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.
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!
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. ( !! )
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!