie, only you've made a left instead of a right and instead of Ice Age Two (or some other animated silly delight) you find yourself in the midst of Blue Velvet. You're like what the hell? But the script doesn't stop just because it's confusing to you. This script says: Quick get on board before you get barf in your eye.
I suppose everyone finds their lives shifting beneath their feet at some point or another, but the kid life seems to be rife with left turns. Thought you would spend Sunday cleaning the house and then taking the kids swimming? Think again! No one leaves the house! Everyone gets a personal barf bowl! Thought you'd sleep at least until daylight? No siree! Up and at 'em for a five am group shower!
Yesterday even our animals got in the "suddenly act weird' game. Frau the crabby calico decided to pee in the downstairs bathroom. Nimbus the fat russian blue shunned his usual cozy nesting spots and curled up on the cold wood floor, under a stool. Henry got a bit of chicken broth for breakfast and in the thrill of it all humped his bed and licked his penis for hours. Even Ken the guinea pig, who is actually a girl even though I will never get the hang of that idea, came out with a new gaspy rheumatic squeak.
I was the straight man.
And kids, they just roll with things. Not too much head shaking in bewilderment for them. When Echo... I'm sorry there is no gentle way to say this... "sharted" on the kitchen stool, she wasn't embarrassed or miserable, just genuinely curious about how the heck that happened, like: Hey tour guide? I farted and now there is liquid poop on the stool. Can you tell me about that?
Yet somehow it's still fun. The docility alone makes a good argument for a little flu bug now and then. The stillness, the sweetness, the curled up in blankies sipping tea-ness of it all. The Papa reads Harry Potter on the couch part. The toast. The solidarity. Our little bubble of a life. Yellow walls and yellow lamps. The Stand By Me soundtrack.
When you're growing a baby in your belly, stacking mini onesies and diapers in a drawer, you anticipate a cute bundle in a blankie. You don't anticipate long-limbed, opinionated humans barfing in your bed in the middle of the night. It's just one of those hidden surprises.
A bonus feature.
I'm on a steady diet of Fairy Food around here. It's the holiday craft fair season and although I'm feeling a bit burned out by making tiny food, it still makes sense to continue. So while the children snore I make camp on the kitchen table and construct little delights.
I also keep a steady diet of entertaining audio going. This American Life, Radio Lab and my new fave Here's the Thing (Alec Baldwin's radio show). Oh how I love radio stories! A couple nights running I watched/listened to the documentary about fracking for natural gas, Gasland, and became exceedingly alarmed and depressed. I found myself trying to meet the problems described in Gasland with info I learned on Radiolab - What if we "healed" all of the areas near leaking natural gas wells with biomass? All of the poop humans make (tons and tons of it!), could it be processed to a certain level and then injected into the earth to provide organic material and counteract the chemical damage? I'm no scientist but it makes sense at 12 am in my world of miniature romain lettuce.
After that I gave myself a psychological break and listened to/watched the Katy Perry documentary. That was a surprising delight.
By day the night world of little food and radio stories gives way to children.
These two munchkins have spent days on the living room floor with Littlest Pet Shop figurines. We've been reading the series called Warriors, which is about wild cat clans, so the girls' game is rife with intense narrative and long discussions about proper warrior names versus apprentice names. And to my delight, they've been getting along. Not all the time, mind you, but somehow we've cleared the playing board enough, dissected the dynamic and their goals for their relationship enough that we're all on the same page. When things gets off, when they squabble over one "following" the other up the stairs, we travel backward in time trying to determine the emotional beginning to the dissonance. We rewind, looking for when things went from friendly to annoyed. Usually it's a single moment, like when Xi threw a figurine and it landed on the guitar and strummed the strings as it fell. She told Echo about it and Echo was annoyed because she was standing right there and saw what happened and didn't need Xi acting like she knew things Echo didn't.
Seriously. That is enough to set the wheels of discourse into motion.
But we go there and give Echo empathy for her annoyance (which triggered defensiveness in Xi, which turned into passive aggressiveness in Echo, which inspired the "don't follow me!" argument on the stairs), and the two are all smiles once more.
My goodness. Maybe my life's work is fostering the sibling relationship between these two.
When Xi goes to her other house Echo drops the Littlest Pet Shop diet and resumes her audio story diet.
Sometimes I chuckle when I realize that Harry Potter is our actual school curriculum. Instead of imposing "lessons" on Echo we've been following a more unschooling type approach - following her lead and giving her materials and information that will augment her learning. In real life this means Echo pauses the ipod and asks: "Mom, if Ron Weasley has to write a report three feet of parchment long, and he has eight inches left, how much has he already written?" We get out the scratch paper and work out the word problem, which led to double digit addition and the concept of "carrying the one". She'd heard about this carry the one business before so she was over the moon about learning it. A couple worksheets later this kid is a pro. All because of a steady diet of Harry Potter.
And then there is Monty Python.
Nathan just finished a run with community theater as one of KIng Arthur's knight's (Sir Bedevere) in Spamalot. We went three times to see the show, absolutely delighted by the whole thing: the endearing characters, the catchy songs, the layers and layers of jokes. I knew it would be a fun project, and I knew it would be entertaining to attend the performances but I didn't realize how thoroughly we'd all dive in. It's been weeks now of Spamalot discussions, Spamalot sing-a-longs, and Spamalot analysis. Spamalot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Echo falls asleep reciting lines from the play and asking for information about this phrase or that, this play on words or that. And then she wakes me up in the morning with questions about african swallows, or praise for Sir Galahad. She gallops into the library making clopping coconut sounds, and dances across the living room practicing the Can Can - all Spamalot inspired. If you'd told me earlier that we'd be using Spamalot and Harry Potter as first grade curricula I'd have thought you were crazy, but that's before I realized anything of interest is fodder for intense and serious learning.
Feeleez is marching along on a steady diet of helping children develop emotionally. We've picked up several new retail stores and continue to fulfill orders chock-full of our new charts. Did you know they are in the store now? It's fun. But our latest idea is HUGE. We're looking at developing a tv show for a national audience that follows four main Feeleez characters as they receive empathy from their parents (a lot), experience strong emotions (a lot) in a healthy manner, learn about brain science and meeting underlying needs by traveling inside their own bodies, and generally loving each other, treating each other well, and having fun. We think we need about six thousand dollars to get something together that a network could take a look at. If you feel moved to contribute, be our benefactors and help children across the world experience and develop empathy, send me an email (email@example.com).
A steady diet of empathy, Spamalot, Harry Potter, sibling play, radio stories, and mini food. You just never know what's going to feed you until you eat it.
There really is nothing like pure empathy, not sympathy, not "oh that happened to me once", not a pat on the shoulder, but an authentic understanding of your feelings. Empathy can change your emotional state completely, and it frees you to give empathy in return instead of fiercely defending and describing your own situation again and again. Real empathy isn't common, at least not yet, so chances are that a few of us could use some. So here goes,
I hereby declare a large dose of empathy for any and all:
**That are sick in bed today. That sucks. What a bummer when your body doesn't cooperate with your mind and you're sick and tired of being horizontal.
**That are negotiating life with a newborn. What a challenge and a change! Sitting still for hours and hours of nursing, subordinating your own basic needs (peeing, eating, sleeping) to the needs of this newcomer, recreating your life with your partner in new and unfamiliar ways, and redefining the very essence of who you are after years of defining yourself in other ways (worker, lover, do-er). Oof!
**That are feeling like they are old enough now that they really should have figured some of the big stuff out. Like career, or money, or both, and then judging themselves for not having figured it out. That's hard. And heavy.
**That have to negotiate with a co-parent which house the kids are going to be at and when. The holidays sure provide opportunities for this sort of thing to get all twisted around. How tiring and frustrating to not know for sure how things will work out.
**That are caring for a sniffly child. It hurts the heart to see a little one suffer doesn't it? And it's so challenging to meet your own needs (moving your body, getting work done) while playing the nurse role.
Need empathy for something not on the list? I can give it to you. Or if you'd like to add anything to this list and forward it to someone you know that could use a little empathy, just leave a comment and I'll see to it.
I suppose if Nathan and I were race-car drivers our children would be mounting some engine-powered thing and zooming around a track. If we were a rodeo family we'd say: "That young'in has been riding a horse before she could walk!". But we're not. You know this already I'm pretty sure. Instead we are Empathy Champions, and Empathy Entrepreneurs. "Talking shop" at our house means a lot of brain science and feeling words. So I suppose it's no wonder that our children, knowing nothing other than this sort of thing, toss this shit around like pros.
The other day Echo got upset about something, something small that didn't match her level of emotion, and before I got my head on straight I offered to simply fix the thing that was bothering her. Oh she was pissed by that. With a growl: "MOM! IT"S NOT A GREEN LIGHT!!!"
This child. She is referring to the fact that human beings are not capable of processing information like solutions or advice when they are in a heightened state of emotion. When intense feelings pop up the brain pulls back to just the basics. The only way to re-open the higher functioning brain is to support the emotional system (usually through empathy) and wait for the rest of brain function to kick back in.
I was busted.
In my haste I forgot the brain science. But she didn't.
(Our new charts that illustrate this phenomenon are now in the shop.)
At the library yesterday the girls jostled for who would get to swipe their library books through the check-out machine first. Echo muscled her way to the front. When I asked her to pause she was irritated. I explained that Xi wasn't feeling good about the situation. With impatience Echo said: "Well Mom, just give her empathy for that so we can get these books checked out!"
In fact the sibling fighting has developed new dimensions with the girls increasing knowledge of all things empathy related. They still fight. Fucking A they fight. But the discussions about the fights have improved and their attempts to avoid fighting have gotten better. Echo lately has been that fierce version of a child, the flare up with a red face and fight for your life kind of child, even when the issue at hand is nothing more than a fairy figurine. Xi hates this. She hates it when Echo yells at her, hates it when Echo lashes out, hates it that their game comes to a crashing horrendous end. But after she receives empathy she is full of empathy for Echo. Instead of seeing Echo simply as a lame little sister she sees her as someone struggling and she's super willing to help out.
Together the girls decided that when Echo reached her blow-up stage Xi would give her empathy and touch her - in an attempt to soothe her emotional system. (Be still my Empathy Champion heart!). But Xi soon found that when Echo blew up she didn't particularly feel warm and cozy toward her, she felt pissed. So we talked about being able to soothe our emotional systems with self-empathy. Xi was going to give herself some to help herself out and Echo was going to use it to slow down her flare-ups. Echo calls it MAGIC (which it is) and avoided enough battles that day by declaring "frustration!" to make me want to dance the two-step.
In fact Xi ended up holding Echo for a long time as Echo cried. She was feeling left out, feeling alone because everyone else in the family has a better handle on emotions than she does. We huddled together in an empathetic cuddle, letting her know that she'd get there. You'd think we were talking about staying up past ten or some other coveted milestone.
On Saturday when Xi wanted to wait in the car and read library books instead of accompanying me into the craft store Echo started to cry. When we tuned in Echo said: "Xi keeps changing her mind about this. It feels unnerving!"
Unnerving. I love it.
Unnerving isn't in the Feeleez ABCs but maybe it should be. We put our copy of the ABCs on the laptop as a screensaver. So throughout the day the cute illustrations pop up. Our girls, unbelievably, are not tired of these images. They crowd around the ones they like and suggest new ones daily. "Mom, there should be an Nora Feels Nervous! or a Karen Feels Krazy! or an Echo Feels Enraged page!" I'm loving the screensaver use of the book because it's not very often that a family settles down in front of the computer to read an Ebook. (We're still looking for a publisher! I look forward to the day this book is in good ol' fashioned paper form.) But images flickering throughout the day makes for casual but effective emotional learning. It's fairly brilliant.
Basically we're dorking out on empathy around here. But I can't think of a better subject to moon over, for us, for our community, for the world at large, than empathy.
So... Ken? Our guinea pig? Ken Da Cuteness Fluffball McTague? Well... he's a girl. Clipping his toenails one day I realized I wasn't seeing the big hairy balls (sorry) I expected on a male guinea pig. In fact I'm familiar with these things because I had checked out the hairy balls of the guinea pigs at the store before buying Ken. I didn't want to buy a little baby that I would be grossed out by later. Years later, I apparently I don't look at his crotch very much, he seems to have a vagina.
We also made it back from our trip to Colorado.13 hours of driving and a lot of this:
On the return trip Echo opted for the ipod and Harry Potter so I slipped in a trashy Anita Shreve novel that got me through. When that ended I found the World Series on a.m. Nothing like tuning in to baseball, after a decade of absence, for the final game of the world series! But then it went scratchy and I didn't hear the end. Let me know who won.
The time in Boulder was heaven. Simple heaven. Newborn goodness and best friends. Wow. I loved feeling helpful and I loved the simplicity of our days. Shanti needed the basics, an extra set of hands, emotional support, floor sweeping, and food. Easy peasy!
We also got out into that beautiful Colorado air for walks along the nearest path and wilderness area. The dogs were stoked.
Every girl needs an Uncle Andy to make pumpkin pie and wrestle with. Every girl.
(Sigh. If anyone figures out how to get all the people they love to move to one spot on the continent let me know. I'd trade anything for that.)
Echo's lisp seems to be slipping away. It might be due to the three-month stretch (and counting) with no front teeth. As her "S"s become clear and crisp it's almost like I can see her growing up, time lapse. It's bittersweet in that aching children-slay-their-parents kind of way.
As for biz...
You can now find Feeleez in three new outlets! Looking for emotional tools in Utah? Try Alphabet Station in Orem! Find yourself needing a Feeleez fix while in Eastern Montana? Stop by the Yellow Bus in Billings! Looking for special needs tools along the front range? Get over to Grandrabbit's in Boulder, CO!
Feeleez isn't messing around. I tell ya.
Oh... we've also had a request for our workshop Building An Emotionally Safe Household/School via skype for one of our friends who lives out of the country. Anyone else in the same boat? Want in on the action? Let me know.
And if you live in Missoula don't forget our workshop on Nov. 23rd at Meadowsweet Herbs. 2 pm! Pre-registration is recommended.
It took 13 hours of driving. Me, this little sweet button, and the sleeping yellow lump named Henry. 13 hours of a not very engaging audio story that threatened to lull me to sleep at the wheel.
Actually I managed to talk Echo into switching over to "The Power of One", remember it? It's so good! But then the boy's only friend, the chicken General Chook, gets tortured and beaten by young Nazi bullies. Echo was sobbing. I hadn't remembered that part. Bad mothering. So back to the boring book.
Anyway, my girl and I made this epic trip because Shanti had a baby. Remember Shanti? We came last year to be in Dan and Shanti's wedding. Now, a year later we're here for the baby, because life just keeps trucking doesn't it?
So we're holding Noah Gabriel (I have to share all my turns with Echo - damn her!). I kid. It's a delight to share. She is smitten. And we're helping out in all the ways we hope a new mother wants. We're especially good at the dog walking.
I'm feeling good, one of those awesome sensations, like everything is how it should be.
This boy puked a bunch last night.
There is no way to know why exactly. The dude licks sidewalks after all. Who knows what sick disgusting thing he'd have to find in order to make him actually puke. We call him "Iron Stomach Henry" because he's like a garbage disposal, but the poor boy finally met something his belly didn't like.
Standing on our yellow-leaved yard at 11:30 pm waiting for the dog to heave again is always a strange way to spend the night. And yes, we have to stand around watching because if we don't clean up immediately he'll eat the puke. And no, that doesn't make ANY SENSE AT ALL.
Also like a true dog he's chipper today. Wagging his tail, asking for food. No such thing as a hangover in dog-world I suppose.
In other neighborhood news our neighbor was taken away by ambulance this weekend. Early one morning we saw him loaded up and never heard another thing. Suddenly realizing that we may be the only people in the world that saw this happen we called the hospital, found him, and paid a visit. It was Echo's first time in a hospital and she gripped my hand tightly and maintained a very serious face. Turns out our neighbor hurt his back, nothing life threatening, but he was so pleased to see us.
It's hard to explain but going out into the world after dinner, instead of upstairs for stories, is always a bit special and surreal. And to visit a friend who needed a friendly face, well that's a special feeling as well. I felt part of the world in a big and tiny way all at once.
I don't know. The yellow leaf carpet, the nighttime hospital visit, the bright moon dog nursing, it was all so humbling and earthy. You know?
Anyway, after a couple weeks of running around like crazy people with three simultaneous to-do lists that grew by two every time we scratched off one, we find ourselves on a regular Monday. There are things to do (Feeleez is going off! Workshops, networking, conventions, partnerships - oh boy!) but the most pressing? The fabric store, so we can get brown felt and cut out feathers for Echo's eagle costume. That feels small and doable.
How are you?
I find this one super enlightening. It comes up again and again! See that tree pattern with the branches stretching all over? All that stretching, all those branches, all those pathways are built within the brain to process logic and reason. BUT, get this, they only get built or built extensively, IF the social system is well taken care of.
This is why they say that kids with strong emotional skills, kids that have experienced routine empathy, lead more successful lives. Their brains are bigger! Ok, maybe not physically bigger, but they have more pathways! This means that when your kid melts down because you paused the audio story in the middle of the sentence instead of during a pause between sentences and throws herself on the floor and loses her shit, when that happens the way you respond (oh, okay the way I respond, since this is my kid we're talking about) helps her access her executive function. Meaning, by using empathy I chill out her social system and her executive brain functioning switches back on and she and I can discuss audio-story-pausing-etiquette. And if I do this empathy thing regularly, throughout her development, I am supporting further brain development, giving her brain a chance to build more and more pathways.
In other words when you help yer kid through empathy you give them access to their whole brain. And when you do this repeatedly, as the norm, you allow them to grow millions more pathways than they ordinarily would. Pathways are good. Empathy makes geniuses.
When children aren't supported emotionally through intense emotion they have no choice but to operate from their reflexive system, from instinct. Remember what main instincts humans have? Fight or Flight, baby. This is why sometimes, during intense emotion, kids will physically lash out. If they don't have emotional support they have to operate from this zone because access to executive function is blocked. Sometimes when kids "act out" their parents punish them for making the "wrong choice", which is sad because actually no choice, no logic is being employed when a child is operating from the reflexive part of their brain. Choice only becomes an option if the child is given empathy for the emotions they are experiencing.
Bottom line? You want to support the shit out of your child's social system.
Want more? If you are local to Missoula come to the workshop!
October 20th, Open Way Mindfulness Center (702 Brooks Ave) 2pm - 4pm. $50
And another! November 23rd, Meadowsweet Herbs 2pm - 4pm $50
Not local? We're taking this on the road! Want to host a workshop?
email me: firstname.lastname@example.org