Skip to content

Everything is Energy and Energy is Everything

Everything – every single thing – we do or think takes energy. Easy to see… right? Everything we do or think releases energy. Sure, of course – you can see that. When you are in a good mood, for example, others around you can tell – they can feel it. Likewise, when you are crabby or angry, those same others know it, and you don’t even have to say anything.

The energy of yes and no also carries energy. When you ask for help and someone responds with yes it feels good. When they say no it feels not so good. Likewise, when someone asks you for help, for example, it feels good to say yes, partly because you can tell that it makes them happy but also because it feels good to help. If you respond with no, you know the recipient feels less than good and you probably feel less good than if you’d said yes. Mostly though, the shared energy that comes from the recipient of the yes is enough for everyone to feel good.

I am always puzzling over why parents say no to their children. I hear and read from them that ‘parents make the rules’ and ‘no one should always get what they want’ and ‘kids will get spoiled’ and ‘kids need to learn discipline by learning the word no’ for example. There are lots more justifications and rationalizations out there, but that’s a sampling. Given the energy associated with the words no and yes, I wonder if parents realize that every time they say no to their child they are sending a little electric shock of sorts to him which hurts… and leaves him wondering on emotional, psychological and even physical levels why their parent just hurt them. Isn’t she supposed to feel love and support and nurturing from her parent? Hurt? Why did my parent just hurt me? (This is true not just for children of course, but for and between adults too.)

From birth onward, I trust that whenever my child asks for a thing, it is a genuine and valid request, one that is NECESSARY for their development. It’s not my job to figure out WHY they asked for it or for what purpose it will serve. It’s my job as a mom to get to yes. I really want yes to be my goal because I know how good yes feels and I want my child to immerse herself in a daily shower of feeling good… about life, about herself, about her developing abilities, about the predictions she forms about how the world works, about others.

For the confused, let’s dissect a few examples of how to get to yes… because, there have to be exceptions, right? Nope, there really doesn’t.

#1.
When my child says he wants to be superman and fly off the roof, I connect easily with the feeling he wants to achieve: flying! We would all love to fly, right? Most of us anyway. Now I know, or think I know, that he can’t actually fly off the roof so I am not going to say something totally disrespectful and hideous like you can’t fly off the roof, you would kill yourself or hurt yourself. My goal is getting to yes so he can revel in the POWER of creating a world of allowance. I want him to experience flying so I am going to act as his partner to get there. I might offer to make him a cape so he can run through the house and property pretending to fly. I might suggest that he prepare for jumping off the roof by holding on to my hand and jumping off a chair and then a table. Then try it alone. Chances are by this time he has learned pretty solidly what gravity feels like as his feet hit the ground. (Depending upon the age and readiness of the child, we might have also had a discussion of gravity and done some other experiments too.) In my experience I’ve never had a child want to jump off a roof after getting this far because they have already figured out that splat wouldn’t feel so good. For the sake of this dissection however, let’s pretend that the child still wants to jump off the roof and fly, even after experimenting with jumping off tables and such. How about a zip line? How about a low roof and an air mattress to fall onto, how about a trampoline? How about a net to catch him? How about a ride in a helicopter, hot air balloon or airplane? Just imagine how exciting, how powerful, how good this kid feels in making his fantasy come true!

#2.
When my teenage son was in public school (his choice) he was required to take a speech class. He didn’t like it, was quite shy and very uncomfortable getting up in front of anyone to say anything. His teacher called me to tell me she was going to have to fail him if he could not give a speech and please couldn’t I coerce or bribe or threaten him to do it so she could give him a good grade. No! I told her, under no circumstances would I dream of asking my teen to do something he did not want to do. She was stunned. She failed him. My son is now not only a very confident public speaker, but a clear and impassioned orator, confident in front of any size audience. ( !! )

#3.
My six month old granddaughter was visiting recently and she loves to put everything in her mouth. This is the main way babies connect with their world as this age, so I get it, even though it sort of grosses me out. In this example, I had her at the kitchen sink and she was playing with the water coming out of the faucet. She saw the kitchen sponge and grabbed it. It was headed to her mouth. EEK! No, not that! You can’t put that nasty thing in your mouth! I knew she was super eager; it was a fabulous texture and all juicy with water for sucking. I didn’t open my mouth however but just removed the sponge from her hand before it hit her mouth and headed to the cupboard for a brand new sponge. Easy. She is happy.

I have learned from my children that when they learn that THEY CONTROL THEIR OWN WORLDS, not mom or dad or someone else, they never reach this much feared ‘spoiled’ stage. When they are nurtured in a world that teaches them that they always get what they want, their needs are always genuine and not arbitrary or manipulative, and never ploys for attention or love. I have also learned that when they achieve confidence at very young ages that they live in a world where they can partner with mom or dad ALL THE TIME to get their needs, wishes and desires met, that they want the same for ME! Helpful, respectful, loving children that understand that I have needs too! What a miracle! And it’s all so easy, really it is.

Disclaimer: I was not always this good of a parent. My learning curve was pretty steep most of the time but I screwed up too. I am still learning!

23 Comments Post a comment
  1. Medea #

    I love this post. Yesterday I was feeling drained, exhausted, just dead. All I wanted was time to myself and to be away from my “burdensome” children. My husband, my children and myself put our hands on top of each other for our family power ritual and I felt such a tremendous relief from my fatigue in the love and joy of their hearts. It was a very profound moment for me. But I keep loosing this feeling. I yell and I screw up in big ways. So, I am wondering if you could post about when you did screw up and how you found your way out of it.
    thanks

    March 27, 2012
    • Without giving you a specific example of a screw up, here is something a few screw ups (like what you describe) taught me. When losing my patience and saying something I regret later, I learned that whenever I feel like I am at my wits end and about to lose self control, I stop whatever I am doing, find a place in my mind where I can turn everything off for a few minutes and have a cup of tea – whether a real cup or just a metaphorical cup. If I give myself a few minutes to cool off and calm down I am always in a better place to choose my words carefully, say nothing at all or involve others in finding a resolution to whatever is ailing us. Does this help or do you need more?

      March 27, 2012
  2. Quincie #

    woo hoo! you rock my world.

    March 27, 2012
  3. Thanks Robyn, for your inquiry! Hmmm… books. I can’t think of a book, per se, that deals with this topic with regard to children, but here are some VERY important book titles that have influenced me tremendously and have everything to do with respecting children: Summerhill, by A.S. Neill, How Children Learn and How Children Fail by John Holt, The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff and Ask and It is Given by Esther Hicks.

    When you say you love to work with people who fulfill the tasks they are given, I am assuming they are adults and not children. Sure, I do too! In fact I trust adults to be able to have the self discipline to follow through and do what they agreed to do, whether in a job description or personal favor or whatever. I would say that all three of my grown children are completely trustworthy and reliable as well in their adult interactions… even though they were never TAUGHT discipline or disciplined for not doing something I wanted them to do.

    In fact, I see my grown children as extraordinarily trustworthy, much moreso than the average “good worker” and the reason, I believe, is because they have lived very conscious lives, always “on their own” to thoughtfully choose the thoughts and actions that feel more worthy and powerful to them. They have never been asked to do things or think things because I or anyone else thought they were right; they were always free to make their own decisions, conduct their own experiments and modify their thoughts and actions according to their own internal dictates. Now I should say that while my children are extremely reliable, they are not involved in work they don’t enjoy: none of them would ever consider taking an ordinary job just to make money, for example. If they were forced to do this, they might not be at all reliable. In reality, why does anyone take on a job or responsibility they don’t want to do? Why does anyone feel like they have to?

    Let’s talk about this!

    March 27, 2012
    • Robyn #

      Dear Barb,
      Thank you sooo much! I’m diving into a whole new world here and I am so grateful I can discuss my thoughts with experienced people like you from the start.
      There were two things in your answer that really struck me:
      First, you reframed my initial comment on “giving orders” (so to speak) and having others “do the job as asked for” into THEM agreeing to do something and then having SELF-discipline. I feel this is very important and I realize that I am prone to issuing orders and expecting people to implement them – maybe, because I have not learned to ask for something. I feel it is super important to agree with people first on who does what and then doing it, as opposed to one just stepping in and taking on the role of the boss (unless that’s what was agreed upon!).
      Secondly, I love your point about why we should take on jobs we do not love. I have always thought of myself as a very diciplined person until I realized that in some fields, I lack any kind of consistency. Then I realized that I am doing great (“being disciplined”) when doing things I love and not being as reliable when having to do things I do not love as much. So maybe it’s not a question of discipline, but love and passion altogether. Okay, I’m ready now to throw the concept of discipline out of the window!🙂
      I still have one question, however: If I decide to only do things I love, I have to say “no” to requests that would force me to do something else. How can I fit this in with the willingness to say “yes” as much as I can?
      All the best,
      Robyn

      March 27, 2012
      • I would like to respond to your question with a few examples that are occurring for you. Tell me what those situations are and I will walk you through the yes and no of them!

        March 27, 2012
        • Dear Barb,
          with pleasure! Thank you so for taking the time.
          Situation 1:
          I am at the supermarket with a child and when we wait at the counter, it wants the sweets that are always displayed there (which I’d prefer not to buy, because they are from big corporations, unhealthy, …)
          Situation 2:
          (this applies to adults, too, right?)
          I have had a hell of a week, every night an other event/appointment and I long for a silent evening alone with myself when a friend tells me she’s having a dinner party and wants me to attend.
          Situation 3:
          A work meeting – we try to agree who is going to do which task. I have too much on my plate already.
          I’m excited to read your answers! Might it be a solution to look for a compromise, that is, saying yes, but to a modified version of the question?
          Cordially,
          Robyn

          March 28, 2012
        • Robyn #

          Dear Barb,
          with pleasure! Thank you so for taking the time.
          Situation 1:
          I am at the supermarket with a child and when we wait at the counter, it wants the sweets that are always displayed there (which I’d prefer not to buy, because they are from big corporations, unhealthy, …)
          Situation 2:
          (this applies to adults, too, right?)
          I have had a hell of a week, every night an other event/appointment and I long for a silent evening alone with myself when a friend tells me she’s having a dinner party and wants me to attend.
          Situation 3:
          A work meeting – we try to agree who is going to do which task. I have too much on my plate already.
          I’m excited to read your answers! Might it be a solution to look for a compromise, that is, saying yes, but to a modified version of the question?
          All the best,
          Robyn

          March 28, 2012
          • Fabulous examples Robyn. Ok, so here goes. We can choose to see each of these examples as extremely complex or simple, and as much as I love to dissect, analyze and work through issues, I fundamentally believe that life is supposed to be fun and also simple. In order to have a fun and simple life it doesn’t mean that we don’t engage in extremely challenging or complex things. What makes life fun and simple, energetically, is when we are in a comfortable state of confidentially moving toward thoughts, actions and relationships that FEEL GOOD to us. Each person is the only one who knows what feels good to them and no one else can dictate this for another.

            So, in your situation #1, I want to connect with my child’s desire and in getting to yes. Share in her fascination and excitement with the candy purchase and buy it. Then, because you are uncomfortable with her desire, use your intuition to inquire within yourself what it is your child is seeking here: is it hunger? attention from you? time with you? satisfying a sweet tooth? has she seen commercials? does she know other kids are enjoying these things and she wants to learn what that’s all about? Understanding what the motive for the candy purchase can help you connect with her from a place of love and partnership instead of authority. (I too had issues with candy when my kids were growing up and because we don’t live in a cloistered box but a big, wide world which we are constantly exploring, I had to challenge myself to trust my children’s candy and food choices. I also want to say that the child of mine who ate the most candy is the one who never got sick and has NEVER been to a doctor – or alternative doctor.)

            In your situation #2, let’s say you have 10 close friends who are asking you to commit to them at the very same time. How can you say yes to all of them? You know you cannot. It is a physical impossibility. What I recommend you do is take some alone time, whether it’s upon awakening or falling asleep, in the car or on the toilet, to come into alignment with your own YES. What does YES really feel like? Why are you saying yes to things you don’t really want to say yes to? Experiment beginning today. What can you eliminate from your life today that you are not in YES alignment with? Do it. You will not be missed and you will feel better. The more you come into alignment with your own YES created world, the more you will attract the people, relationships, ideas, thoughts and actions that feel powerful and satisfying and like YES is supposed to feel like.

            With regard to whether to say yes or no to your friend’s dinner party, ask yourself authentically whether it would FEEL BETTER to you to say yes (imagine yourself being there, how the conversation might go, who else is there, what you might eat and drink, how you feel when you come home) or something like no, I wish I could but I cannot do it this week. Choose the option that allows you to feel the best. Go with how you FEEL and not what you THINK, this is critical. If you make the best feeling choice, your friend will not only understand but empathize with you if you say no.

            In your situation #3, if you have too much on your plate already, what prevents you from saying that? Be honest. Tell the group that you are already overcommitted and barely able to keep your head above water. They will collectively assign the tasks to others or make your life difficult or fire you. In an authentic life, you cannot be afraid of living truthfully and according to your own standards for integrity, respect and joyful fulfillment. As you commit yourself to living such a life, all others around you fall into alignment with that. One of the repercussions may be the loss of a job or the manipulations of coworkers or boss. Is any of this truly important when considering the value of your own meaningful life? Remember that getting to the energy of what YES feels like is the goal. YOUR OWN YES.

            March 28, 2012
  4. Barb,
    I don’t think I have ever heard this explained so well. I totally agree with you but had never been able to share this philosophy so succinctly and understandably!

    Thanks!

    Melissa

    March 27, 2012
  5. Edith #

    When my children were young and asked I always told them I would say “yes” if I could and if I couldn’t (for whatever reason), we would discuss until we came to a compromise. That seemed to work for all of us.

    March 27, 2012
  6. Very good post. My thoughts exactly. Science has identified physical energy (atoms & molecules) and yet it has overlooked spiritual and emotional energy. I know that they are all linked, are all the same. We can give a grumpy child extra energy through food, drink, love or sleep. And the same happens with us! I can’t wait for the rest of the world to come into balance and for us to align ourselves properly to make use of good energy and dispel the bad.

    March 28, 2012
  7. Hi Barb,
    Again such a wonderful article!
    I am the single mother of an almost 3 years old and I was from the beginning instinctively together with him from the “yes”. I say almost never “no”, except.. Well, there are a few exceptions and if it’s possible I would want to read your take on them.
    One of the recent ones: I carried him in my arms almost all the time from the day he was born, as it seems that is the place where he (still) feels best. I had a carrier and he did not let me carry him on my back so I never did. I also carried a pretty heavy rucksack almost all the time. Since a few month ago my knees hurt quite badly (sometimes I can barely walk!) so.. I have to say no quite often right now. It hurts that I have to, but I do..
    Another two which are still pretty acute: brushing his teeth and getting washed. I never heard about other children who have this but he hates the feel of water on his body, any part of it.. Even when he cries, he complains about the tears.. He puts his finger in his mouth and then he complains that it’s wet! So imagine his screams any time I try to wash him in any way!! He gets really desperate and I have to say, so am I. I try to minimize the washing and I almost never give him a shower but, well… I sometimes have to wash him somehow.
    And brushing his teeth, I know it’s not an issue for many children (this age), but he has 4 damaged teeth because of his (only!) fall when his teeth were coming out.. I kinda wonder if the other teeth and molars will not get in problems because of me not being able to brush his teeth properly.. I already saw some signs of deterioration on some molars so I feel like a failure mom, especially because the teeth which are already deteriorated are very visible and he laughs a lot (i wouldn’t want to change that one!).. Most of the people comment on his teeth and I know I should not care about what other think or do, but it is so easy for people to tell me what I should do.. On the other hand damaged teeth now could have effects on his second teeth so I find it quite difficult to listen to him and never brush his teeth.. On the other hand doing it is a total torture for both of us and I, well, hate myself for doing it when I manage to..
    So how to get to yes from these no’s? Any story and scenario that I tried until now failed and I totally want to respect his no’s.
    Again thank you so much for all the wonderful wisdom you pour into my heart!
    ioana

    April 1, 2012
    • Oh my, you have got some unique stuff going on indeed, don’t you!? It’s challenging to offer advice with limited information, so perhaps we can continue talking. Based on just what you’ve offered up here, and in keeping with the energy of yes, here goes. First, a 3 year old is very capable of understanding conversation and the nuances of right and wrong, yes and no. He certainly is able to understand that your knees hurt and carrying him as often hurts you. In keeping with the yes energy, how about creating more resting or sitting time with him to cuddle, read, talk, tickle, watch movies, sit in nature, etc. He wants together time with you. Do you have to be out and about so much where he does not want to walk? Are you using a stroller to assist him now? Finally, how about seeking some treatment for your knees? I highly recommend homeopathy, acupuncture or trigger point massage therapy. You don’t want to live with this forever, right?

      On to the water issue: wow, this is challenging, but our kids are here to teach us, right? That is what I believe anyway. If you cannot find any way to make water and bathing fun (swimming pool, playing with the hose, washing the car, etc.) and he really is downright spooked any time water enters his world, then leave him alone. I assume he drinks water, right? How does he manage this given his water anxiety?

      As for brushing his teeth, since I assume he is an intelligent and rational 3 year old, have you: made your own tooth brushing a regular part of your day that he witnesses? have you tried just giving him a brush with nothing on it for him to brush with? have you talked to him about why we brush our teeth? have you talked to him about the process of decay and fillings and gum disease? This is a sensitive topic and I have met several parents over the years who have never taken the responsibility for finding a way to show their kids how to establish tooth care. I don’t believe in forcing or scaring them to do anything, but I believe in trying to figure out how their brains work and appealing to them from the unique way they see and understand the world. I have to ask myself why an intelligent being choose not to take care of their teeth and choose decay, pain, etc. instead. Now I know not all people who choose not to brush do not wind up with decayed teeth, but a great many do. Each person is different and you don’t say whether your child has decay or not. If not, I think the best you can do is be a role model and find opportunities to answer his questions about tooth care. If it becomes a battle, he will lose interest in asking questions and taking responsibility.

      We have a great deal to learn about life from watching our children and following their lead. Expect the best, trust that he is intelligent enough to know what he wants and what will work for him. By all means, share what you know, what you have experienced, what your thoughts and feelings are about anything and everything that he is curious about. If you talk to him respectfully as a 3 year old and not a 30 year old or a 1 year old, he will always listen. He will also almost always take your advice if he has learned to trust it.

      If he doesn’t trust your advice, we must ask why. Why do you think?

      April 1, 2012
    • Robyn #

      Dear Ioana,
      Just one thought: have you tried washing him only directly with water or also with a wet rug? There are these very soft microfiber tissues, especially for washing – or housecleaning – and they also make you save on soap (you don’t need any). I use them for washing my face and I just thought, maybe the feel of the rug would be stronger than that of the water for your son. You can wring them out until they are almostly dry and they will still hold enough water to clean any surface. And they virtually last an eternity, just neeed to be laundered now and again.
      All the best,
      Robyn

      April 2, 2012
      • Thank you so much for your suggestion, Robyn,
        I use these rugs myself and I tried it on him. He complains about it anyway because the feel of water stays on his body.. The last few times that I attempted to clean his body I used a barely humid towel, as I promise to make him “dry” with it. That, he wants, even if he is not yet wet:-)
        all the best to you, too,
        ioana

        April 2, 2012
  8. Dear Barb,
    Thank you for taking the time to answer my message.
    I will continue the conversation because I appreciate your advice and in the same time by writing I feel that things get clearer for me.
    I have quite a unique child, that’s for sure:-) Children are all unique, of course, and probably each child has it’s challenges for the parents, at least if the parents are prepared to go and meet the children in the middle, and not forcing them to give up their particularities.. I find it at times challenging, especially because I have close to no support system..
    About the first issue, I use a stroller now (since a few days), as often as possible. He likes it up to one point. It’s just that he gets scared quite easily and then he feels like the stroller is not so safe any more.. On the street he is much more careful than any other children I know. When we cross the street he wants to be in my arms, it is not enough for him to hold my hand.. I did not do anything to get him so scared.. Never said anything about the dangers of the road.. He is very telepathic so he cannot stand some people’s energy or thoughts, I suppose.. I noticed that he needs to channel “the baddies” through me.. He sometimes says it down right that he finds somebody scary (who looks perfectly ok to me!) and he asks me to hold him..

    This is actually just an example because when it gets down to choosing between his feeling or mine I usually choose to accommodate his: because I am “grown up” and I can deal better with any frustration, but more importantly because I believe that everything he asks from me, like you said, comes from a genuine need.. (and sometimes I just cannot see the middle way). With some things, like the “holding” one, I find it difficult to get to my yes (accommodating his yes) from something that is less possible for me physically. Sometimes (like yesterday) I just cannot take the stroller and then I’m in trouble.. I am resting as much as possible with him but he has mountains of energy and we need to walk around a lot.. It’s in my arms for a while, on the street/in the park for a while..:-)
    Of course I want this knee pain to be solved and I am working on it with a therapist (it appears to be something energetic, and it changes knees!). Homeopathy did not do it and I will try the other things you mentioned, thank you.
    He likes to be in the carrier, and I like to hold him, actually.. I find it frustrating to not be able to carry him while he is still small and he wants it.

    I suppose that he needs my attention and care 24/7 (and I want to give it to him!). Because there are no other people “there” and I do not want to place him anywhere in day care (I totally plan to unschool and I am utterly curios as to how I am going to be able to pull that!!) he probably feels that he looses me when I do something else.. For example we have the issue of him not letting me work on the computer or read – because of course he wants the total of my attention. I mostly have to work while he sleeps and that is not much time at all, considering I am building up some internet business(es) in order to be able to be with him and earn money in the same time.. And although I explain to him every day that mama has to do things on the computer and that mama (or anybody for that matter!) will not always do what he wants mama to do, he still cries every day about that.. I know he understands me also telepathically and I know he understands what I say in words but he does not want (cannot?) accept it.

    About the water thing.. He likes to drink water and he even asks for it. That is not a problem. And when he was small he liked to be in water and in the bath.. I have a feeling that I know when the water thing started but it’s actually getting worse and worse. If at the beginning it was just “no bath” for him, now he does not even accept that I take a shower! We live close to the sea and I love swimming and being by the beach.. But I cannot even get 10 meters from the sea that he starts to scream.. If he is in my arms he will accept that we are looking at the sea, but not if I put my feet in it, and certainly not his! The strange thing is that sometimes he likes to play with water in the sink. Not so often but still! He likes to throw with water on the (bathroom) floor. But if water lands on him, it’s trouble:-).. Also if he sees someone swimming in a film it freaks him out. And God forbid that someone goes underwater, in film or reality.. (I assume if I was 3 I would find that scary, too, the disappearance of somebody.. Just that when I was 3 I used to be in water for hours on end..)
    Of course I totally leave him alone with this and I wash him only when and where it is necessary.. It asks for a lot of creativity from me..:-)

    And finally the brushing teeth issue.. Yes, there is decay. I was too subtle: I said they are deteriorated. The teeth he fell on when he was starting to walk have spots of black. I read all the (alternative) books on tooth decay and cures and it seems some people could turn that around in their children with diverse methods. I tried all those methods and it did not work for us. I went to 5 different dentists until now and they all told me that it comes from the fall (when the outer layer of the tooth was broken) and there is nothing I can do besides watching out for infections and brushing his teeth to not let it spread.. The thing is that there was a period when I managed to brush his teeth (with stories and explanations) for two times a day.. When he was smaller he used to love to play with the brush in his mouth, I would give him a cup with water and he would brush his teeth like that, asking for water again and again.. I thought we will never have an issue! But there are a few month now (without any obvious reason) since he does not want at all to let me brush his teeth.. He says he does not like it, and no story or explanation or anything will make him let me. I do not want to force him, of course, because I know how that will make him never ever wanting to brush his teeth again, but when it’s past two days with no brushing possibility, well, I feel I should have to force him.. I am totally at a loss as to what to do, because forcing him does not solve anything: I do not get his teeth brushed, and we both get utterly upset. Of course, I brush my own teeth religiously and sometimes he does not even want to let ME do that.. (he probably kinda still sees us as having one and the same body..)

    And when I force him to stay with me and I try to brush his teeth, he screams, bites, kicks and so on.. And cries and cries and cries.. Totally normal reaction, isn’t it? I totally would, too, if somebody forced me to do something I do not want… (ehmmmmm, no I wouldn’t…. Or better said: I would now but totally gave up in the past.. Maybe that is the real issue?). Anyway, I want to leave him alone with it but I cannot do that in this case, isn’t it?
    I know from your stories (I “follow” you and Quinn for about 5 years now) that you totally trusted that the children know what is best for them. I want to trust that this is better for my son but… well… I cannot! He barely touches sugar or any such stuff (I do, too, at this point, as I do not want him to do as I say but as I do) and we eat almost 80% raw and organic and healthy and all that stuff.. He likes it. Still, the decay stares at me every day. I find it very challenging. I want to say I have tried everything to get him to brush his teeth but obviously I didn’t cause he is not doing it.. What I can say is that I’ve tried everything I could imagine: I have given him a brush of his own, I have shown him how, I bought different tooth pastes and made stories with them, I brushed the teeth of every toy we have and explained how mama bus wants to help child bus to brush and why, I have bought that special brush that he chose (and was totally not interested in when we were home). He contradicts me when I explain that not brushing can have effects on his teeth and although we saw also a cartoon about brushing teeth and such (that he enjoyed very much and played again and again), he still does not accept it.
    I could not make myself show him on his own teeth how they gone black because that may scar him for life..
    So yes, I totally ask myself why he would choose decay, as an intelligent, sensitive, genuine being that he is. Still, he still chooses it every day and I cannot make up my mind about my own choice in this matter..

    And yes, I totally ask myself that, too: why doesn’t he trust my advice that it would be better to brush his teeth? I believe that it is because brushing is utterly unpleasant to him at the moment.. and that he does not see the possibility of consequences (as time as we know it does not exist for children this age, and he probably does not understand what could happen to his teeth although I showed him mine with fillings and such). He is also in a period that he challenges just about EVERYTHING I say (is he re-thinking everything? :-)… ). Even the language rules and tools that I offer to him must be spoken against.. I strive to accommodate everything I can from his wishes (and commands!!) but sometimes I just cannot.. Sometimes he does not want to go outside for days on end (and if I need to go outside I have to carry him around all the time), sometimes he just wants to be outside for days on end (and after I totally freeze I have to drag him in, him crying and me almost..). We live in a big city in Europe and we do not have a garden (having no garden is more of a rule than an exception around here) so “outside” means we have to find a park and to walk to there. It’s cold so he does not want to sit and play.. And so on and so forth.. Sometimes I have to do things (like go to the market) and he does not want it, well.. how do you do that? I am totally against saying that we have to do things we do not want to “in this world” because that is not something I want to teach him.. But you get the picture..

    He is really strong willed and beautiful and amazing and I would not want to change anything about him. In the same time I am willing to change myself, in order to meet his needs (in an RE way..:-).. ). Just that sometimes I have no idea how, and although I am taking every day as it comes and I get a lot of inspiration from all your articles and such, I am maybe sometimes lost in my own “should”s.. I am most respectful with him at every age and I suppose my questions here are more related to the respect I have for myself, as well as my own needs and “must”s – and how to give form to them in relation to my wonderful son. I totally believe that he is always right in his asking and wanting and I think the challenge is for me to find a way to do the things I know should be done, without forcing or asking him to do anything he does not agree with..

    PS: do you know any other single moms that unschool(ed)?

    April 2, 2012
    • you are a single mom? do you have any friends or family who can become part of your lives together and occasionally be a safe person to spend time/play with? If not, begin cultivating this. Yes, I know lots of single moms who successfully unschool. They work at home for the most part, but it is possible. Where there is a will, there’s a way, right?

      Your son’s black teeth and earlier trauma suggest not decay to me but the death of the nerve of the teeth involved. Are you certain it is decay? Regardless, what is done is done. All of his baby teeth will fall out anyway and be replaced by permanent teeth when he is 5-10 years old. On some very real level he must be aware of this.

      It does sound like you have put an extraordinary amount of time and attention into the bathing and tooth brushing issues. Perhaps all of this attention has actually backfired and he is taking it on as a challenge instead of as a receptive flow of good information. If it were me in your shoes, I would back off from all advice-giving and just leave him be, answering his questions when they arise as honestly as I could.

      WRT the carrying issue and leaving the house, how about having a conversation with him well in advance of your excursions so that he has time to think, make a decision and prepare… such as: tomorrow I have to go to the market to get groceries for us. Let’s talk about how that will go: do you want to come with me or stay with _____ or have _____ come over to stay with you? will you be able to walk or shall we bring the stroller? what special things should we look for at the market that you would really like to have? You get the idea. Don’t you feel that he will be able to be thoughtful about this and make his own decisions about how to proceed? If he is completely irrational in the face of such conversation, tell me what he says.

      April 2, 2012
      • Thank you:-) it feels good to me to read your advice, as what you say is exactly what I do right now, for the most part..
        About the shower and tooth brushing, at the moment I just let him be, although it feels sometimes quite weird.. I took that decision a few days ago, about the time you were writing the article above, but I wanted to hear your take on it, as you and your RE team are the only ones I would take advice from.. I am glad that without knowing you said the same.

        About the leaving the house, I indeed tell him in advance what we are going to do and we also discuss it after the facts. But although he takes a decision about how he wants to be transported, he sometimes does not like it in the end and that translates into getting very upset. Like yesterday, we went with the bicycle and although we were only two blocks away he absolutely did not want it any more and I had the choice of going back home, or letting my bike there on the spot and walk with him further.. I chose to go further without the bike and luckily I had the carrier with me, because he found it too cold to walk.. (He appears not to like anything about the changing weather and is very sensitive to it.. does not like: the wind, the sun, the rain, the snow, the cold:-)……he likes it warm and cloudy) So it is not that he is irrational about it (he says that he wants to fly to places but it’s not a serious proposal:-) ). It’s more like he cannot stick with his own decisions when faced with adverse conditions.. I always discuss it afterwards with him and he can totally understand and reproduce the logical steps (and tell me when he cried or not, and if he was disappointed or angry with me), but I believe that in his world he cannot totally grasp the consequences of a decision yet. I actually had a conflict with my doctor (which I am in the process of changing) because I constantly ask my child about what he wants to do and how.. My doctor said that I should not give my child any possibility to decide and that the adult is the one who always decides..:-( A serious case of adultism right there:-)

        I am a single mom and at the moment we have only two friends who can stay with my son one or two times a week. We are in a process of moving again (second time in 9 month and we will have to move again in 3 month). There is a lot of other turbulent stuff in our lives right now so my son is also extra triggered by this, I think.. 9 month ago we run away from his father because he was becoming more and more violent.. It’s not the place here so I will not say more about it all but just wanted to mention a bit because that is the reason we are not at all settled. I will indeed build a more reliable network as soon as I am able to say we can stay in one place for a few years.. I also crave it myself and I am creating it right now so hopefully soon I can say it’s all as I wish it to be..

        Thank you for the great lessons. You and your family are role models for me and I am in awe by what you could accomplish on your own in your family when you had only your intuition to go by.

        much love
        ioana

        April 2, 2012
        • I am glad you brought up the turbulence because this is what I intuitively sense is the cause of your son’s sensitivity and need for constant engagement and holding. If this doesn’t ring true for you, I would like to recommend that you consider seeing a homeopath or Bach flower specialist… or a psychic to see what has gone on for him in a past life that is affecting his current state of being. Bach flowers are pretty easy to self administer but homeopathy is not, except for some minor acute problems.

          I think the most important thing is for you and he to find a safe place to be. A place where you have breathing space, can enjoy the outdoors, find easy to be with friends, be easy with each other.

          Are you required to share your son with his father?

          April 2, 2012
          • The reason I brought up the turbulence is that I also think this is the reason for my son’s hypersensitivity. Yes. I KNOW that is a big part of the problem, because his father was very present in our lives without me being able to do very much about it until we left. Now he found us via a lawyer and he asked for his “right” to see my son.. I also hired a lawyer and I refused to let him be a part of our present. I will have to wait and see if he goes further with it, as I just sent my answer a few weeks ago.. He can go to court and so on and although I hope he won’t I will just have to wait and see. I thought about it a lot but besides my own feelings I see that my son has become a “real” child in the last months that we had nothing to do with his father. My son used to be much more hanging on me than now, he used to be literally stuck to my leg or wanting in my arms the whole time, including the whole night. He used to be literally hanging on my breast the whole night and I was not aloud to move.. We use of course a family bed and I would not see it any other way, I also did not vaccinate him and all that.. These were also huge issues with his father, who, although he broke up with me while I was 7 month pregnant, he wanted and was able to control every move we made, because we lived across the hall from him..
            Now I see the playing child in my son coming into the light and I so want to make it up to him for allowing such a disturbing influence to be part of his life.. In the same time I want to build a safe and lovely life for us and I need (from my son) some space to do that..
            We go to the homeopath already 2,5 years and since 1,5 years ago also to the cranio-sacraal for my son. Homeopathy worked very well in the beginning but since a few month ago stopped working for both of us, although we were to the same very good homeopath all these years.. I am puzzled by that.. But in the same time I found a way to nourish myself and thus nourish us both and that helps a lot with everything. I feel very happy even in the middle of this hurricane and I take one day at a time. Thank you so much that you took the time for this conversation, I needed it:-)
            That in a nut shell.. a little bigger nut shell:-)

            April 3, 2012
  9. oops, sorry for such an enormous reply!:-)

    April 2, 2012
  10. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a
    bit, but instead of that, this is excellent blog. An excellent read.
    I will definitely be back.

    August 5, 2013

Tell us what you're thinking

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s