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Thankful

This beautiful video was making the rounds a few years ago. This is something I am unlikely to ever see in person and I feel lucky that I get to see it here and I am thankful for all the beauty in the world, the seen and the unseen. For those of you celebrating, I hope you have a lovely time. For those of you facing hard times, may this day land easily.

Murmuration from Islands & Rivers on Vimeo.

It Bears Repeating

it bears repeatingOne of the hardest thing for us parents to wrap our heads around is how often we have to repeat ourselves.

“Shut the door.”
“Pick up your shoes.”
“No, you can’t have cookies for dinner.”
“Hitting is against the rules in this house.”

You’d think they’d figure it out after the 457th time we’ve said it and yet there we go, repeating ourselves over and over and over again.

Argh! Frustrating!

There’s a reason we have to turn into broken records; our kids are always growing and so they need to learn some things over and over and over again.

When your child grows from one stage into a new stage she’s learning things in an entirely new context. She has new developmental tasks to master, new facts to contemplate, and new skills to integrate. In this entirely new environment the things you’ve taught her — shut the door, pick up your shoes, etc. — don’t mean what they used to mean and she has to learn them again.

For example, your average everyday 3-year old may be pretty good about not slamming the door. She’s anxious to please you, likes your approval and wants to prove what a big girl she is. That’s the context she’s learning that whole “shut the door quietly” rule.

That very same child as a 4-year old may start slamming the door again. Her curiosity may be more intense at this age so she may be so anxious to move onto the next thing that the door slams behind her before she even notices. 4-year olds may also be more interested in challenging adults, leading to more door slamming because now she wants to explore what happens when she breaks your rules.

Totally the same behavior happening in totally different contexts with totally different things to learn. We just see the annoying behavior, we just hear ourselves saying it yet again — “Don’t slam the door!” — but for her it’s not just a slamming door, it’s a whole new thing to learn in a whole new way.

What parents need is faith that all of our repetition is sinking in because it is. We also need to know that continued commitment to the house rules and values create a structure that makes it safe for our children to grow and that part of that growth includes challenging that structure. It’s not easy, I know, but know that with every repetition you are offering your child a new opportunity to learn.

Parenting is a long-haul operation, lemme tell you. Hang in there!

And now for your listening pleasure (because parents need a little pleasure to get through some of this rough stuff) is The Bird and The Bee singing Again & Again.

The Bird And The Bee “Again and Again” from Miky Wolf on Vimeo.

You’re doing a fine job

This Cocteau Twins song came up on my iTunes rotation the other day and for the first time I caught the lyrics. I thought, “Hey! This makes a terrific Therapeutic Moment!” So I’m sharing it with you. Lyrics are below the (fan-made) video.

Lyrics:

Ooh, you have, ooh, you have
Ooh, you have, ooh, you have

How do I feel about myself?
I try, I am resourceful, I contribute
I belong when I contribute

I don’t have to be perfect
I’m accepting myself as I really am
I’m feeling love for my successes

(Thank you for showing me respect)
I think, yes
(The foundation of my self respect)
I’m doing a fine job

I think, yes, I’m doing a fine job
I’m accepting myself as I really am
I’m feeling love for my successes

(Thank you for showing me respect)
I think, yes
(The foundation of my self-respect)
I’m doing a fine job
(Thank you for your encouragement)
I think, yes
(For my efforts and improvements)
I’m doing a fine job

Ooh, you have, ooh, you have
Ooh, you have, ooh, you have
Ooh, you have, ooh, you have
Ooh, you have, ooh, you have

I think, yes, I’m doing a fine job

(Thank you for showing me respect)
I think, yes
(The foundation of my self-respect)
I’m doing a fine job
(Thank you for your encouragement)
I think, yes
(For my efforts and improvements)
I’m doing a fine job

Who made you the center of the universe?

This artist, Laura Mvula, is my new iTunes obsession. I discovered her thanks to Son of Baldwin and I’ve kept her on high rotation. I’m putting the lyrics below the video but it’s a song about self-acceptance in the face of tired and limited standards of beauty:

“That’s Alright”

I will never be what you want
And that’s alright
Got my skin and light
And my body ain’t tight
And that’s alright
But if I might
I’ma stand and fight

I will never be what you want
And that’s alright
I’ll play my own damn tune
I’ll shine like the moon
And very soon
I’ll soon fly over you
And what you gonna do
When I fly over you

And who made you the center of the universe
Who made you the center of the universe

And every morning when I wake up I pray for you
And then I pray for me
That soon you’ll see
How love can be
Our love will set you free
What’s it gonna be
See the beauty in your eyes

And who made you the center of the universe
(Who made you judge and jury over me)
Who made you the center of the universe
(Now leave me be)
Who made you the center of the universe
(Don’t need no rules in my world)
Who made you the center of the universe

I will never be what you want
And that’s alright
Got my skin and light
And my body ain’t tight

I will never be what you want
And that’s alright
Got my skin and light
And that’s alright

And who made you the center of the universe
(Who made you judge and jury over me)
Who made you the center of the universe
(Now leave me be)
Who made you the center of the universe
(Don’t need no rules in my world)
Who made you the center of the universe

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