The session was all about building your kid's self esteem. I honestly did not think that these kids need some ego boosting - but I was wrong. I then realized that when I was younger, whenever my parents (and elders) dismissed what I was feeling at that time - I felt so bad. It was as if what I was feeling wasn't real - well, it wasn't as affecting to the adults, but at that time - it was affecting me. I guess as I grew older, the dismissed feelings were more of the norm for me.
The session opened my mind and heart to the reality that words are so powerful in rearing our kids. I grew up with traditional parents who saw talking about their feelings as a weakness. I guess that’s why I went on to write, what I couldn’t verbalize, I wrote in my journals. I must admit, I am thankful that I had my journals to write in, because if not for the journals, I wouldn’t be able to express my feelings in words, like now. Like for example - I honestly could not and am physically unable (its such a struggle I know!) to tell my mom verbally that I love her - and that is until now! I need to muster up all the courage and hold back galloons of tears before I can utter the words 'I love you, Mom'. I know its silly - but I wasn't brought up that way - to verbalize your feeling? I mean, no one said it was wrong, but in the environment I was in, well - it wasn't normal to be expressive with your feelings.
So when I had Kailee, I knew that I had to correct that norm. I knew that I wanted Kailee to feel loved and hear words of affirmation. Some say that actions speak louder than words - but I say, words are very powerful. Words can hurt you, words can destroy you, words can eat up your imagination and guilt. Words, if used wrong leaves scars - for life! And I do not want that for my children, I do not want that for me.
What I learned from this session is that - kids have feelings. They may not be as important or relevant to us adults but we shouldn't dismiss them as trivial. I have always believed that everything is relative - what maybe important to you may not be important to others. And with this in mind - I have always respected people's opinion on things. So, together with this learning - I will never ever dismiss the feelings of my child. I will validate them and let them know that I am here for them and that I know what they are going through.
I've also always wondered how much time should I spend with each child. And I learned from this session that a parent should spend at least thirty (30) minutes per child - UNINTERRUPTED! Yes, we should spend thirty whole minutes with each child - alone, without any distractions, without yayas or helpers. This, I think is another learning I got from this session. I now have two kids - Kailee and Connor. Kailee since she's older (and more talkative) is with me most of the time. We play, we talk, we spend time together. As for Connor - since he just turned one last October - well, I thought that since he's younger - I'd wait for him to be more interactive. Wrong move, Didi - wrong move. Now, I try my darnest to spend quality time with Connor - and its so hard! Kailee is always asking for me, I am so distracted with Kailee. I need to come up with a game plan for this - and I must admit, its a work in progress. I think I spoke too soon because now, Connor is more active too. He likes to be included in our activities - the thing is, he's still unable to utter clear words and is unaware of certain things. I really need to work more on this aspect - double time!
If there is one thing I would like to share to you guys - its that our kids have feelings, let's validate them and empathize with them. Some will argue that we are spoiling them too much with these and the saying 'What do kids know about feelings?' Well, they know that feelings are important and that it should help them instead of deter them.
So let's validate their feelings!