Is Your Child a "Know it All"?
I recently read an article in a local paper about middle school kids teaming up to create some new lunch possibilities. The challenge was to come up with a dish that would appeal to kids at a cost of about $1.20 per serving. The meal needed to be easy to mass produce and meet nutritional guidelines. True to the nature of kids who want to eat, the three teams competing for $500 for their school plus the fun of an “Iron Chef” cooking challenge came up with a variety of possibilities.
As I was reading this article, I was congratulating the adults who were willing to have the kids participate in creating food options that work and taste good for them. These adults acknowledged that the kids had the capacity to know what to do. They were in allowance of giving them the space to work it out for themselves.
What would happen if we could trust kids to know what they know to contribute to the changes that our world needs?
What would happen if adults would trust kids of any age to come up with possibilities that create more ease?
What if we could be in allowance of any idea shared by a child? *
Just imagine asking your 3 year old what does he/she know about getting their toys picked up, getting ready for bed, choosing what to wear, and whatever else would help to make your day easier. You might be surprised by what is shared. Kids of all ages want to be a contribution and don’t feel that they are when they aren’t asked.
Teaching kids at an early age that you trust them to know instills in them the confidence that they require to trust themselves. They appreciate you acknowledging their knowing and by doing so you keep them connected to what they know. One of my favorite questions to ask kids is, “What do you know about that?” Depending on the child, you may get no response or a whole dissertation. For those who have no response, that is okay. It allows them to connect to the possibility that they do know something. At some point, they will come to you with what they know.
There are parents who are always telling their kids what they think they should know or solve their problems for the kids. These parents don’t trust their kids to know and quite possibly they don’t trust themselves to know either. This is not about judging these parents, as most of us have fallen into this trap, having grown up not knowing how to access our knowing. It is about being aware if this is true for you and choosing to change it. There are times when a parent can offer some assistance in helping a child to know or to gain the knowing by offering suggestions. It may sound like, "I wonder what you know about ..." or "What do you think about this idea...?" This allows the child a chance to connect and consider what they know.
Ask yourself how much do you trust yourself to know all that you know? Have you turned to others to tell you what is best for you? Do you know how to access your knowing? For some this may seem like a silly question, and yet there are times that you may recall that you just knew something without thinking about it. You can access that knowing more consciously by asking questions like, “What do I know about this?” and “What am I aware of in this situation?” Reconnecting with your “Knowing” muscle will allow you to acknowledge and trust your knowing, even if it is different from someone else’s. It is easier to acknowledge your child’s knowing if you acknowledge your own.
I wonder what this will change in your world and in your child’s world?
*Note: Being in allowance does not mean that you accept the idea or even have to choose to do it, it does mean that you acknowledge it as an idea without any judgment. One way to do so with your child is to say something like, “I have never thought of that. That is a creative idea. I wonder how that would work in this situation. Let’s keep that as a possibility. Thank you for adding that idea.”
Mary shares her desire to create different possibilities for families and individuals who are looking to live a more conscious and aware lifestyle. BE YOU Parenting is for parents who want to BE all that they truly BE and to allow their kids the same privilege.